Red Cross Announces 2014 'Brave Hearts' Honorees

Southeastern Wisconsin Red Cross, Brave Hearts Event
If something ever were to happen and there be a chance for him to help-out in any way, he would.

Local residents have been inspired, empowered and brave when faced with adversity, earning them the prestigious Brave Hearts Awards hosted by the American Red Cross. The Brave Hearts: Heroes Among Us signature event will be held Thursday evening May 1, 2014 at the Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee.

Brave Hearts: Heroes Among Us recognizes and celebrates the life-saving achievements of everyday heroes; those who came to the aid of another or contributed to the safety of our community. Awards are presented in the following categories:

Hero of the Year Award presented by U.S. Bank

Robert Fields – When he heard the Milwaukee neighbor yell, “Help me! Help me!” frantically, he jumped into action. He ran two doors down where, heat, flames and thick, black, smoke was pouring-out. Trapped inside was a 91-year old woman. He ran home for a wet towel and blanket to put over his head and as a breathing mask. He felt his way through the darkness, feeling for anything that wasn’t furniture. He followed muffled sounds, pulled the elderly woman to her feet and put her weight on him so they could escape.

Youth Award presented by State Farm

Nick and Alex Stanisic, Alex Wimmer & Sage Schram – This humble group of Wauwatosa West High School students, grew-up together, and credit their parents for their behavior. They acted on instinct when they came upon a woman lying next to her car convulsing and a 4-year old was buckled in the car-seat crying. Working as a team, one ran to get help, call 9-1-1, comfort the child and administer aid until the paramedics arrived. They were late to the game, and never mentioned ‘why’. It wasn’t until the life-saving heroes were tracked down, by the neighbor and school administrators, was their story revealed.

Community Safety, Security & Resiliency Award presented by Northwestern Mutual Foundation

Lisa Schraufnagel & Sarah Bartosz – Through rare illnesses and ultimately death for their young boys, these two moms met at the Children’s Hospital and they formed a comforting bond and a power to find good in their experiences. Today, these Hartland and Nashotah parents, host blood drives to engage others to support not only their boys but all the children around the world that need blood transfusions as frequently as daily.

Emergency Response Award presented by Rockwell Automation

Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Mike - Officer Mike was the first responder to the roadside incident where it’s every parent’s nightmare; their child stops breathing. For a 7-month old, who stopped breathing after choking, with no movement, and a dull, blue color emerging, it was fate that he arrived on the Layton Avenue ramp just in time to perform back thrusts and rescue breaths.

Military Award presented by American Red Cross

Colonel Murry Mitten, Air National Guard (Retired) – Thirty seconds can make all the difference in the world. This East Troy resident was traveling when a semi-trailer was jack-knifing and skidding into the median. The cab rolled and started on fire. Before stopping, he jumped out of his vehicle and onto the truck cab. He smashed the driver’s window, pulling the frantic driver out as it was engulfed in flames. As a previous Brave Heart attendee, inspired by award recipients before him, he pledged if something ever were to happen and there be a chance for him to help-out in any way, he would.

Animal Companion Award presented by American Red Cross

Joseph Pabst, Founder, Safe Haven – Domestic violence hits home when your sister is involved. Joseph tied the daily affection of animals to abuse victims, who choose not to leave home then as threats to torture their animals prevented their escape. He formed a theory, conducted research and then provided a solution to remove one of the obstacles so that victims can seek shelter knowing their pet(s) are safe. He spearheaded the partnership, between the Wisconsin Humane Society and the Sojourner Family Peace Center, to open Safe Haven.

Individual seats for Brave Hearts: Heroes Among Us are $100 and gala tables, for eight, are available for $1,000. Proceeds are used to help the local Chapter prevent and alleviate suffering in the face of emergencies. To register call Mallory Markham at 414-345-8645, email Mallory.Markham@redcross.org or online at www.redcross.org/sewiBraveHearts. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner/program begins at 6:30 p.m.

The evening would not be possible without award and event sponsors including: Presenting Sponsor U.S. Bank, The Marcus Corporation, MillerCoors, A.O. Smith. Award Sponsors including: Northwestern Mutual Foundation, State Farm, Rockwell Automation and Supporting sponsors including: Briggs & Stratton, Laureate Group, ManpowerGroup and We Energies.

The event magic would not be possible without in-kind generosity of Aquent Studios, Canopies, BBJ Table Fashions, Dahlia Blooms, Dynamic Events by David Caruso, Front Room Photography, Majic Productions, Milwaukee Business Journal and Signarama.

To learn more about the American Red Cross in Southeastern Wisconsin’s programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the local office at 414-342-8680, visit redcross.org/sewisconsin on the web, on twitter: @RedCrossSeWi, facebook: RedCross.SoutheastWI and our blog at www.redcrossSEWIblog.org

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.