BENNINGTON —The American Red Cross has announced its "Everyday Heroes Awards" in which Vermont residents are honored for their extraordinary service in the community.
These everyday people are celebrated all over the country to personify the Red Cross' mission of service of help in local communities. Vermont heroes will be praised on March 10 in South Burlington in lieu of March being Red Cross month, which was declared in 1943 by each U.S. president.
Our local heroes include:
Lori Congdon of Bennington for lifting up others in need.
Tracey Fowler of Rutland for dedication to handicapped animal rescue.
Ann Delaney of Enosburg Falls for giving of herself to save the life of another.
Bruce Parmentar of Essex Junction for dedication to the importance of blood donation.
Mazie and Bryan Smith of Morrisville for life changing dedication.
Barry Martin of Lebanon, NH for an heroic act to save the life of another.
Chris Fanning of Starksboro for saving another by using lifesaving skills.
Congdon was very surprised to hear that she was nominated to be an everyday hero and is grateful for the award.
"It's a little overwhelming actually, but it's a huge honor. I was blown away by the whole thing," Congdon said. "I like to be behind the scenes and not out in the open. I do it to help people, not for the recognition."
This national initiative is an effort to raise public awareness of local heroes who embody the Red Cross' mission in committing selfless acts of courage, according to the organization's website. The event did not occur in Vermont last year, but did two years ago, Lloyd Ziel chief communications officer of the New Hampshire and Vermont Red Cross said. There is no cap to how many residents are nominated and announcements were made during the summer of last year.
Congdon volunteers with cancer patients at the Southwestern Vermont Cancer Center (SVCC) once a month teaching them how to feel good and look good by giving information on skin care, how to apply makeup, and options after patients lose their hair whether it's searching for wigs or using a headwrap. She also voluntarily runs a wig bank and styles hair for cancer patients.
"This person that nominated me; I had given her a wig and she came in a few times prior to that and I just kept trimming her hair and she had me shave her head," Congdon said. "It's a free service. It's what I do. So, she is the one who nominated me and I was not expecting that."
Purchase tickets at www.redcross.org/local/nhvt/everyday-heroes-vt to attend the event at Doubletree by Hilton at 1117 Williston Rd. S. Burlington from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
"I think we need to show each other that we care about each other," Congdon said. "We don't know what people go through every day and it's good to do something to touch their day and make them feel better. It's nice to know someone appreciated me and nominated me. In turn that was a huge."
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.