On Thursday, March 16, the American Red Cross of Northeast Iowa, along with corporate sponsors Dupaco Community Credit Union, Happee Smith Productions, Holiday Inn Dubuque, KWWL and Radio Dubuque stations (KAT-FM, KDTH, 97.3 The Rock and The River) honored 10 local heroes as the 2017 Everyday Heroes of Northeast Iowa.
The outstanding individuals demonstrated courage, compassion and unselfish character, performing extraordinary acts of heroism in the eyes of their neighbors and community.
Congratulations to the 2017 Everyday Heroes of Northeast Iowa:
Lisa Bennett, Mike Callaghan, Josh Crowell, and Tim Lary: On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, during a morning break Crowell and Callaghan noticed a bright light at the top of Loras College’s Visitation Hall. Simultaneously, they realized it was a fire and saw no one was exiting the building. Callaghan ran back into the station to dial 9-1-1 and alert the staff inside. Crowell ran toward Visitation Hall and was soon joined by Lary and Bennett. Lary beat on the lower level windows, Bennett entered the building through a side door someone opened and Crowell forced his way into the front. Crowell pulled the fire alarm and he and Bennett starting banging on doors to get the students out while Lary remained outside to help direct the students over to the radio station. They cleared all four floors getting all 45 students out of the building. You can ask any one of them and they will tell you they were just doing what they knew had to be done.
Chris Kennedy and Jeremy Shireman: On Thursday, January 28, 2017, Shireman and Kennedy noticed something strange about a car stuck at busy Dubuque intersection. As they drove by the car, they noticed John Ronek, slumped over. Ronek was suffering from an apparent heart attack while driving. Shireman and Kennedy broke into the driver-side window, stopped the vehicle from moving into traffic and pulled Ronek out. They laid him down onto a nearby median and began CPR. Both men demonstrate the importance of knowing community CPR.
Nancy Gourley: Three mornings a week, Gourley can be found in Rose Oswald’s fifth-grade classroom at St. Anthony Elementary School in Dubuque. Gourley has been volunteering at the school for over 10 years, offering her time to help the students and teachers. She can be found working with students in small-group book discussion, aiding students with their reading comprehension or memorization and helping a child catch up after an absence. Students feel safe with Gourley and they receive the help they need from her.
Nathan Hall: On Monday, September 14, 2016 at 4:15 p.m. Hall was driving through an intersection when he saw a car had hit a bicyclist. He noticed the bicyclist was stuck under the car, so he ran to help. After seeing the bicyclist, Mike Larkin, breathe he ran to his car to get a car jack. Hall worked to lift the car off Larkin when authorities arrived on the scene.
Kevin Morris: On Sunday, December 11, 2016, in Bennett, IA, Morris received a startling call from a longtime friend and neighbor, Richard Kreinbring was trapped under a tractor. The tractor had rolled over and caught fire. Morris went under the tractor to help lift and pull Kreinbring out.
Steven Nelson: In Decorah, IA Nelson has a goal to deliver warm clothes to those in need free of charge through “Scarves in the Park.” The concept for the project, “NEED a scarf, TAKE a scarf. HAVE a scarf, LEAVE a scarf” has invited people to add mittens, gloves and hats to trees around the Water Street Area. Nelson repairs and launders the items, and removes them in the event of inclement weather. The project has been well received and in 2015 shared over 180 items.
Everyday Heroes are nominated by their peers to be recognized for going above and beyond in service to others. An Everyday Hero is someone who has made a difference in any of the following categories: Animal Rescue, Education, Fire & Rescue, Good Samaritan (youth), Good Samaritan (adult), Health Care, Law Enforcement, Military, Professional Responder, Volunteer Community Impact or Workplace Safety.
The Everyday Heroes of Northeast Iowa breakfast was held at the Holiday Inn Dubuque on Thursday, March 16 at 7:00 a.m. The event is the area’s major fundraiser for the Red Cross.
To see photos from the 2017 Everyday Heroes of Northeast Iowa breakfast, click here.
To watch the heroes' stories, click here.