The 11th Annual Local Heroes Breakfast, sponsored by the Portsmouth Daily Times, was held Wednesday morning at the SOMC Friends’ Community Center.
“I just think it’s great to recognize the people who do go above and beyond in our area, and make our community a better place to live,” River Valley Chapter Director Mary Arnzen said.
“People like this never want to recognize themselves so it’s good to give the rewards to them.”
This year’s Fire Hero award was given to Shanda Steele and Shelley Howell of Scioto Residential Services, who saved three elderly clients from a burning van in April.
The Volunteer Hero is Haley Scott; the Scioto County Hero is Theora Bradley; and this year’s Youth Hero is former professional boxer Mark Frazie.
Lifeline of Scioto County is dedicated to making people aware of the importance of organ donation, and at this year’s awards breakfast, they took home the Organ Donor Hero award.
JoAnna Krohn, whose son died at 18 in 2008, is a member of that group, after seeing five lives saved from the donation of her son’s organs.
“A lot of times even close friends don’t quite know what to say to you or comfort you. And they avoid talking about your loved one who has passed away,” Krohn told the Times in May.
“With this group (Lifeline) we’ve all got something in common, and it is an instant bond.”
David and Barbara Lodwick, who opened their home for a fundraising wine tasting event, received the Fundraising Hero award.
Euggle Robertson is this year’s Pike County Hero, and Jerry Cornwell and the Valley Fire Department picked up the Preparedness Hero award.
Portsmouth resident Gene Arms, who has a laundry list of organizations he has worked with for more than half a century, is this year’s Community Hero. Arms was also instrumental in bringing back the Civic Forum-sponsored Soap Box Derby.
Joan Bogan is this year’s Senior Hero, Rita Auton, Blood Hero, and the 2009 CPR/First Aid Hero award was presented to April Barnette and Joe Wood.
Well-known area newsman, WNXT’s Sam McKibben, an advocate for area veterans, himself a veteran, was named Military Hero.
One of the highlights of the program was the presence of Swann, the SOMC Hospice dog, who moves about the patients’ rooms at the Hospice Center. Accompanied by Teresa Ruby, director of SOMC Hospice, Swan came to the front to accept the award for Pet Hero.
Area volunteers and businesses were honored under the category — Agency Support Hero.
The surprise of the morning was the Marcia Sanderlin Award being presented to Mary Arnzen.
The master of ceremonies, Dr. Wayne Wheeler, talked about Arnzen’s importance at the local chapter.
“You don’t know it, but without her guidance, her chapter wouldn’t be where it is today,” Wheeler said. “She worked tirelessly to raise money, serve our community and make our community proud.”
Arnzen appeared genuinely moved by being presented the award.
“That was a big surprise,” Arnzen said. “I didn’t know anything about it. That is a very big honor. Marcia Sanderlin was an awesome person. She dedicated a lot of her time to the chapter also when she was affiliated with it.”
Arnzen said there are many opportunities available for volunteers at the Red Cross.
“Your time, your talents and your treasures,” Arnzen said. “There’s so many ways you can be involved as a volunteer.”
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.