American Red Cross recognizes Southern Utah heroes; STGnews Videocast

ST. GEORGE – State and local leaders along with members of the community gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn on Thursday to pay tribute to heroes in the Southern Utah area recognized by the American Red Cross for their service.

At Thursday’s reception, a proclamation written by Gov. Gary Herbert was read to those in attendance, declaring “Red Cross Month” in Utah.

“We use this month as a chance to honor and celebrate the everyday heroes who help us fulfill our mission,” according to the American Red Cross Web page.

The reception honored Southern Utah heroes for their various service. They were recognized in the following order:

2015 outstanding community partner

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the American Red Cross have partnered together to help people worldwide for nearly 100 years, according to information presented at the event.

In 2014, the LDS Church decided to donate all the net proceeds from the theatrical release of “Meet the Mormons” to the American Red Cross. In addition, LDS Church members time and again have rolled up their sleeves to make lifesaving blood donations to the Red Cross, which provides about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.

First responder hero

Originally from Idaho, Adam Phillips moved to St. George in 2005 where he has remained. Phillips works as a paramedic for Gold Cross Ambulance and has ambitions to study to become a nurse, according to event material.

While on an emergency call this past year, Phillips responded to a man who lived down his street, the material stated, the patient was unresponsive on arrival and though Phillips and his partner performed resuscitation, the man died shortly after being admitted.

The story stated that Phillips finished his week of shifts and on his first day off, he went past the man’s house and noticed the lawn needed mowing. Phillips mowed the lawn and trimmed the edge’s. The man’s widow returned home while he was still there performing the yard work and was extremely touched that Phillips would do something so generous, the program said.

Community Service Heroes

Bikers Against Child Abuse, B.A.C.A. exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. The body of Bikers serves to empower children to be less afraid of the world in which they live.

B.A.C.A. members help children in 22 countries and in 49 states. In Utah, the first chapter was organized in Utah County in 1995. The St. George Chapter was organized in 2002 and has since helped hundreds of children in Washington County.

Educator Hero

Educator hero Curtis Larsen, an associate professor in the computer sciences department at Dixie State University was honored for his work in creating a technology program in collaboration with 4H Director, Paul Hill.

Larsen began four years ago teaching his 12-year-old son and some of his friends about computer programming, the event program said. While coaching a FIRST Lego league team, he noticed the excitement the youth had for programming and robotics and decided to expand his computer training class.

It is now operated as a formal technology program through 4H.

International heroes

Upon accepting the honor of being recognized as the Red Cross International Heroes, Tim and Penelope Eicher thanked the community for being the real heroes for their participation in the duo’s nonprofit Heart Walk Foundation.

Heart Walk Foundation was inspired by the Eichers’ 2003 trip to a remote Andean village of Peru. While there, they discovered the people of the Hapu Q’ero mountain tribe were on the brink of starvation.

Since that time hundreds of people in the community have joined the Eichers in their “walk” to help bring food security to the people of the Andean Highlands, the program stated.

Penelope Eicher said:

Since 2004 we’ve seen a profound change in the people, and more vitality and health in the children. Once they were dejected and desperate. Now they are confident in a better future with literacy, food security, better health, and more dignity.

Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement award was presented by St. George Mayor, Jon Pike, to third term Enterprise Mayor Lee Bracken.

In addition to his service as Mayor, Bracken has served as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, or EMT, for almost four decades, the program stated. Bracken, along with a team of 17 volunteers, mans the Enterprise Ambulance Service which serves the broad area of Enterprise, Veyo, Pine Valley, Modena and Newcastle.

Bracken was one of the emergency responders when 16-year-old Britton Shipp was in his ATV accident on Nov. 1, 2014.

When asked why he does what he does, Bracken answered that he does it because he gets to help good people and good families in their time of need adding that Shipp is and will continue to be his hero.

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