Delaware chapter of American Red Cross honors local heroes


The Delaware chapter of The American Red Cross honored more than a dozen local residents they consider to be heroes at its 13th annual “Heroes Breakfast” Thursday morning.

A dozen awards were presented over the course of the two-hour event. The awards and their recipients were:

• Military Hero — William Combs, a World War II veteran who enlisted at 18 and traveled through France, Belgium and Germany, and helped liberate Buchenwald concentration camp, was given the award and a standing ovation.

• Community Programming — Jackie Bain, of the Delaware General Health District. Bain, one of the founders of SAFE Delaware, an organization devoted to promoting community safety, partnership and involvement.

“I’m blessed to be supported by some amazing individuals who inspire me to be as heroic as them,” Bain said. “I’m honored to be among them.”

• Healthcare Heroes — Dr. Alfred Kumpf and firefighter Dan Fancy. Kumpf and Fancy were attending the 2015 All Horse Parade when a spectator at the parade fell to the ground and went into cardiac arrest. Kumpf and Fancy went into action and began CPR, savings the man’s life and allowing him to be resuscitated.

• Workplace Hero — George Mitchell. Mitchell, the owner of the Mitchell House of Powell, was recognized for serving patients and families being impacted by dementia and Alzheimer’s. The Red Cross said the Mitchell House has specialized plans for patients and cares for hundreds of families.

• Community Safety — Honda of America. Honda was recognized for its support of the Red Cross’ Safe Family Days by donating resources and professionals to help make Delaware a safer place.

• First Responder Hero — Sean Worley of the Liberty Township Fire Department was recognized for a project that he leads that builds beds for the less fortunate in Delaware County. The Red Cross said Worley and his team have built 93 beds to date.

• Healthcare Hero — Ruth Downing, a nurse practitioner, was honored for the training and consulting she does both in the U.S. and around the world. Downing is also active in “Free the girls,” an international program that aims to rescue women from human trafficking.

• Youth Hero — Evan Lamping, a 14-year-old who saw a stranger having a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting in July and used his personal EpiPen, for his peanut allergy, and prevented the man from going into shock.

“I don’t consider myself a hero,” Lamping said. “It feels good to have suck a great community in Delaware.”

• Community Hero — Elijah Campbell, owner of EGC Landscaping of Delaware who volunteered his green thumb to help veterans and ended up forming a close personal friendship with William Combs. The Red Cross honored Campbell for his acts of kindness and compassion.

• From The Heart Group Hero — Austin Walker, deputy Dan Yannell, David Gilliam, PJ Titus and Capt. Dan Huffman were all instrumental in saving the life of a student in February at the Delaware Area Career Center who collapsed. The Red Cross praised their teamwork and coolness under pressure.

• Older Adult Hero — Gail Tolene, a volunteer at Sourcepoint responsible for driving older adults more than 4,500 miles. The Red Cross said Tolene has served more than 195 older adults and volunteered 491 hours of his time to drive.

• Spirit of American Red Cross — Jim Roffman was chosen as the first recipient for the award for his dedication to the Red Cross. The Red Cross said Roffman works tirelessly to make sure every aspect of the organization shines.

Additionally, student writing contest winners were also recognized. They were:

• Evelyn Krauss – Grade 2 at Carlisle Elementary School

• Max Chiseler – Grade 3 at Scioto Ridge Elementary School

• Patty Baker – Grade 4 at Delaware Christian School

• Gabriel King – Grade 9 at Buckeye Valley High School

• Emily Parrish – Grade 10 at Delaware Christian School

• Alexa Thrush – Grade 11 at Buckeye Valley High School

The event was held at the Benes Room in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center on Ohio Wesleyan University’s campus.

Brittany Mcginniss, marketing manager at Arbors of Delaware (left), and Mark Garrison, a community volunteer leader at the Red Cross (right), present the Military Hero award to William Combs (center) at the breakfast Thursday morning. Mcginniss, marketing manager at Arbors of Delaware (left), and Mark Garrison, a community volunteer leader at the Red Cross (right), present the Military Hero award to William Combs (center) at the breakfast Thursday morning.

By Glenn Battishill

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