The Star-Herald

Red Cross to honor County’s Real Heroes

CARIBOU, Maine — The American Red Cross will honor ordinary people in Aroostook County who do extraordinary things at the 21st annual Real Heroes Awards Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 17, in Presque Isle.

The event, slated at the Stone Ridge Event Center, honors community members in the categories of: Real Heroes, Community Impact, Veteran Impact, Business of the Year, The American Red Cross Biomed Award and The Sponsorship Award.

Attendees will have a chanced to sponsor a smoke alarm to protect a County family from a home fire. All proceeds will go to local disaster relief efforts.

“These folks share a common theme of helping others in need,” said Mary Green, the Aroostook County community manager of the Red Cross. “These awards recognize and thank these very special individuals for taking action and making a difference.”  

Honorees include the following.

2019 Real Heroes

Joe Theriault of Presque Isle was nominated by Josh Tweedie. Theriault acted quickly when a fire broke out in an apartment next to the Star City IGA in Presque Isle.  Because of his heroic actions, the store was saved, the apartment building was spared, as well as many lives that day.

Amy Beil of Limestone was nominated by Cuppy Johndro. Beil found her husband Bill on the floor unresponsive, with no pulse. She performed CPR for 10 minutes, ultimately saving Bill’s life.

Adriana McCarty of Fort Fairfield was nominated by David Demerchant. When a man collapsed at the Northeastland Hotel, she and three other people sprang into to action to help. McCarty took turns in doing CPR until EMTs arrived, saving the man’s life.

Peter Blood of Houlton was at a camp with a group of people one wintry day when an 8-year-old boy decided to go down to the pond. When the young child slipped and fell into the icy pond, Blood jumped into action by pulling him out and undoubtedly saving the boy’s life.

Shelly and Hampton Jackson of Caribou, nominated by Lister-Knowlton VFW and Auxiliary Post 9389, were out driving after a wind storm when they came upon a car that had flipped over. They called 911, looked for help and never left the driver’s side, comforting her until help arrived.

Kristi Herron of Caribou will receive the 2019 Biomed Volunteer of the Year Award. She has been the Cary Medical Center blood drive coordinator for Red Cross blood drives since 1990. Her passion for taking care of the donors and coordinating successful drives has never wavered over the last 29 years.

Landon Wotton and Parker Kowalski of Houlton were at the skate park in Houlton when they noticed a man having a heart attack. They immediately went to help, and because of their quick response the man received immediate medical attention to save his life.

Rebecca O’Leary of Mars Hill is an amazing 9-year-old who lives her life with kindness and community service. She gives to local food drives, purchases gifts for “Toys for Tots” and has even sold her skis to buy coats for the needy.

Gage Theriault of Limestone was nominated by Galen Morrow. He was at his grandmother’s house when a fire broke out. He called 911, helped put the fire out and then got his wheelchair-bound grandmother, along with her oxygen tank, out of the house safely.

The 2019 Community Impact Award goes to Rolande Gervais of Madawaska. She was nominated by Augustine Parent. Gervais is 81 years old and has made it a lifelong passion to help those in need. She manages the Madawaska food pantry, makes and delivers food to the needy and donates time to the sick and elderly.

The 2019 Veteran Impact Award goes to John Bouchard of Fort Kent, nominated by officers and members of the Caribou Veterans of Foreign Wars. Bouchard has spent decades ensuring that veterans, especially those who served in Vietnam, are given the respect and honor that they deserve and that they will never be forgotten.

The 2019 Business of the Year Award goes to R.H. Foster Inc., nominated by The American Red Cross. The company began in 1959 with one truck and one employee. Now, its more than 19 company-operated locations throughout Maine, along with the community, have contributed generously to much-needed Red Cross services throughout the state.

The 2019 Arlene Doody Biomed Award goes to Houlton Regional Hospital and Janet Vose, who were nominated by Heidi Harriman at the American Red Cross. The hospital and Vose have gone above and beyond, sponsoring blood drives since 2007 and collecting more than 1,500 pints of blood. Vose also participated in Hospitals Against Hunger Food Drive, helping to bring in more than 5,000 pounds of food.

Lastly, the 2019 American Red Cross Sponsorship Award goes to Michael Chasse of Presque Isle. Chasse was nominated by Sam Collins of S.W. Collins Company. Though an accident left him a quadriplegic, he hasn’t let that stop him. Chasse is devoted to his community and believes in giving back. He serves on many boards and committees and is also the chair of the Presque Isle City Council.

Tickets to the breakfast are now on sale for $25 each and may be purchased by calling 498-5050 or emailing mary.green@redcross.org. Seating is limited; early purchase is advised.

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