BREWER, Maine — Seven Maine citizens were honored for their acts of courage and selflessness in the past year during the 16th annual American Red Cross Real Heroes Awards Breakfast held at Jeff’s Catering Thursday morning.
“One of my favorite definitions [of a hero] is ‘one who kindles great light in the world by blazing torches in the dark streets of life for the rest of us to see by,’’’ said U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, guest speaker at the event. “The Red Cross kindles a great light for all of us.”
The crowd of more than 300 stood and applauded as each of the following people were introduced and presented with medals after short videos were shown detailing their heroic acts:
• Nikki Jackson of Old Town saved the life of her 3-year-old nephew after he was found unconscious at the bottom of a pool at a family reunion. Jackson performed CPR and revived the child, who recovered with no permanent effects.
• Officer Andrew Weatherbee of the Ellsworth Police Department rescued a man from a burning vehicle after a car accident by breaking the rear window and pulling him to safety.
• Samantha Moore, 10, of Milbridge performed first aid on a man who fell from the bleachers at a community event after suffering a cardiac event. She administered Red Cross first aid techniques she learned from her mother, a former Navy corpsman. Moore kept the man awake to keep him from going into shock and applied cold packs to his dislocated shoulder until emergency personnel arrived.
• Orono High School students Tyler Jewett and Anton Klose, both of Orono, jumped into the Stillwater River to save a woman from drowning. The boys worked together to rescue the woman who was being pulled downriver by the current.
• Retired Col. Tim Hackett of Orono performed CPR on his friend who suffered cardiac arrest and stopped breathing at a dance at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. Hackett kept his friend’s blood flowing with chest compressions until emergency personnel arrived to restore his pulse using an automatic external defibrillator.
• John Hafford, general manager of Texas Roadhouse in Bangor, and his staff cooked and donated food for the more than 250 blood donors at the annual Chill n’ Grill Super Blood Drive in Bangor.
Receiving special awards were Danny Lafayette, CEO of Lafayette Hotels of Maine, New Hampshire, and Michigan; and Sister Mary Norberta, retired CEO of St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor. Lafayette got the Extra Mile Award, for hosting disaster victims at his hotels, and for his many philanthropic contributions. Sister Norberta received the Honorary Hero Award for her lifetime of work and charitable acts, including allowing homeless shelters to use the hospital’s laundry facilities.
Collins received a certificate of appreciation from the Red Cross for her work in the U.S. Senate, which includes never having missed a vote in 14 years.