May 23, 2018
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Local Red Cross recognizes Maine’s ‘real heroes’

BANGOR, Maine — The Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross presented nine individual awards for heroism and a special award to a local government agency at the 14th annual Real Heroes Breakfast Thursday morning at the Bangor Civic Center.

Real Hero awards were given to Kameron Seger of Glenburn, Robert Sanborn of Bucksport, Scott Vogell of Castine, Justin Choiniere of Etna, and five people in the Harrington area — Mark Schoppee, Raelea Merchant, Terry Grant, Brandon Lovejoy, and Nicholas Graham.

The chapter’s “Extra Mile” award for selfless service to the Red Cross in northern and eastern Maine was given to Penobscot County Commissioners Thomas J. Davis Jr., Peter K. Baldacci and Stephen Stanley.

“The Real Heroes Awards mirror the Red Cross mission of disaster response and emergency prevention,” said Allen Campbell, chairman of the Pine Tree Chapter’s board of directors. “In co-sponsorship with WABI-TV 5 and the CW, and with generous support from more than 40 local businesses and organizations, this event celebrated the courage and humanitarianism of people throughout the chapter’s service area in eastern and northern Maine.”

Seger, 11, performed CPR to save his mother’s life after a fall down the family home’s stairs in Glenburn. Sanborn rushed into a burning house to rescue three people. Vogell rescued four people from Penobscot Bay and saved the life of a man whose leg had been badly injured by a propeller. Choiniere jumped into a freezing stream to save a friend from drowning in her submerged car. Merchant, Grant, Schoppee, Lovejoy and Graham pulled a man from his burning truck after a fiery gas station accident.

The Penobscot County commissioners’ community spirit and commitment to the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross helped provide the chapter with a new, large, up-to-date facility in county-owned space at 73 Hammond St. in downtown Bangor, the chapter said.

More than 400 Mainers from sponsoring businesses, local organizations, and area municipalities attended the event, which filled 56 tables in the Bangor Civic Center. They sat in silence, laughed, cried, and rose to their feet to cheer as each hero’s story was presented in videos produced by WABI-TV5 and projected on two large video screens.

“We can only respond with admiration and respect when we hear the stories of these heroes and see what they have done for other Mainers and for their local Red Cross,” said new Pine Tree Chapter executive director Erin Merrill. “Their sense of service and caring for others is what they and the Red Cross are all about.”

The Real Heroes Awards and Extra Mile Award were sponsored and presented by WABI-TV5 and the CW, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems and Affiliated Healthcare Systems, Juniper Ridge Landfill and Pine Tree Transfer and Recycling (Casella Companies), KeyBank, People’s United Bank, and TD Bank.

Almost $30,000 was raised through the Real Heroes Breakfast for the Pine Tree Chapter and two programs. According to Merrill, the funds will be used for local disaster relief after Maine house fires, floods, or storms, for Service to the Armed Forces emergency communication and other programs for military families, and for CPR, first aid and other training that helps save Mainers’ lives.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to the Pine Tree Chapter, or to find out more about chapter services, go online to or call 941-2903 in Bangor.

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