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Real Heroes Awards given Thursday by Red Cross


WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -  Several individuals and a company were honored Thursday night by the American Red Cross. The 2013 Red Cross Real Heroes Awards were handed out at the Howard Johnson Conference Center in Wausau to people who take life saving actions and people who get involved in their communities.

The event recognized people in the Lincoln, Marathon, and Portage County areas. Red Cross Regional Director of Development Wendy Savage says there are people around us helping friends and neighbors in need.  "We had two very extraordinary young people in our community who have decided to commit themselves to two very needed causes, and they received awards.  We have law enforcement that had extraordinary acts of bravery and courage to save people.  We also have an ordinary citizen who was at work and saw a home on fire and went into the home and saved a small child and two adults."

The American Red Cross recognizes ordinary heroes from our area every March.  "This is our sixth year.  These awards ceremonies go on throughout the country because March is Red Cross Month, so we choose this time to honor ordinary people who do extraordinary things."

Proceeds from the awards program benefit the American Red Cross disaster response services and community preparedness programming.

Overall, ten individuals and one company were honored during the program. 

Individuals receiving 2013 Real Heroes awards include:

2013 Youth Heroes:Kolten Kraft, Kronenwetter, WIFor the past three-years, Kolten has turned his annual birthday golf outing into a fundraiser to support Ministry Saint Clare’s compassionate care fund for patients in need. Kolten’ s yearly efforts include creating his own marketing posters, gathering donations and maintaining a Facebook page to encourage others to help him in his efforts. The funds raised are vital, but anyone who has seen Kolten at his event knows that it is important to him and his family. The Youth Hero Award is sponsored by B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation.

Peyton Medick, Weston, WIPeyton is the founder and inspiration of what has become Peyton’s Promise, a program for collecting and distributing food to help fight hunger. Founded in 2007, 60 tons of food and more than $20,000 have been collected for food pantries nationwide. About 5,000 families are recipients of food each month from pantries supplied by Peyton’s Promise. The Youth Hero Award is sponsored by B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation.

2013 Community Hero: Barb Jacob, Stevens Point, WIBarb Jacob, owner of Hunchies Road House, founded the South Side Veterans Memorial Park Playground Restoration fund drive with the hope of raising enough money to put some new playground equipment in the park. Jacob wanted families to be able to use the park but only a rusty swing and static train was there to play on. A merry-go-round, a slide and a monkey bar set are expected to be installed this spring. The Community Hero award is sponsored by Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

2013 Good Samaritan Hero: Greg Congdon, Plover, WIIn November 2012, while on a utility pole performing his job duties for AT&T Telecommunications, Greg Congdon saw large plumes of smoke spewing out of the eaves and front door of a residence. He dialed 911 and then checked the residence to see if there was anybody inside. When he heard a young girl crying through the smoke, he made his way to the girl by sound and carried her to safety. Two other occupants also emerged. After making sure the occupants made it to safety, Congdon provided them with jackets to keep them warm until emergency services could respond. The Good Samaritan Hero award is sponsored by Ministry Health Care.

2013 Law Enforcement Heroes: Lieutenant Mark Wagers – Marathon County Sheriff & Officer Jacob Albee – Wausau Police DepartmentIn September 2012, Lt. Wagers and Officer Albee saved the life of a citizen in distress, who would have perished if not for their lifesaving actions. A motorist mistakenly drove their vehicle off a boat landing into the Wisconsin River. The vehicle steadily filled with water and began to float downstream while the driver directed emergency services to his location. After Lt. Wagers and Officer Albee entered the water, they found the interior compartment completely submerged. Wagers broke the rear passenger window and pulled the driver from the vehicle. The driver was not conscious and not breathing. While holding the driver at the water surface, Lt. Wagers used his lifesaving skills to help the driver start to breath. Officer Albee removed his personal flotation device and wrapped it around the driver, then both swam the driver back to shore for assistance by paramedics.

2013 Health Care Heroes: David Keefe, Brian Mach, Pat Peckham, Dr. Fernando RiveronThese four community members came to know and lend a hand to “Homeless Ken”. They took him to appointments, arranged life-saving cardio-vascular surgery, kept tabs on his medications and helped with little dilemmas that turn into crises for people who have nothing and nowhere to turn. Their work demonstrates compassion through dedication to improving the lives of others and treating others with care and respect. The Health Care Hero award is sponsored by Delta Dental.

2013 Corporate Hero: RMM Solutions – Wausau, WIEmergencies like power outages, water main breaks and medical emergencies can disrupt an organization’s daily operations. Disasters have the potential to cause workplaces to fold and schools to close. Up to 40% of businesses fail after a natural or man-made disaster. RMM solutions and American Red Cross share a common goal of motivating people and organizations to take preparedness actions – to build resilience. We are pleased to name RMM Solutions as our Corporate Hero.