The Chaves American Red Cross regional office is asking the community to nominate a few extraordinary citizens to honor in an upcoming Real Heroes Breakfast and Awards ceremony.
Anyone in Chaves, Curry, Roosevelt and DeBaca counties can be nominated by their co-workers, peers or friends for the awards.
“It’s a chance for residents to pay tribute to our law enforcement, our military, our firefighters, who everyday put their lives on the line for us, along with community members who are helping our families, our children, especially those who don’t get compensated for it,” said Gale Landrum, development coordinator at the Roswell office.
The Chaves County office will host the event for the first time, and hopes to make it an annual event.
The program is designed to honor ordinary people from the region who “exemplify the spirit of heroism and humanitarianism at a distinguished level, (and) individuals who demonstrate extraordinary courage and commitment to saving or improving the lives of others,” Landrum said.
Awards will be given for Humanitarian, Good Adult Samaritan, Good Youth Samaritan, Emergency Medical, Firefighter, Law Enforcement, Disaster Relief, Military, Animal Rescue and Workplace Safety.
At the awards ceremony held in Lea County, for example, Landrum said the woman who was awarded the Animal Rescue Award was someone who rescued horses, rehabilitated the animals and then ran a program for children with special needs to ride the horses for rehabilitation.
“These nominations do not have to be Red Cross-related in any way,” Landrum said.
The awards are given out each year in every Red Cross region in New Mexico except the Roswell region. After attending the event in Hobbs, Landrum decided Chaves County should also start the program.
The Red Cross will put together a nominating committee of professionals and residents from the community who will review and choose one recipient from each category.
During the June 19 breakfast ceremony, to be held at theConvention and Civic Center, organizers will present a video made by the person who nominated the winner, followed by a video of the award winner.
Presenting sponsors will present the awards.
“It gives the whole audience the opportunity to view the nominee and the recipient. It brings it more to life,” she said.
The Chaves County honor guard will kick off the 8 a.m. event, followed by Jenci Huebner who will sing the national anthem. Mayor Del Jurney has been invited to read a proclamation. Sponsors are still needed as plans continue to be made, Landrum said.
The program is also a fundraiser for the American Red Cross.
“We hope the community will get involved. We would like to see it be a huge success. And would like to see everybody June 19 at the Civic Center,” Landrum said.
Nominations for the Red Cross Real Heroes Awards are due by May 10, and can be found online at redcrossnewmexico.org under the Community Chapter American Red Cross in Southeastern New Mexico tab, by emailing Landrum at galeann.landrum@redcross org, or from the Red Cross office, 1400 W. Second St.
For more information, tickets or to become a sponsor for the event, call Landrum at 622-4370 or 575-420-1573.