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Red Cross Announces 2015 Real Heroes Breakfast Honorees

[Santa Rosa] The American Red Cross of the California Northwest will be honoring the courageous acts of inspirational members of the community at its 12th Annual Real Heroes Breakfast. The invitation-only event will be held Thursday, April 30 at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park at 7:30 a.m. The Real Heroes Breakfast is a highlight event in the local Red Cross chapter’s calendar as it significantly benefits the lifesaving programs and emergency services the Red Cross provides to support the communities of the six counties within the California Northwest Chapter.

The 2015 California Northwest Red Cross Real Hero Award recipients were selected by a committee of local community leaders based on the degree to which their acts of heroism uphold the values of the Red Cross and leave a lasting and positive impact on the residents of Lake, Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma counties. The following is a snapshot of the heroes to be honored at the event:

Law Enforcement Hero: Cassandra Pinney – Sebastopol

Sponsored by Eileen Adams

Sebastopol Police Department dispatcher Cassandra Pinney responded professionally, persistently and heroically to a 911 call she received on Valentine’s Day 2014. The call came from a cell phone with no response from the caller, but a woman could be heard screaming on the open line.

Medical Hero: Dr. Thomas Chang – Santa Rosa

Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

Board certified Podiatric Surgeon Thomas Chang has been recognized many times over the years for his professional contributions to his field. Dr. Chang still finds time in his busy schedule to serve with medical missions annually. Over the past 23 years he has served in over 15 missions in seven different countries including Mexico, Honduras, Nepal, Venezuela, Guatemala, Indonesia, China and El Salvador.

Military Hero: Almon Bundy – Yountville

Sponsored by Merrill Lynch

Almon Bundy, a U.S. Army veteran who served as an adviser to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam’s Third Annual Calvary Squadron, has created resources and services to help Veterans transition into civilian life through his help co-founding the Napa County Veterans Advocacy Coalition.

Rescue Professional Heroes: Matt Snodgrass and Rick Bates – Rohnert Park

Sponsored by CamelBak

Public Safety Officers Rick Bates and Matt Snodgrass rescued a physically challenged 23-year-old who was trapped on the second floor of his burning townhome.

Education Heroes: Mary Beth Ludwig and Andrew Bailey – Healdsburg and Santa Rosa

Sponsored by PG&E

Mary Beth Ludwig and Andrew Bailey saw a need for a special needs school, developed Anova, a school for students age five to 22 olds on the Autism Spectrum, with learning differences and/or social and emotional challenges. The first school opened in 2003.

Animal Hero: Carol Rathmann – Santa Rosa

Sponsored by Sonoma Raceway

Executive Director, Carol Rathmann, originally founded Forget Me Not Farm in 1992 with the purpose of teaching children how to treat and interact with animals to prevent animal abuse. The benefit to kids was soon recognized and the program also became a haven for children and animals to bond and break the cycle of abuse. The program became a non-profit subsidiary of the Sonoma Humane Society in 2008.

Environment Hero: Lucas and Jasper Oshun – Sebastopol

Sponsored by Silver Oak/Twomey

Brothers Lucas and Jasper Oshun, graduates of Analy High School, started a unique student exchange program, Global Student Embassy. Students work for social and environmental change at home and in the countries they visit.

Heroic Deed Hero: Edward Greening – Santa Rosa

Sponsored by Sutter Regional Medical Center and Sutter Lakeside Hospital

Construction worker Edward Greening witnessed an accident and proceeded to pull two individuals out of their automobile to safety.

Humanitarian – Adult Hero: Cathryn Couch – Sebastopol

Sponsored by St. Joseph Health System

Cathryn Couch founded the non-profit Ceres Community Project in 2007 to supply healthy organic meals, at no charge, to patients struggling with cancer or other serious illnesses, and to teach teenagers how to prepare and eat healthy whole food meals.

Humanitarian – Youth Hero: Sean Arden – Sebastopol

Sponsored by Jackson Family Wines

As Sean Arden, an Analy High School junior, and his family were traveling home from Oregon and nearing Medford on Interstate 5, an 18-wheeler in front of them veered off the road and down an embankment. Sean jumped out of his mother’s car while it was still running, and ran down to the rig that was on its side with a small fire under it. Sean took charge of rescue efforts, engaging passersby, and was successful in freeing the driver who was pinned inside.

The event sponsors include American AgCredit, CamelBak, Kaiser Permanente, Jackson Family Wines, PG&E Corporation, St. Joseph Health, Sutter Health, Merrill Lynch, Eileen Adams, Redwood Credit Union and Sonoma Raceway. The 12th Annual Real Heroes Breakfast’s Honorary Chair is Sally McCoy, Chief Executive Officer of Petaluma based CamelBak. The Breakfast will be emceed by Debbie Abrams, a radio personality at KZST 100.1.

About American Red Cross of the California Northwest

With office locations in Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma counties, the American Red Cross is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from residents and companies to provide services and programs that help our community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. For more information on disaster preparedness, health and safety classes, volunteer opportunities, and financial contributions, visit our website at or call us at 1-707-577-7600. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.