Santa Cruz County

Local Red Cross Heroes Awards presented in Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter hosted the 2014 Heroes Award Ceremony Wednesday morning at the Cocoanut Grove Ballroom in Santa Cruz. A slideshow of photos from the ceremony is here.

This year's honorees were:

Animal Rescue Hero: JP Novic,  a Scotts Valley resident, has been dedicated and involved in animal welfare in Santa Cruz County for more than 25 years, particularly at the center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE), an animal welfare organization that provides additional medical, foster, and behavioral care to make animals highly adoptable.

Community Hero: Phil Kaplan of Santa Cruz has impacted thousands of people in the community over the past 35 years by creating a healthy environment for athletic competition and overall mental and physical well-being.

Education Hero: Cheryl Samios, who lives in Santa Cruz, is a tireless advocate for students and is responsible for bringing the nationally recognized program, Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) to Pacific Collegiate Charter School. WEB mentors and provides 8th graders with the proper resources to succeed. 

Good Samaritan Hero: Daron Pisciotta of Scotts Valley saved a young man's life by performing CPR until the Scotts Valley Police arrived with a defibrillator.

Law Enforcement Hero: Coresta Salas of Watsonville has been a dedicated recreation coordinator for the Watsonville Police Activities League (PAL), a crime prevention program that creates ties between police officers, recreation leaders, parents, and youth through education, athletic, and recreational activities. Through her work, youth violence and gang membership have significantly decreased in Santa Cruz County.

Medical Professional Heroes: Vanessa Little, Tree Dunbar, and Emmi Schambeck work together to perform heroic work with hospice patients and families in Santa Cruz County with their gift of presence, mindfulness, and compassion.

Military Hero: Dean Kaufman, a Santa Cruz resident and former Army veteran, is a dedicated social services provider who has transformed the services that veterans from all walks of life are able to receive in Santa Cruz County.

Rescue Professionals Heroes: Retired fire Capt. Jerry Freeman and firefighters Clayton Ogden, Ryan Baker and Ben Bynes were honored for the heroic actions the demosntrated demonstrated during a shoot-out between the alleged murderer of Loran "Butch" Baker and Elizabeth Butler and police officers as they saved the life of Patricia Depalo not once, but twice.

Workplace Hero: Vincent Ceniseroz, a dedicated Comcast technician, was a critical part of saving clients' lives because they were unconscious in two separate incidents.

Youth Hero: At the age of 12, Tenaya Greeninger saved the life of two 11-year-old boys caught in a rip current at Rio del Mar Beach by combining her skills as a surfer, trained junior lifeguard, and her desire to save others.

Eleanor Wasson Volunteer Award: Jim and Jeriann Bosso have trained over 600 Sea Scouts youth, made up of boys and girls between the ages of 13-21 to learn navigation, boating techniques on the Bosso's Sea Scout ship named Steeves, a 63-foot trawler. Their diligent and enthusiastic work, along with their financial support, has touched the lives of many of our local youth.

Lifetime Achievement Award: With boundless energy, Lori Butterworth has dedicated her life to improving the lives of children and young people by advocating healthcare policy initiatives, empowering young student leaders, and supporting families through challenging times.

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