Celebrating Heroes in Northern Colorado

Every day in our community ordinary people perform extraordinary acts of courage, compassion, community service, and/or life-saving. Those people often respond to emergency situations where time is critical. They step up, see the need and follow through.

The American Red Cross of Northern Colorado held a special dinner at the Pelican Lake Golf Club, on Pelican Island, to recognize three people who have performed special acts that resulted in the saving of a life.

Adult Lifesaver Award

Jay Dennigs (L), Tommy Lucero and Chad Raabe (R) at the Celebrating Community Heroes Dinner. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross

Coaches Jay Denning and Chad Raabe came to the rescue of Tommy Lucero who suffered cardiac arrest while playing baseball. The coaches performed CPR on Tommy until the paramedics could arrive. They kept Tommy from dying using the techniques they had learned but never has used.

“Because of our training, we were able to give him chance to survive,” said Coach Raabe. “If we had not been trained it could have been a whole different outcome.”

Tommy had a cardiac arrest episode because of a heart condition that he was not aware of. Since that day, however, Tommy has learned how to handle his condition. His parents were so moved by the event that they donated five Automated External Defibrillators (AED) so that all they would be more readily available around the school.

Youth Lifesaver Award

Niyele (R) with her father at the Celebrating Community Heroes Dinner. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross

Niyele Jenkins had learned CPR at her high school only two months before her father Arabee Jenkins suffered cardiac arrest. “I saw how much pain he was feeling and I knew I had to do something,” she said. “Thanks goodness I had the training at my school.”

She went on to say how the training helped stay calm and not worry if she was doing the compressions correctly. “I felt like I knew what I was doing.” Her father, Arabee, was amazed that she could handle that kind of stress saying, “The school teaches all 10th graders CPR and they must be doing it right. I owe her everything.”


Red Cross Volunteer Award

Melissa Venable (L) with Linda Yoskowitz (R) at the Celebrating Community Heroes Dinner. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross

A special award was presented to Linda Yoskowitz, a long-time volunteer for the Northern Colorado chapter. Linda received the Bob & Joyce Everitt Community Impact Volunteer of the Year Award. This special award is presented annually to a volunteer that has demonstrated willingness to give their time and energy to the Red Cross and its impact on the community.

At the end of the ceremony, Melissa Venable, Executive Director for the Red Cross of Northern Colorado, presented a toast to all of our heroes and to the Red Cross volunteers. The toast was followed by music from the band, Boomers.

2018 Celebrating Community Heroes sponsors included:

Anadarko Petroleum, Hensel Phelps,

Other sponsors included:  University of Colorado Health, Kaiser Permanente, New York Life and Dave Everitt.

Photos from the Celebrating Community Heroes Dinner are viewable on Flickr at

NOCO Celebrating Community Heroes