Red Cross honors local heroes |

Red Cross honors local heroes

Honoring heroes is usually a tough job. The “unsung” heroes of Nevada and Sierra counties aren’t the type who do good deeds for the sake of recognition. They’re the ones who just keep doing the work, dedicating themselves to a cause that they’re passionate about.

On Wednesday morning, the western Nevada County branch of the American Red Cross held a “Heroes Breakfast” to acknowledge individuals and all branches of the firefighting service.

One such hero was Ed Rossovich, a Purple Heart veteran from Iraq who was nominated for the honor by the Friends of Nevada County Military. Rossovich gave a brief, heart-wrenching talk about fighting for his country and the sacrifices his wife made when he volunteered to fight in Iraq. Wearing his dress blues and many medals, Rossovich received a standing ovation after breaking down a bit while talking of his wife and his love of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Another hero also nominated by Friends of the Nevada County Military was Patti Unger, who organizes the monthly packing party where volunteers pack boxes to send to Nevada County troops serving in Iraq.

Sierra Adoption Services nominated caseworker Lana Fredrickson, who works with families and children to ensure successful adoptions for at-risk foster children. She spoke after receiving the award, thanking the children she works with for being willing to give adults a second chance when their biological parents have failed. Her words brought tears to many in the crowded hall at the Miners Foundry.

Parent Ben Shepard was honored for his work – building a school-lunch area for Chicago Park School students, using mostly donated and volunteer labor and materials.

Donna Carver was deemed a hero for her 27-year commitment to Hospice of the Foothills as a volunteer in almost every capacity.

Sharon Sanders was nominated by the Pleasant Ridge School District for her work at Cottage Hill School, especially helping sick children and those with chronic illnesses.

The most well-known nominee, Dr. Terry McAteer, superintendent of county schools, was lauded for his work on the board of the Nevada County Food Bank. He was the treasurer of the board for two years. McAteer was on vacation, so his wife, Liz, accepted the award for him.

The Red Cross plans to make the Heroes Breakfast an annual event.


To contact Readership Editor Dixie Redfearn, e-mail or call 477-4238.

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