Presented by ConocoPhillips Alaska, virtual fundraising event to celebrate local heroes to take place May 19 through May 21
The American Red Cross of Alaska is pleased to share the 2020 Real Heroes Awards, a showcase of Alaskan heroes from all walks of life doing what they do best – demonstrating that anybody can make a difference in the lives of others, either by saving a life one day or by tirelessly working each and every day for the benefit of Alaskan communities. This virtual fundraising event to celebrate local heroes is presented by ConocoPhillips Alaska.
Each year for the past 20 years, the Red Cross of Alaska has gathered for a Real Heroes Breakfast in person, but this year, due to the current circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the decision was made to share this event virtually. Heroes are nominated each year by fellow Alaskans for exceptional acts of bravery, quick-thinking, selflessness, and skill.
“They give us hope - deeds performed with no expectation of recognition or praise, simply an innate impulse to do good, to respond when called upon to help fellow Alaskans,” said Tanguy Libbrecht, Red Cross of Alaska CEO. “It is my pleasure to honor this year’s heroes. I am inspired by the stories we will be hearing about over the span of three days.”
The inspirational stories of these Alaskan heroes, honored for acts of valor in 10 different categories, will be shared with the public from May 19 through May 21, from a safe distance. Viewers can find each day’s video release at 10 a.m. by following the Red Cross of Alaska on Facebook or Twitter, or by visiting redcross.org/realheroesak.
Through this modified format, viewers will hear stories from the 10 hero groups and their award sponsors, learn important preparedness tips and hear more about the lifesaving work of the Red Cross. The event will be hosted by Red Cross of Alaska Board Secretary, Josh Howes and Alaska Regional Hospital CEO, Julie Taylor. The three-day program will also feature remarks from presenting sponsor ConocoPhillips Alaska and a handful of special guests, including U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski and Red Cross of Alaska Board Chair, Buddy Custard.
Day 1 – Tuesday, May 19
Marine Rescue Heroes: Charles Hanas and Colleen Nesbitt
Sponsored by: Dowland-Bach
Location of rescue: Ketchikan, Alaska
Wilderness Rescue Hero: Alex Kuprienko
Sponsored by: Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska
Location of rescue: Glen Alps Trailhead, Anchorage, Alaska
Transportation Safety Hero: Seth McMillan
Sponsored by: Marsh & McLennan
Location of achievements: Anchorage, Alaska
Day 2 – Wednesday, May 20
Youth Good Samaritan Hero: James Bauer
Sponsored by: First National Bank Alaska
Location of rescue: Wasilla, Alaska
Workplace/Slope Safety Hero: Nicholas Ridley
Sponsored by: ConocoPhillips Alaska
Location of rescue: Alpine, North Slope, Alaska
Fire Rescue Heroes: Anchorage Police Department and Anchorage Fire Department
Sponsored by: Anchorage Fire Fighters Union, Local 1264
Location of achievements: Anchorage, Alaska
Medical Rescue Heroes: Marianne Hoosier, Kimberly Dang, Tim Katsma, Breanna Love, Aaron Elmore, Kelly Puzak, Kent Ingalls and Ryan Davidson
Sponsored by: Alaska Regional Hospital
Location of rescue: Kuparuk, North Slope, Alaska
Day 3 – Thursday, May 21
Alaska Safety Heroes: Matanuska-Susitna Borough Water Rescue Team
Sponsored by: Verizon Wireless
Location of rescue: Willow, Alaska
Military/Law Enforcement Rescue Heroes: Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, 210RQS HH-60G Aircrew, 211 RQS HC130 Aircrew, 212 RQS HC130 PJ Team and 212 RQS HH 60 PJ Team
Sponsored by: Walmart
Location of rescue: Near Galena, Alaska
Adult Good Samaritan Heroes: Pete Hoogenboom and Aaron Verba
Sponsored by: Providence Health & Services Alaska
Location of rescue: Near Whittier, Alaska
HOW TO HELP
SHARE: The awards videos will remain available at redcross.org/realheroesak, to be viewed at leisure. The Red Cross encourages viewers to share these stories within their own networks – to bring inspiration and positivity during these challenging times, and to prompt viewers to consider what they might do either in the face of emergencies, or in their day-to-day lives to make a difference in the lives of others.
DONATE: This inspiring event raises critical funds for the Red Cross of Alaska. Emergencies don't stop – even during a pandemic – but neither will the Red Cross mission. From helping families after home fires, to mobilizing on the front lines to provide shelter and hope during major floods, wildfires and earthquakes, the Red Cross is there. Volunteers continue to support military members and their families, and Red Cross workers continue to provide lifesaving training in First Aid/CPR/AED, babysitting and more.
Help support the Red Cross by making a financial donation. Now more than ever, donations support the urgent needs of the organization’s lifesaving mission. Thanks to a generous matching gift from the Richard L. & Diane M. Block Foundation, gifts could be matched up to $25,000.
About the American Red Cross of Alaska:
In Fiscal Year 2019, the American Red Cross of Alaska responded to 435 disasters by offering food, shelter, relief supplies, comfort, hope and recovery services to 1,096 Alaskans in 50 communities statewide. Our preparedness teams installed 2,171 free smoke alarms and educated 1,409 youth through The Pillowcase Project. Our Training Services department enrolled 19,665 students in first aid/CPR/AED, aquatics and caregiving classes. Our Service to the Armed Forces staff exchanged 1,299 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. In Fiscal Year 2019, our statewide workforce of 729 volunteers logged 40,735 hours in service to our mission and their fellow Alaskans. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Alaska or visit us on Twitter at @redcrossak.