‘Breakfast of Champions’ to honor real, local heroes

If you are like me, “hero” is a term I believe gets overused. We have sports heroes, political heroes, celebrity heroes, a TV show named “Heroes” and, of course, hundreds of superheroes.

The dictionary defines hero as a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities or a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.

At the Red Cross, we like to take time every spring and acknowledge real heroes who live right here in our community.

In the past, we have honored local residents who have saved the lives of their parents, rescued a dog from under a collapsed house, assisted a stranger having a heart attack and many others.

This year, we have found a new group of community heroes who have given of themselves to make Southwest Colorado a better place to live, and we will honor them at 9 a.m. April 3 at our 2013 Breakfast of Champions. The event will take place at Durango Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave., and is sure to make you appreciate the special people who live in our area.

All proceeds from this event will benefit local Red Cross programs and services such as disaster response and preparedness education. We would love to see you there to help recognize these special people.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month proclamation in 1943, recognizing the American Red Cross as a true reflection of the humanitarian and volunteer spirit and calling on Americans to “rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross.” Every president since then has recognized the work of the Red Cross with a Red Cross Month.

I want to thank our donors and urge people in Southwest Colorado to continue to be involved with their Red Cross. We work tirelessly to be there with help and hope when people need it most – and we are grateful for the public support that enables us to continue our work here at home and abroad.

Red Cross Month is a great time for people to get involved with the Red Cross by giving a financial gift that can really help save the day when the next disaster strikes or get involved as a volunteer. We rely on our community to support the local chapter as we receive no funding from the federal government or the national American Red Cross.

We are proud of our history in this area and look forward to being here to continue to serve our beautiful part of Colorado.

Cindi Shank is executive director of the Southwest Colorado chapter of the American Red Cross.