Red Cross Announces Hero Awards for 2019 Pueblo Hometown Heroes Dinner
Pueblo, CO, Tuesday, January 29, 2019 — Everyday in our community ordinary people perform extraordinary acts of compassion, community service and heroism. The American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado celebrates those heroes at the annual Pueblo Hometown Heroes dinner that will be held at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo on Thursday, February 21, 2019 from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M.
The Pueblo Hometown Heroes dinner is an annual fundraiser for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado. Funds from this event are used to support all Red Cross services in southeast Colorado including the Service to Armed Forces, Disaster Relief, Emergency Preparedness and Health and Safety programs. For more information about this event visit our website at www.redcross.org/PuebloHeroes2019.
Humanitarian Award – This year the American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado is recognizing Louie D. Carleo for his significant contributions to the Pueblo community. Carleo has been a driving force in Pueblo for decades. His efforts to redevelop downtown Pueblo began by purchasing properties and redesigning them to meet 21st century standards. Starting in 1987 with the founding of LDC properties, he purchased one building. His holdings now encompass over 50 properties; including the Thatcher Building, Midtown Shopping Center, the Colorado Building and the Andrews Produce Building. He has frequently been recognized for his leadership and commitment to making Pueblo a better place to live.
In addition to recognizing Mr. Carleo, other individual and organizations have been selected for recognition as local heroes. The following have been selected to receive 2019 Hero Awards and will be recognized at the American Red Cross Pueblo Hometown Heroes Dinner:
Community Service Hero – Jan Williams has become a “professional volunteer” in her retirement. She has a special passion for youth protection and advocacy. She is President of Colorado Bluesky Enterprises Inc., providing support to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some of her other work in the community includes acting as a board member for The Women’s Foundation, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Colorado State University.
Community Partner Hero – “30 Club” originated in Pueblo in the 1930’s as a group of 30 men in their 30’s with a mission to boost Pueblo and watch it grow. They have helped improve the quality of life in Pueblo County by contributing to local organizations and activities such as The Pueblo Santa Run, construction of the “30 Club” Monkey Mountain Pavilion at the Pueblo Zoo, as well as the Red Cross Sound the Alarm campaign which installs smoke alarms free of charge and educates families on home fire preparedness.
Community Partner Hero – Parkview NICU and Nursery Nurses. These nurses act as a voice, an advocate, a protector, a comforter, an all-around guardian angel for babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), a condition that occurs when a baby withdraws from drugs they were exposed to in the womb. They embody experience, compassion and impartial service to those in need.
Animal Hero – Parkview Medical Center therapy/security dogs. Celie is a registered therapy dog who works part-time providing pet therapy to employees. Sarge is a rehabilitation therapy dog who works with patients at the inpatient rehabilitation center and in acute inpatient therapy bringing comfort to patients during their recovery. River is a drug-sniffing Labrador Retriever who provides an extra layer of on-site security. While optimism and happiness cannot be measured and recorded on a medical chart, those who have had the experience of welcoming a friendly visitor with a wagging tail know that it can make all the difference in the world.
First Responder Individual Hero – City of Pueblo Police Officer Richard Jones. Officer Jones, an army veteran who served 24 years, was on patrol when he was called to check on a report of a man with a weapon. The man was sitting on a curb with his head held down and was holding a handgun between his legs. He was clearly suicidal and stated that he hoped that an officer would take his life. Jones let down his guard, endangering himself, and began talking and learning more about the man. With time and patience, Jones created trust and rapport with the distraught individual. It was through compassion and the commonalities they shared, that Jones eventually brought the man to a sense of new hope. He then chose to relinquish his weapon. Jones displayed a spirit of determination that saved a man’s life.
Military Hero – SPC Logan Hatter answered the call for volunteers during the Spring Creek Fire of 2018 for the State of Colorado. The wildfire would become the third largest in Colorado history and burn over 100,00 acres destroying 140 homes. Hatter sacrificed time with his family and took leave from his civilian profession to help with state efforts to mobilize, support and assist multiple state agencies. He offered military operational aid to civil authorities, protecting civilian life and property while maintaining law and order during this highly stressful natural disaster. While there, he provided entry and traffic control point security, evacuation area escorts and static security patrols. He is man of high character as a Citizen Soldier and dedicated to the communities of the great state of Colorado.
Emerging Leaders Hero Award – Rotaract of Pueblo is an organization that focuses on empowering young leaders to reach their full potential. The group recently organized the very successful Pueblo Santa Run, raising funds to support Coats 4 Kids. They are a service leadership club made up of young adults 18-30 that provides an opportunity for young men and women to enhance the knowledge and skills that will assist them in personal development, to address the physical and social needs of their communities, and to promote better relations between all people worldwide through a framework of friendship and service.
First Responder Hero – First responders from the City of Pueblo Police Department & City of Pueblo Fire Department were called upon to rescue a woman who was disoriented and calling out for help in the dark somewhere along the shore of Lake Minnequa. Officers Jonathan Bell, Greg Golden, Nicholas Lile and Vincent Nash fought through thick brush towering well above their heads on the banks of the lake, eventually finding themselves up to their waists in cold water. They relied only on radios and flashlights for assistance. The team from the Pueblo Fire Department, Assistant Fire Chief Chris Harner, Captain John Ireland, Fire Engineer Jeff Aube, Emergency Medical Officer William Banks; Fire Engineer Kehlen Kirby, Fire Fighter Adam Houle, Fire Engineer Randy Garrison, Fire Fighter Timothy Trujillo, and Fire Fighter Toby Lockett donned wetsuits and went into the water on paddle board-type crafts to get to where the officers in the brush could hear the woman. Through strong team work and selfless action on the part of these first responders, she was rescued and taken to the hospital by ambulance. The teams quite possibly saved a woman’s life that night. She could easily have succumbed to hypothermia if the rescuers had not risked their own safety to find her.