WOWT NBC Omaha is proud to join the American Red Cross to celebrate Red Cross Month, highlighted by the annual Heroes in the Heartland luncheon.
The luncheon, held on March 12, was created to exhibit the gratitude both the Red Cross and the community feels towards individuals who have saved another person’s life or who have positively impacted the quality of life in the Heartland.
"We are thrilled to once again recognize everyday heroes: ordinary people performing extraordinary acts, who were nominated by community," said Tina Labellarte, Region CEO.
This year’s Heroes include an incredible life save done by a then, very pregnant Manek Campbell. Manek risked her life and her baby’s during an apartment fire to save an unconscious neighbor. Manek will be honored with this year’s Call to Action Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Neola Fire Chief Bill Schierbrock of Neola, Iowa. Chief Schierbrock will be recognized for his steadfast commitment to serving the citizens in his hometown and for risking his life to protect the town of Neola while serving on the volunteer fire department.
The Commitment to Community Award will go Apostle Vanessa Ward. Apostle Ward has been recognized by community leaders for inspiring inspiring local residents to work together to make their neighborhood an increasingly safe place to raise a family.
This year’s Good Samaritan Award winner will be recognized for his deep and meaningful impact on families with critically ill children at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. Scott Baker, of Omaha, has dedicated time and energy to helping parents after going through similar situations with his own daughter.
The Public Servant Award will be awarded to two gentlemen who are no stranger to putting their life on the line every day. Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis and Retired Lieutenant Russ Zeeb were on an annual fishing trip when a woman began choking on a piece of food. The two men jumped used the lifesaving skills they’ve learned and saved her life.
Finally, this year the Gift of Life Award goes to the Stephenson Family of Bellevue. The Stephenson family continues to advocates for blood donations in their community because the youngest family member, Emily, has a life-threatening and rare genetic blood disorder.
In addition, eight Heroes Essay Contest winners will be honored. Fifth through eighth grade students in the Omaha metro area were given the opportunity to submit an essay about their own everyday heroes. About 750 essays were submitted.
The winners are Jenna Bellmyer, St. Mary’s School in Bellevue; Tyler Eaves, Harlan Community Middle School, Harlan Iowa; Liliana Monjarez-Falcon, St. Cecilia School, Omaha; Chloe Fecci, St. Margaret Mary, Omaha; Elizabeth Joka, Holy Name, Omaha; Adrianna McKing, Morton Magnet Middle School, Omaha; Krystal Mullennix, Western Hills University Partnership Middle School, Omaha; and LaShawn Sweet, Morton Magnet Middle School, Omaha.