The American Red Cross of Central Iowa (Ottumwa area) along with presenting sponsor John Deere will congratulate four local heroes at the Heroes of the Heartland breakfast, Friday, April 21, 2017, at the Bridge View Center, 102 Church St., Ottumwa. These outstanding individuals have demonstrated courage, compassion and unselfish character, performing extraordinary acts of heroism in the eyes of their neighbors and community.
Judy Engle of Ottumwa - Judy may be considered a “Super Woman” of today. She is involved in more than 14 non-profit organizations, serving on a number of boards and in leadership roles. For the past 20 years, she has spear headed the Festival of Trees, a major fundraiser for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, raising more than $200,000 targeted for affordable housing in the community. She has helped with the Race for the Cure in many capacities from the finish line to the Survivor luncheon with her daughter Julie. She also has been directly involved with Easter Seals of Iowa, United Way, Ottumwa Symphony, Southeast Iowa Symphony, Tenco Foundation, Community Players and has been the Director of the Ottumwa Music Association.
Trevor Medina of Ottumwa –There’s one local woman who is thankful that Trevor Medina was in the right place at the right time. A fire broke out on October 30, 2016 at around 12:15 a.m. on the fourth floor of the Hotel Ottumwa. Alerted to the fire, Trevor displayed outstanding heroics by charging into a smoke-filled room, finding the occupant and carrying her out of the room. The woman was airlifted to the University of Iowa to be treated for her injuries. She survived in part to the quick and selfless actions of Trevor. Upon arrival at the scene, the Ottumwa Fire Department found that an unknown young man had saved this woman’s life and later found out his identity.
Marci Prose of Ottumwa – As a young mother, Marci Prose struggled with her autistic son David. During the first 2 ½ years of his life, he cried up to 18 hours per day and slept from 10-15 minutes at a time. The family was given a weighted blanket to try with David. He miraculously slept 8 hours. Seeing the transformation in her son, Marci wanted to give back to other parents who were struggling with these issues. In one weekend, volunteers made 12 blankets to donate. The organization called Sharing the Weight (STW) was born. Over the next 3 years, she and volunteers made 2,488 blankets which were sent all over the world. Marci speaks to churches and organizations raising money to purchase fabric, material and the poly pellets used to fill the blankets. Marci has coordinated everything in her home while raising four children. She’s learned that the blankets help children function in their daily activities, allowing them to remain calm, which opens the door for them to learn and interact with others. Marci saw the need and chose to fill it.
Bob Wilkerson of Ottumwa - Bob Wilkerson has the heart of a true gentleman. He reaches out to neighbors in need and participates in many civic activities with a boundless energy that surpasses of those much younger. He is greatly admired and appreciated by Hospice of Davis and Wapello Counties. His mission has been to improve the lives of patients and families. In their last days as well as providing support to Hospice staff and volunteers. Bob voluntarily maintains the grounds of Hospice, bringing out the beauty of the landscape. He provides routine maintenance and repairs within the building as well. He is a true hero to those experiencing the last stages of life and the families who will grieve for them.
Heroes are nominated by their peers to be recognized for going above and beyond in service to others. The Heroes breakfast will be held at Friday, April 21, 2017, at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa. The event is the area’s major fundraiser for the Red Cross. Reserve your space by April 24. Those interested in attending should contact Larry Jarvis, 641-777-0996.