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SAN JOSE, CA (August 30, 2018) – The American Red Cross of the Silicon Valley will be honoring eight local heroes while supporting the work of the American Red Cross at an one-of-a-kind celebration taking place at the historic 175-acre Villa Montalvo estate in Saratoga on the evening of Wednesday, October 3.
After careful consideration, a committee of local community leaders selected the 2018 Silicon Valley Hero Award recipients based on the degree to which their actions uphold the values of the Red Cross and have a positive impact on the residents of Santa Clara County. The following is a list of the eight heroes who will be honored at this year’s event; descriptions of each honoree's actions are also included below.
Lifetime Achievement - Chief Harold Schapelhouman
Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman is a visionary who pushes the boundaries on moving the Menlo Park Fire Protection District forward in becoming a leader in fire service and emergency response. Chief Schapelhouman has been with the Menlo Fire for 37 years, having risen up through the ranks and to become Fire Chief in 2006. He was instrumental in establishing California Task Force 3, making Menlo Fire the lead agency of the FEMA task force that spans from San Francisco to Monterey County. Chief Schapelhouman is a veteran of various national incidents including the Oklahoma City Bombing, the World Trade Center Collapse, the recovery of the Columbia Space Shuttle Astronauts, and the PG&E Pipeline Explosion. Most recently, he has worked to deploy CA-TF3 to national incidents including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria. In California, Chief Schapelhouman has deployed CA-TF3 to help fight the California wildfires around the state. CA-TF3 is internationally renowned for responding to terrorist attacks and natural disasters. He also looks for ways to support nonprofit organizations, such as the Red Cross and the Alisa Ruch Burn Foundation, so that they can continue supporting the community.
Corporate Achievement - PayPal
PayPal has been a long-time supporter of the American Red Cross. Last year, PayPal stepped up more than ever in light of crises around the country. Special promotions to their customers helped raise millions of much needed dollars to help families impacted by the hurricanes and wildfires of last year’s unprecedented disaster season. PayPal also helped stand up a mass payment system and waived fees for distributing direct financial assistance as quickly as possible to thousands of families through the Hurricane Harvey Assistance Program. After the hurricanes passed, PayPal lent the power of their brand and people –asking them to roll up their own sleeves, share the message, and donate-- to support the critical need for blood donations by being a lead partner in the Missing Types campaign. They’re also making sure people are prepared for the next emergency by promoting National Preparedness Month to their customers through blog posts, email, and a special fundraising campaign, so that the next time disaster strikes, our communities are more resilient in the face of it.
Blood Services Hero - Stan Shore
Can you guess how much blood Stan Shore has donated over the past 51 years? Imagine what you could do, following Stan’s example. As a freshman at Bernard M. Baruck School of Business in New York, he was appointed Chair of the Blood Bank. He wanted his first blood drive to be record-setting, and it was, with 152 pints of blood collected. From that first pint of blood in college, through military service, a career, and now retirement, Stan has donated consistently, one pint at a time. He said to Bay Area News Reporter Jacqueline Lee, “It’s not something you can manufacture and go to the store and buy. When you need it, you’re dependent on someone willing to give them their blood.” That lifelong commitment to donating blood, a pint at a time, equals 144 pints or 18 gallons donated! And Stan, now working on his 19th gallon, will continue donating as long is he is able.
First Responder Heroes - Santa Clara County Search and Rescue
Founded in 1989, the Santa Clara Search and Rescue Team works to assist city, county, state, and federal agencies in the time of emergency. The team is part of the Special Operations Division of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department. The team currently has 70+ active members of dedicated, highly trained volunteers, offering search and rescue (SAR) services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Each volunteer attends 16+ hours of training each month. In a typical year the team responds to about 25 requests for assistance and expends more than 8,000 personnel hours of training in the following: wilderness/urban search and rescue, rope rescue on steep slopes, downed aircraft search, rescue and recovery, and support of major community events, community preparedness, and preventative SAR education. The Red Cross assists the team by providing first aid training for the volunteers and canteening on extended searches.
Humanitarian Hero - AJ Scott
AJ is the good kind of nosy neighbor – the kind that saves lives. Hearing loud noises in the adjoining duplex one night, he went to his living room to look out the window – and when he saw light and flames, he sprinted outside to help. Hearing that his neighbor was still inside, he ran into the burning home and found her lying unconscious in the hallway. After rescuing her, he grabbed a hose and fought the fire until he realized another neighbor was in danger. AJ sprinted over and banged on her door, getting her out of bed and out of the house. Supporting others is a way of life for AJ. Along with his mother, he leads their family’s nonprofit, Build a Box Foundation, which provides a Thanksgiving-in-a-box to those in need; the foundation also took food boxes to those impacted by the Santa Rose fire last fall. When not saving others, AJ is a real estate agent with Intero Real Estate Company in Saratoga.
International Humanitarian Heroes - Tzu Chi Foundation
Tzu Chi Foundation is a Buddhist service organization whose volunteers seek to relieve the suffering of those in need. Tzu Chi is one of the Red Cross' most important local partners in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The organization's volunteers work alongside our volunteers, installing smoke alarms and educating families on home fire safety and offering care and comfort to evacuees staying in Red Cross shelters. After the Red Cross confirms that a family has been seriously affected by a disaster, the family is often eligible for additional financial aid from Tzu Chi. In addition to providing disaster relief, local Tzu Chi volunteers host medical, dental, and acupuncture clinics in Milpitas for people who don’t have insurance or can’t afford their co-pays. Tzu Chi volunteers bring kindness and compassion to all of their work. They embody our fundamental Red Cross principles of voluntary service, impartiality, and the relief of human suffering wherever it is found.
Service to Armed Forces Hero - Carolann Wunderlin
For over 20 years Carolann Wunderlin has served as the Red Cross focal point for the 129th Air Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard stationed at Moffett Air National Guard Base. She is the Family Support director for this team that deploys worldwide to provide combat search and rescue coverage for U.S. and allied forces. Their mission is to provide worldwide Personnel Recovery, Combat Search, and Rescue Capability to Federal and State authorities. Carolann works with local, state, federal agencies on behalf of the families in the unit. She has worked with the Red Cross as part of our Armed Forces Emergency Services and Service to Armed Forces team, working also with Veterans associations throughout the county and state. Carolann was deployed to Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria on behalf of Air National guard from October 17 to December 7, 2017.
Unsung Hero - Bill Rutledge
There are people who touch our life who don’t ask for recognition, are willing to do whatever is asked of them, and do it with a smile and humor. Bill is that person in the Silicon Valley Red Cross Chapter. Volunteering two days a week over the past 8 years, Bill has provided key operational support. In addition to his regular responsibilities, which include looking after our recycling and making sure our vehicles are gassed up and ready to go, he pitches in on many projects such as mailings, office clean-ups, and events. He has managed to overcome a reading/writing challenge by having people show him what needs to be done and how to do it. Once shown, he never forgets. And he balanced a really difficult personal situation with his amazing commitment to the Red Cross, as he provided care for his terminally ill mother in Southern California and managed to fly back to provide Chapter support whenever it was needed.
About the American Red Cross of the Silicon Valley
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. The American Red Cross of the Silicon Valley serves the residents of Santa Clara County. For more information on disaster preparedness, health and safety classes, volunteer opportunities, and financial contributions, visit our website at redcross.org/siliconvalley or call us at 877-727-6771. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.