Red Cross event to recognize Everyday Heroes in Springfield

These are folks of all ages from across the area that have by choice or a set of circumstances saved a life or helped to alleviate human suffering.

If these people are every day, I’m really feeling inadequate.

The American Red Cross Southern Missouri Region will be honoring its Everyday Heroes this month. These are folks of all ages from across the area that have by choice or a set of circumstances saved a life or helped to alleviate human suffering.

Now, I’m every day. I spend most of my time thinking about me, my circumstance and what I want or need. It takes a sledgehammer to break open my cocoon of privacy and self-interest.

But these 11 individuals nominated by their family members or neighbors are special, I believe. They are worthy of our community’s attention and thanks.

What more is to be said of people like these?

Trey Sturgell, 13, Cassville – This young man demonstrated a presence of mind when his brother Trace, 5, was injured by a ranch horse. Trey put the younger boy in a truck and drove him to their father. Trace saved his brother’s life.

Don Bishop, retired U.S. Army major, Branson West - A cancer survivor, Bishop has worked since 2003 to give a bit of happiness to families with children dealing with cancer. He has partnered with a number of businesses in the Branson area to give these families time away from therapies and hospitals for a vacation in the Ozarks.

Glenn Adler, Wright County Sheriff, Hartville – Adler has dealt with the violent deaths of at least two very young children while sheriff. He has become an advocate for abused children by following the cases through the system and seeking to support and protect.

Can this be every day behavior? Perhaps I’m underestimating me – and you. We can look to these folks as models for ourselves, our children and our community. We can strive to be like nine-year-old Jake Woods, who assisted and demonstrated real hospitality to travelers stranded at the Springfield-Branson National Airport. We can find a passion like Fran Giglio in teaching English as a second language, but also getting involved with introducing her students to life in the Ozarks and becoming involved in their lives. We can take the actions that are heroic such as Darrel and Audean Watson, first responders with the Wasola Volunteer Fire Department. Or we can follow in the footsteps of Ron Bandy and Terri Lipe, who used CPR to save a life; Charles Gene Harris, a conscientious OATS driver; and Ralph McClurg, coordinating a medical equipment loan program.

Like these folks, we can turn the special into every day.

But for now, we should come together on Wednesday, March 27 to honor these 11 people at the Everyday Heroes Lunch and Awards Ceremony (for reservations call 417-832-9500, ext. 109; or toll free 866-206-0256). Their actions deserve our respect, as well as, our efforts to be so every day.

*Don Underwood is a Disaster Action Team (DAT) and Public Affairs volunteer with the Southern Missouri Region of the American Red Cross.

If someone would like to support the Red Cross mission and help those in need, they can visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at