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Red Cross Announces 2013 Solano County Heroes

Fairfield, CA (October 2, 2013) – The American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter will honor recipients of the 2013 Solano County Heroes Awards at the Breakfast on Friday, October 11, at the NorthBay Healthcare Conference Center in Fairfield. The annual Solano County Heroes Breakfast recognizes local individuals and organizations that make a difference in their community through acts of extraordinary courage and kindness and is proudly sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.

This year’s honorees include the following Solano County citizens and organizations:

Community Service Hero, Organization

  • Operation T.H.U.G.S. (The Harvest Unit Gathering Souls) focuses on helping the homeless in Solano County and the surrounding areas feeding, providing clothing and toiletries, and cleaning homeless camps.
  • Community Service Hero, Individual

  • Sandra Vegas established a nonprofit ministry, “Foster Greatness”, which serves as a direct resource for Vallejo’s foster care children and parents. This has resulted in dental care professional volunteering their services and members of local business and police organizations providing more than 60 Christmas gifts for elementary and high school students.
  • Act of Kindness & Philanthropy Heroes, Individual

  • Marcia Gordon and Susan Turner volunteer for countless hours as special advocate volunteers with the Family Finding and Engagement program, assisting in extensive searched in an effort to locate family members of children in foster care who can provide them with love and care.
  • Act of Kindness & Philanthropy Hero, Organization

  • The Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation partnered up with Ernie and Marj Meadows who lost their 18-year-old daughter, Ellen, to an automobile accident to develop a low-cost, durable, and functional prosthetic hand in order to help all those who need. No one profits from the production or distribution and no recipients are charged. More than 3,500 LN-4’s prosthetic hands have been distributed around the globe including to recipients in Africa, Colombia, Ecuador, Vietnam, India and Jordon.
  • Act of Courage Hero

  • Perry Hookey attempted to revive a 43-year-old William Ballard who was unconscious in his big-rig truck which had just struck a vehicle, causing the big-rig to hit the rail and slide down an embankment. Though Perry received some burns, he managed to pull William from the rig, moments before it exploded.
  • Lifesaving Hero

  • Airman First Class Michael Brown Jr. coordinates a four-person team to evacuate an off-duty team in El Dorado National Forest where a team member had slipped and suffered a three-inch deep leg wound to a nearby hospital.
  • Master Sergeant Kristin Feola quickly recognized that a fellow airman was not feeling well, displaying signs of heat distress and shortness of breath while at the Annual Gold Star Family Ruck and assisted in getting the airman medical help quickly.
  • Public Safety Hero

  • Detective Nathan Benevides and the Investigative Service Section (ISS) team discovered the suspects who robbed Debartolo Jewelers during business hours. Detective has also helped create a comprehensive plan to increase the number of surveillance cameras in the downtown business district of Vacaville by partnering with the Downtown Vacaville Business Improvement District.
  • Deputies Brian Bero and Jason Speakman’s quick actions stopped what could have been a serious accident when they noticed a truck swerving on Orchard Street in Fairfield because the driver was unconscious but were able to run after the truck to pull the gearshift into park position to stop the truck.
  • The actions of these Heroes embody the principles and ideals of the Red Cross’ humanitarian mission. For more information or to purchase tickets for the Heroes Breakfast event, please visit:

    About the Heroes Awards Program

    People in the Bay Area make a difference in the lives of others in their communities every day. The American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter and civic leaders from six counties in the Bay Area are joining together to celebrate everyday heroism, recognizing those individuals and organizations whose extraordinary acts of kindness and courage make them heroes. American Red Cross chapters around the country hold events in their communities to recognize acts of heroism by local residents and pay tribute to those who have performed lifesaving acts. Each year, nearly 900 people attend events in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Solano Counties to honor local heroes. For more information about the events and corporate sponsorship opportunities, please visit All proceeds from the events support the disaster preparedness and relief efforts of the American Red Cross in the Bay Area.

    About American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter

    As a community-based, humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter provides relief to those affected by disasters and empowers individuals in our community to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. By helping people in the Bay Area learn how to take care of their families and neighbors, the Red Cross strengthens the community and makes it ready for all types of disasters, including home fires, earthquakes, wildfires and health emergencies. Call 1-888-4-HELP-BAY (1-888-443-5722) or visit to learn more. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.