Meet and Greet Red Cross Real Heroes, Community Executive May 20

UTICA, N.Y. (May 14, 2014) — Mohawk Valley residents are invited to the Stanley Theater in downtown Utica on Tuesday, May 20, to meet American Red Cross Community Executive Julie Darling and the 2014 Mohawk Valley Real Heroes.

At 4 p.m., the award winners for the 2014 Real Heroes Breakfast will be announced and introduced. Visitors are then welcomed to stay for a 5 p.m. Meet & Greet with Darling, the new Community Executive of the American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley. Food and drinks, including wine tasting, will be provided for the Meet & Greet by Café CaNole, Swifty’s Restaurant and Symeon’s Restaurant.

Attention Media

The media is invited to attend the 4 p.m. news conference announcing the Real Heroes Breakfast Award winners. Several of the Real Heroes and Red Cross officials will be available for interviews following the brief news conference. Darling will also be available to talk about how she and her staff are improving Red Cross services throughout the Mohawk Valley.

The 15th annual Real Heroes Breakfast at 7:30 p.m. June 4 at the Field House on the SUNY IT campus will celebrate the Red Cross mission of alleviating human suffering by recognizing residents from Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego and Delaware counties who have performed heroic acts in life-threatening situations. Residents will be honored in nine award categories: Adult Good Samaritan, Animal Rescue, Blood Donor, Fire Rescue, Kurt Wyman Law Enforcement, Medical, Military, 9-1-1 Dispatch and Michael Cianfrocco Family Humanitarian of the Year.

The Red Cross recently announced that Lawrence T. Gilroy will be honored as its Humanitarian of the Year. The Michael Cianfrocco Family Humanitarian of the Year Award is presented annually to a person who exemplifies the humanitarian spirit of the Mohawk Valley through his or her positive contributions to the community.
Gilroy is President of Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy Inc., a Risk Management, Insurance and Employee Benefit firm located in Central New York since 1904. Active in the community, Gilroy currently serves as Chair of the Utica College Board of Trustees; a member of the Executive Committee at Mohawk Valley EDGE (Economic Development Growth Enterprises Corp.); on the Boilermaker Road Race committee; and on the Advisory Board of Masonic Medical Research Lab.

Darling, of New Hartford, was named earlier this year as Community Executive of the American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley. Darling manages the Mohawk Valley Chapter, which covers Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego and Delaware counties and includes the chapter office in Utica and branch offices in Rome, Herkimer, Cooperstown and Sidney.

Darling joined the Red Cross after more than five years as the Associate Development Director/Regional Director of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Central New York Chapter in Utica. Prior to working at the Alzheimer’s Association, Darling served as Program Manager/Service Liaison for the Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter, in Utica, and spent nine years with the Oneida County Department of Social Services in Utica as a senior caseworker for Child Protective and Foster Care Services.

The May 20 event is sponsored in part by Empower Federal Credit Union, Northern Safety & Industrial, The Stanley, WKTV News Channel 2, Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce, and Rome Area Chamber of Commerce.

Major sponsors of the 2014 Real Heroes Breakfast are Empower Federal Credit Union, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, First Source Federal Credit Union, International Wire Co., NBT Bank, Northern Safety & Industrial, New York Central Mutual Insurance, New York State Technology Enterprise Corp., Polish Community Home, Radley & Rheinhardt PC, St. Elizabeth
Health Support Services, and Scalzo Zogby & Wittig, Inc. Media sponsorship is provided by the WKTV News Channel 2.

To become a Real Heroes sponsor, contact Darling or Mallory Brown, Major Gift Officer, at (315) 733-4666, or Tickets for the Real Heroes Breakfast are $25 each, or $500 for a corporate table of eight. To purchase tickets, call 315-234-2225 or email

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 and follow us on Facebook at