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Red Cross to Honor Local Heroes at Annual Event

The American Red Cross of the Pacific Coast is honoring local heroes at the annual Heroes for the American Red Cross event Wednesday, June 1, 2016. The reception will take place at Carr Vineyards & Winery, 414 N. Salsipuedes St. in Santa Barbara, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

The event recognizes local Santa Barbara County heroes who are seemingly ordinary people but have touched the lives of community members through their selfless acts of courage.

These heroes may have helped save a life, performed an extraordinary act of compassion or demonstrated an exceptional spirit of giving.

“These acts of courage, leadership and kindness truly embody the spirit of the Red Cross,” said Jim McGee, regional CEO, “so this event gives us the opportunity to say thank you and honor these local heroes who serve our community.”

This year’s 2016 Red Cross Heroes are:

» Alpha Delta Pi, Gamma Xi Chapter, Lifesaving Blood Hero: In partnership with the Red Cross, UC Santa Barbara Alpha Delta Pi chapter has hosted numerous blood drives open to the community, each time collecting hundreds of pints of blood, saving countless lives.

» Santa Barbara County Chaplains, Disaster Services Heroes: Chaplains from throughout the county’s law enforcement and fire departments provide comfort and spiritual care for thousands of first responders and grieving families impacted by disasters.

» Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue (SBCSAR), Disaster Services Heroes: SBCSAR is an all-volunteer team that dedicates its time and training to help lost or injured explorers, save lives and property in natural disasters or respond to vehicle and aircraft accidents. 

» Michael Stout, Tyler Hayden and The Santa Barbara Independent, Service to the Armed Forces Heroes: Stout is war veteran who was suffering from PTSD and bravely shared his story with a local publication. The Santa Barbara Independent and work done by reporter Tyler Hayden brought to light much-needed attention to the nationwide problem of PTSD, suicide rates among service members and the status of Veterans Affairs challenges.

» Rod Bronson, Health and Safety Hero: Longtime Red Cross volunteer Bronson dedicated his life to serving the community as a CPR instructor and disaster responder before suddenly passing away in April.

» Ruth Caldwell, Health and Safety Hero: Caldwell first became a Red Cross volunteer in 1941 and channeled her love for swimming and water exercise into a lifetime of educating the community through swimming and lifeguard training until passing away this past February.

The hero categories are inspired by the Red Cross mission services: disaster relief, service to the armed forces, public health and safety services, lifesaving blood services and international services.

Learn more about this year’s event and the local Red Cross by visiting redcross.org/santabarbaraheroes.

Jessica Piffero is the regional director of communications at American Red Cross of the Pacific Coast.

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