YOUNGSTOWN - Providing assistance and help to others is a the mission of the American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley which recognized the heroic acts of area residents who performed heroic acts of courage to help make a difference in the lives of others.
The 2013 Acts of Courage and Spirit of the Mahoning Valley Awards banquet was held recently at the DeYor Performing Arts Center at Powers Auditorium in Youngstown.
This was the third year for the Acts of Courage Awards, which Karen Conklin, executive director of the Red Cross said "celebrates those heroic and selfless individuals whose acts of courage exemplify the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross."
Conklin said the event, which was attended by 220 people, raised $77,000 for the local Red Cross programs and services.
"This event raises vital funds for local Red Cross services. Fire victims have a place to stay and our military gets the support that they need because of this event," Conklin said.
She said the idea for the event was one that was close to the mission of the Red Cross of helping others.
"What a perfect way for us to honor people who have helped others. We had some very compelling stories this year," Conklin said.
The procession of heroes was led by former World War II POWs and American Red Cross Mahoning Valley K-9 Action Team dogs, Reno, Oki and Gus.
She said this year, two brothers, one a firefighter and the other a police officer, were honored for separate incidents.
At the event, the Spirit of the Mahoning Valley award, which celebrates the contributions of companies that enhance the quality of life in the Mahoning Valley, was presented to Vallourec Star, formerly V&M Star.
Past recipients of the award were Covelli Enterprises in 2012 and the 910th Airlift Wing in 2011.
This year's Acts of Courage recipients included:
Robb L. Braun, an Air Force police officer who provides security and law enforcement at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, who was shopping off duty in May 2012 at the Sam's Club in Warren when he saw an elderly woman unconscious on the floor and began performing CPR with the help of another woman. After reviving the victim, he provided EMS personnel with information that helped save her life.
Niles resident Anthony Agler, 16, who helped save the life of his friend, Dante Walker, 8, of Austintown, last August when the younger boy was seriously injured. The two boys went for a bike ride on Summit Avenue in Niles when Walker hit a pothole, lost control and crashed his bike, going over the handlebars. He had a severe gash to his groin area, which Agler applied pressure to until rescue workers arrived. Agler ran into the roadway and stopped a vehicle whose driver called 911 for help. Walker had torn three blood vessels in his groin and could have bled to death.
Tricia Kost, who helped save the life of her neighbor, Carol Miller, in March after Miller collapsed on the sidewalk while walking her dogs one morning. Kost, who was heading for work, and Mark Hilbum, a son of a neighbor visiting from Dayton, helped Miller. Hilbum will be recognized by the Dayton Red Cross.
Youngstown Fire Department Squad 33 members Lt. Ron Moran and firefighters Brian Dothard, Tim Jones and Michael Mahon pulled a truck driver out of his cab in February after his gasoline tanker rolled over on the Route 7/Route 11 interchange. Knowing the potential for an explosion, they quickly extracted the injured victim and also helped evacuate residents in the area who were assisted by the Red Cross at a shelter at Chaney High School.
Boardman residents Jeff and Wendy Thomas, who performed CPR on their neighbor, Scott Hadley, after he suffered a heart attack in December. The Thomases performed two-person CPR until firefighters arrived.
Youngstown police officers Joe Moran, Chad Zubal and Malik Mostella, who rescued three people from a burning house on West Dewey Street on the South Side last July. The three found one woman in the house who told them of two others upstairs who they also were able to find and get out.
Rod Schaaf, James Baugh and Curtis Byers, who rescued Don Hromyak after he fell through the ice at Mosquito Creek Reservoir in February. The men saw Hromyak in the water and used a 20-foot rope that Schaff had in vehicle to pull him to safety.