published Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Red Cross salutes “Hometown Heroes” in Chattanooga

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    Barbara Alexander, Greater Chattanooga Area American Red Cross CEO
    Photo by Patrick Smith /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross will honor individuals or organizations for their humanitarian efforts at the organization’s fifth annual Hometown Heroes luncheon on May 20 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the spirit of humanitarianism by honoring the everyday heroes of the greater Chattanooga area,” said Barbara Alexander, CEO of the Greater Chattanooga Area American Red Cross in a news release. “All of our award winners will be the first to tell you that they don’t consider themselves heroes. In fact, for most that is the first sign that these are very special individuals.”

The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Nominees and winners were selected in five categories:

  • Good Samaritan (youth) — Conner Kapperman, a senior at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences
  • Good Samaritan (adult) — Doug Walter and JoJo Macatias, who coordinated and ran the Apison Open House, a staging point for work teams and homeowners rebuilding after last year’s tornados;
  • Red Cross Volunteer (hospital) — Laura Gracy, Red Cross volunteer at Parkridge Medical Center;
  • Red Cross volunteer (disaster) — Trish Horner, disaster responder and mental health specialist;
  • First responders — Dave Burgess, Perry Collins, Joe Greenleaf, who are officers with the Collegedale Police Department.

Keynote speakers for the luncheon are Jeff Skiles, co-pilot of “Miracle on the Hudson” US Airways Flight 1549, and Dave Sanderson, the last passenger to leave the aircraft. the Red Cross news release stated.

“We are thrilled to have so many heroes gathered together on this special day,” Alexander said.

“The Miracle on the Hudson is an incredible story, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to hear what it has meant to each of our speakers. We are looking forward to honoring our special Hometown Heroes and celebrating all that they have accomplished.”

She said proceeds from the luncheon will help the Red Cross provide services in the greater Chattanooga area.

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