Ga. Red Cross Recognizes Local Heroes
June 19—Kele Howerton doesn't really think of herself as a hero.
The University of North Georgia junior said she was just in the right place at the right time when she jumped in the Rhine River while on a study abroad trip in France to save a man who was drowning.
"It's weird to think about because to me it wasn't really that big of a deal, it was just a moment where somebody needed help," said Howerton, a business management major from Augusta. "I was just there at the right place at the right time but I'm definitely appreciative of the award."
Howerton received the Water Rescue Hero award at the seventh annual Heroes Breakfast on Tuesday morning. She was one of over a dozen honored by the American Red Cross of Augusta and its partners in the community for their heroic actions.
Susan Everitt, executive director of the American Red Cross of Augusta, said the breakfast is a way to thank volunteers and supporters for their efforts in serving the community.
"To do what we do we partner with so many other people and organizations and partners throughout the community," Everitt said. "We just can't say thank you to them enough because truly we could not exist without them."
Honorees at the breakfast included law enforcement officers, students and organizations. Those recognized were nominated and then selected by a committee of volunteers and volunteer board members, Everitt said. The Red Cross received about 50 nominations this year.
"The majority of (the honorees) have actually saved someone's life, most of that through their knowledge of CPR or first aid," Everitt said. "We want to recognize that you don't have to have a badge to do that you can do that anytime, anyplace just as long as you're ready, willing and able."
Bryan Ashe, a manager at Savannah River Site, received the Good Samaritan Hero award for his efforts to revive a hostess who had collapsed while he was having lunch at an Applebee's. The North Augusta resident helped perform CPR for about 20 minutes while an ambulance was delayed by an accident.
"I appreciate the training that I had for the opportunity to help somebody," Ashe said. "I don't really feel like a hero, I'm just really glad I could help somebody."
Nominations are open year-round, and more information on the breakfast and the Red Cross can be found at redcross.org/augusta.