Six Fayette County residents were honored Monday afternoon at the 10th-annual Hometown Heroes celebration.
Each year, five or more Fayette Countians are chosen from a multitude of nominees as Hometown Heroes. According to the local Red Cross, the annual event highlights the values of courage, initiative, compassion, personal responsibility and humanity which underlie heroic actions that save lives and/or demonstrate an unusual degree of unselfish character.
“For the past nine years, the American Red Cross has celebrated local citizens at the annual Heroes Breakfast,” said Rod Cook, executive director of the East & South Central Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross. “Due to budget cuts, this event had to be cancelled.”
Due to assistance from community sponsors, the Record-Herald, Harry Wright from Channel 3, and Brian Pettit, who hosted the event at the Crown Room in Washington C.H., a reception event was organized. Wright, a 2014 Hometown Hero award winner, also served as the emcee of the event.
The 2015 heroes are:
– Jimmy Clark, Youth Hero – Jimmy is a 16-year-old Fayette County resident with a unique passion: he loves to go to the library. However, unlike many teens his age, he doesn’t go to the library to get comic books, he picks up books about other countries. His goal in life is to save the world.
Jimmy researches different countries around the world to find ones that need lots of help. He is particularly interested in countries that are in dire need of safe drinking water and food. Once he finds a country that meets his description, Jimmy collects money in different ways. Once his football piggy bank is full, he brings the money to the Red Cross for the International Services Program. He is a very diligent young man who is making a difference in the world.
– Steve and Vicki Horney, Education Heroes – The Horneys are owners/operators of Horney’s BBQ and are the classic example of hometown business owners who use their business for the good of the community. For more than 17 years, the Horneys have provided team meals for local football teams. They continually donate to local events and causes, both with gift certificates and cash.
Although many other businesses do this, what makes the Horneys unique is the interest they take in their young employees. Not only do they provide a fun work environment where young adults can learn good work habits, they also stress the importance of education to their employees.
– John Meriweather, Lifetime Achievement Hero – As a member of the Rotary Club, Meriweather has volunteered his time for 40 years as Little League coordinator. This includes all aspects of running such an operation, which is an extensive job for anyone, let alone a volunteer.
His work gets him very little credit, yet it has allowed thousands of young boys and girls to enjoy the benefits of playing Little League Baseball. As is true of most heroes, Meriweather doesn’t want credit, he just wants to help the young people of the community have a good, safe and positive summer experience.
Dale Lynch accepted the award for Meriweather, who was unable to be in attendance.
– Chiquita Nash, Adult Hero – Nash serves as the coordinator of volunteers at the Free Store at The Well at Sunnyside. She does this with very minimal compensation. It is evident when first meeting Nash how she gets the job done, through her passion and enthusiasm to help others, she inspires others to get involved and work for the cause.
Besides her regular duties at The Well, which are many, Nash will spearhead other special causes when the need arises. A recent example was organizing a community meal to honor four victims of a tragedy which drew hundreds and raised thousands for the surviving family members. She does all of this not for the glory, honor or recognition, but in the name of the Lord.
– Kevin Robinette, Public Safety Hero – On Thursday, Jan. 15, Robinette was on his way to visit his mother when he noticed smoke coming from a Jeffersonville residence. Although not on duty as a volunteer firefighter with the Jefferson Township Fire Department, Robinette had to act. He quickly changed into his gear and went to investigate. He noticed a lady leaning on a table in her kitchen with flames on the ceiling above her.
As she was confused, Robinette entered the burning house and led her outside. According to Fayette County EMA Director and retired firefighter Fulton Terry, without Robinette’s quick thinking and placing himself in danger, this could have been another tragic situation within the community. His actions saved the life of another person.
“The stories told at these events are always compelling and inspirational as they reflect the good in local communities,” said Cook. “Thank you for joining us (Monday) as we celebrate that good that is found in Fayette County, Ohio.”