Red Cross honors hometown heroes

The folks at Jennie Bounds household consider Buzz Lightyear a superhero.

“At our house, Buzz Lightyear is a hero. We hear his buttons pushed over and over again,” Bounds, the new public relations/marketing director at Blount Memorial Hospital said during the Red Cross Heroes breakfast on May 21. “I think about heroes. While nobody here has a power pack, and nobody has a cape, the heroes recognized here do things they don’t consider heroic, but they are. We have heroes among us who don’t have power packs.”

This the seventh year the Blount County Hometown Heroes awards have been presented. The event was held at Maryville First United Methodist Church and was presented by the Blount County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Ken Jones was honored with the Military Award. He is a member of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. “I thought about what makes a hero. It’s when everyone else is running away, a hero runs to the emergency. Run toward the need. I’m honored to be with these heroes here today,” he said.

Marriott Business Services sponsored the Military Award.

Dr. Jane Souther of Blount Memorial Hospital was honored with the Medical Award. “I’m only a part of a team. My team is my partners, doctors, nursing staff, administration, my office. I couldn’t do what I do without them, and I’d like to thank them,” she said.

Blount Memorial Hospital sponsored the Medical Award.

Steve Phipps of the Blount County Humane Society said he was honored with the Animal Rescue Award. “It’s an extreme honor to receive this award. It’s a honor to get it from the Red Cross. Animals are often overlooked in communities but that’s not the case in Blount County.”

First Tennessee Bank sponsored the Animal Rescue Award.

Tiffany Denyer was honored with the Community Service Award for her work with Wilderwood Service Dogs. Denyer said those families and individuals who deal with neurological disorders struggle daily. But all the work it takes to prepare an animal pays off when the affected individual finally interacts with the dog. “the interaction that happens between these dogs and the individual is magic,” she said.

The American Red Cross sponsored the Community Service Award.

Kelsi Muckleroy was presented the Youth Good Samaritan Award. “Thank you all so much. I went to Maryville College and got awesome opportunities to serve, and I’ve had a great time doing it,” she said.

While taking a full course load and graduating from Maryville College with a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development with a minor in physical education health and recreation, she volunteered for Maryville Little League as a T-ball coach, Bethel Baptist Church as a Sunday School teacher, worked at John Sevier Elementary School as a volunteer, tutored at Everett Learning Center and was a volunteer with Project Lead and at Asbury Place.

Denso Manufacturing sponsored the Youth Good Samaritan Award.

Mike Chopin, Tony Clark, Dallas Stephens and Randall Moore of the Maryville Fire Department received the Firefighter Award.

On Sept. 14, 2008, the firefighters responded to a medical call at a church. A 64-year-old man was attending his birthday party when he collapsed with an airway obstruction.

When they arrived, the victim was in cardiac arrest and two bystanders were performing what the firefighters termed “very good CPR.” Within a few minutes, the firefighters had dislodged the obstruction from his airway, had a pulse rate, and he was able to begin breathing on his own again.

“This is a team effort. Everything fell into place. It wasn’t this gentleman’s time, and we were glad to help.”

Marriott Business Services sponsored the Firefighter Award.

The Emergency Responders Award went to Vickie McClanahan. “I’m part of a team and an extended family. We all work together. It takes all of us to take care of the community, and I’m one small part of it,” McClanahan said.

McClanahan has worked with Rural/Metro since 1989 and is now administrative chief of Blount County operations for Rural/Metro. McClanahan is someone Rural/Metro considers “the glue” that keeps the operation together and is the caring face many see when they come to the administrative offices. McClanahan was honored for her dedication in making Blount County a safer place to live.

Rural/Metro Ambulance Service sponsored the Emergency Responder Award.

Tracy Fair was honored with the Adult Good Samaritan Award. “It’s such a privilege. I give God the glory for this,” she said.

Fair is the head chef, backbone and cheerleader for The Welcome Table, an effort by New Providence Presbyterian Church to provide free hot meals to members in the community in need. Fair recognized volunteers and others, including Lt. David Graves with the Maryville Police Department, for their help. “The individuals standing are my heroes. They teach and guide me, and I appreciate them.”

First Tennessee Sponsored the Adult Good Samaritan Award.

Blount County Sheriff’s deputy Peter Rivas was presented with the Law Enforcement Award. “It’s easier to respond to a domestic (assault) than to stand here,” Rivas said with a laugh. “I accept this award on behalf of the men and women of law enforcement in Blount County.”

Rivas was honored in part for helping a female driver he had stopped who had an out-of-state warrant. Rivas determined it to be questionable and stayed with her at the Blount County Justice Center until the matter was resolved, saving her from incarceration, extradition and alternative placement of her children.

First Tennessee Bank sponsored the Law Enforcement Award.

Diane O’Neill was honored with the Betty Proffitt Hale Community Service Award. O’Neill volunteers with the Girl Scouts, Blount County Food Connection, Second Harvest Food Bank, Blount County Children’s Home American Red Cross and Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church.

“I’m very, very honored to be here among people who have done much more than I have,” she said. “I want to thank the Red Cross and the community.”

The American Red Cross sponsored the Betty Proffitt Hale Community Service Award.

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