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American Red Cross to honor NCWC heroes

American Red Cross to honor many with Heroes Banquet

From The Rocky Mount Telegram – Saturday, March 3, 2012


The American Red Cross will honor a multitude of local heroes at its annual Heroes Banquet at Rose Hill Conference Center on March 29. Those to be honored are Wounded Warriors (service members who have survived combat wounds since Sept. 11, 2001); local members of the state’s HART (Helo Aquatic Rescue Team) unit; first responders who saved the lives of two Rocky Mount residents after deadly accidents; Deputy Marshal Warren Lewis, who was killed in the line of duty last June; and former Rocky Mount Mayor Frederick E. Turnage, who died last year. The local Red Cross chapter is named in his honor.

The Heroes Banquet also will recognize those people who have become “Heroes for the American Red Cross” by raising $1,000 or more for the Turnage Chapter. Tickets to the banquet are available at the chapter office, 326 S. Franklin St., Rocky Mount. Tickets are $75 each or $125 per couple.

At least three members of the Wounded Warriors Project will attend the banquet. These are service members who were wounded in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Three members of the state HART unit are members of the Rocky Mount Fire Department and another team member lives in Rocky Mount but works for the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The team uses military helicopters and pilots to save the lives of people in life-threatening situations across the state.

Two Rocky Mount residents are alive today because of the quick responses of nearby people who came to their rescue.When a motorcyclist crashed into a truck on Wesleyan Boulevard on Sept. 28, 2011, [Tim Donovan and Josh Long] athletic trainers from N.C. Wesleyan College immediately responded and stabilized the severely injured motorcyclist until emergency medical personnel could arrive. In another incident, city employees from Parks and Recreation and Public Works responded quickly when an accidental explosion badly burned an electrician at the YMCA pool last July. They comforted the victim and cooled his burned skin with wet towels to ease his pain until emergency medical personnel arrived. In both incidents, quick response from bystanders prevented tragedy.

Warren “Sneak” Lewis, a highly regarded Nash County deputy and deputy U.S. marshal, unfortunately did not survive the incident for which he is being honored. While assisting in the serving of a warrant in Kinston on June 9, 2011, as part of the Eastern North Carolina Violent Fugitive Task Force, Lewis was killed by a gunshot. He was helping to serve a warrant on several fugitives wanted in connection with a murder a week earlier.

Frederick E. Turnage was honored at the Red Cross chapter’s first Heroes banquet in 2007 with the chapter being named in his honor. Turnage, who served as Rocky Mount mayor from 1973 to 2007, died July 31, 2011. A portrait of the city’s longest-serving mayor will be dedicated at the March 29 banquet and will be hung in the Red Cross building.

For additional details about the banquet or to purchase tickets, call 977-1720.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

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[NOTE:  2011 NCWC Distinguished Alumus Lynwood Roberson is the Regional Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross and responsible for 8 ARC Chapters that provide service in 28 eastern North Carolina counties.]