Red Cross to Host Hometown Heroes Breakfast Nov. 14

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If you’re looking to restore your faith in humanity during these early weeks of winter, look no further than the American Red Cross of Southeast Ohio chapter’s ninth annual Hometown Heroes Breakfast, taking place Tuesday, November 14 starting at 7 a.m. at the Athens Community Center.

“This is an opportunity to honor people in our community who have done outstanding things throughout the year,” said Jane Patton, the Athens-based regional administrative coordinator for the American Red Cross of Southeast Ohio. “We receive nominations in various categories from people in the area, and we have judges who select winners from each category. Those people are notified, and we honor them at our breakfast, which includes a ceremony where each person receives an award, and the story as to why they’re a hero is told. It’s a very uplifting event.”

Some of the categories that locals are nominated in include community hero, group hero, public safety hero, and healthcare hero. One of the heroes who has been selected this year made comfort bags for people going through chemotherapy at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital. Those comfort bags included items like hand sanitizer and books.

Yet another community hero turned the incredible hardship that having a child who suffers from addiction is into a way to help others – writing a book about his experience as a father to a daughter who suffers from addiction, as well as opening up a shelter for those dealing with substance abuse issues.

Another hero is a woman who regularly volunteers all over the area: at the Red Cross, at the Salvation Army, at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital (always taking the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. volunteer shift,) at her church, and who regularly visits those in area nursing and assisted living homes. On top of all that, she also hosts twice weekly family dinners at her own home, which she cooks entirely by herself, just to keep her family close-knit. She is 96 years old.

“These stories just amaze me,” said Patton. “Every year, you think that there is no way there will be more great stories about these local heroes, and the next year, there always are.”

The Hometown Heroes breakfast will commence at 7 a.m. at the Athens Community Center on Tuesday, November 14. Food will be provided by Rocky’s Grill, and the fundraising event will put together funds for the Southeast Ohio chapter of the Red Cross’ disaster relief fund.