Local heroes will be recognized at the Heartland Heroes Dinner on April 28, 2012
The Central Illinois Chapter will honor eight extraordinary individuals this Saturday, April 28 at their annual Heartland Heroes Dinner at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria. These individuals exemplify the mission of the Red Cross and make our community a healthier, safe place.
· Lifesaving Hero - Nathan Palkovic of Peoria. While working at Von Steuben Middle School last year, one of the 6th grade students went into sudden cardiac arrest. Without a moment’s hesitation, Nathan began performing CPR and continued until the student took 3 large breaths right before the paramedics arrived.
· Good Citizen Hero – Michel McCord of Peoria. There are few lives that have not been touched through the volunteerism of Mike McCord. The current chairman of Illinois Mutual has supported numerous community organizations and has helped to make the Peoria area a better place to live, work and play.
· Good Citizen Heroes – Dr. Andrew and Kathy Morgan of Peoria. The Penguin Project was founded by Dr. Morgan and his wife to give children with disabilities an opportunity to participate in the performing arts. The end result is that countless of children in central Illinois have improved communication skills, self-confidence and self-esteem.
· Good Citizen Hero – Don Meyer of East Peoria. Last January, Don Meyer and his wife were driving down the road when they heard the cries of Beverly McIntyre. Her 89 year old husband with Alzheimer’s, James, was still in the home and unable to escape. Don ran up to the home, ripped the door off the hinges and pulled James from the home. Thanks to Don, James was able to celebrate his 90th birthday with his family only days later.
· Lifesaving Heroes – Susan Wheeler, Megan Barrick and Elizabeth Auer of the Riverplex. Last April, during a routine scan of the pool, lifeguards noticed a man in the pool of the Riverplex that was leaning against the wall and motionless. Elizabeth jumped into the pool as the gentleman slipped under water, Megan ran for help and Susan called 9-11. All three women helped to save his life by performing CPR and using an AED until the paramedics arrived.
The keynote speaker will by Sergeant First Class Justin Widhalm of the United States Army. Justin was injured twice in Iraq in the line of duty which broke his back, feet and dislocated both of his knees. It took nearly two years for him to even consider having an athletic career again. Now, Justin is an accomplished Paralympic athlete and works with the U.S. Army Warrior Transition Units to develop sports and fitness programs for personnel with physical injuries serving in these units. This speaker was made possible by Deloitte.