Reluctant heroes — perhaps an annual American Red Cross event should be rebranded with them in mind. This week, the agency seeks nominations of people or groups to be recognized at its annual Heroes Breakfast. Some potential nominees have proved to be a bit too modest.
Chuck Morrison, executive director of the American Red Cross serving Snohomish County, said Monday that of several people initially eyed as possible honorees, some had moved away from the area.
“And there were a couple where they were saying, ‘I’m not a hero.’ They didn’t want to be recognized,” Morrison said. “That’s fairly common.”
Friday is the deadline for nominating a person or group to be honored at the 2017 Red Cross Heroes Breakfast, scheduled for Dec. 7 at the Tulalip Resort Casino.
Money raised at the breakfast supports local disaster relief, services to the armed forces, and other Red Cross efforts here. Last year, $330,000 was raised. The 2017 goal is $300,000, which Morrison said may be a stretch in a year not marking a century of Red Cross service in Snohomish County. That milestone was reached last year.
The local breakfast now recognizes heroes not only from Snohomish County, but from as far north as the Canadian border. Money raised here stays here, Morrison said.
On average, the American Red Cross Northwest Region responds to an emergency every 16 hours, according to Joyce Bottenberg, an agency spokeswoman for the region.
In the past week, the Red Cross has responded to help victims of several house fires in the county. A Red Cross team helped three adults and a dog after a fire Sunday night on Chestnut Street in north Everett, according to Bottenberg. And late last week, Red Cross volunteers helped three people displaced by fires in Everett’s Eastmont area and in Gold Bar. Emergency shelter, food and clothing were provided. Red Cross disaster assistance is free.
Among local honorees at the 2016 Red Cross Heroes Breakfast were Everett firefighters who rescued people from a New Year’s Eve apartment complex blaze, a Monroe boy who used cardiopulmonary resuscitation to help save his dad, an Everett middle school teacher whose quick action was key when a boy was choking on candy, and Darrington-based North Counties’ Family Services.
“We focus on CPR and fire safety, but we also would recognize folks whose work has been done throughout their lives,” Morrison said. A nominee may have done great work encouraging disaster preparedness. “Or it might be a gym teacher who does CPR education every year,” he said.
In 2015, the Red Cross Humanitarian Spirit Award honored work aimed at healing a whole community. On Oct 24, 2014, a freshman at Marysville Pilchuck High School shot and killed four classmates and injured another before killing himself. A trio of Red Cross honorees in the aftermath of that tragedy represented the Tulalip Tribes, the city of Marysville and the Marysville School District.
Morrison also sees the importance of recognizing people who work to alleviate ongoing crises, including homelessness and opioid addiction. “There are outreach efforts of the sheriff’s and police, in terms of embedding social workers,” he said.
Although the breakfast is months away, Morrison said Friday’s nomination deadline is hard and fast. The heroes breakfasts happen across the state, one each quarter, all organized by the Red Cross in Seattle, he said.
So it’s time. Think about selfless people who act to save lives.
“The heroes we’re looking for are people who don’t think they’re heroes,” Morrison said.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; email@example.com.
Nominate a hero
The American Red Cross serving Snohomish County seeks nominations of people or groups to be honored at its annual Heroes Breakfast. Hero stories could be about CPR, first aid or a drowning or fire rescue; a volunteer, longtime blood donor, service animal or group focused on preparedness education. Fill out a nomination form at: www.redcross.org/NWheroes
Or email news articles featuring possible nominees to: Nancy.Olson2@redcross.org
Nomination deadline is Friday. The Heroes Breakfast is scheduled for Dec. 7 at Tulalip Resort Casino.