CLEVELAND — The annual American Red Cross Northeast Ohio hero awards took place Wednesday, May 12 and were hosted by 3News own, Leon Bibb.
This year, the event honored community members who demonstrated acts of courage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community members and organizations were honored for hosting blood drives, feeding families in need, assisting recently incarcerated men and women, helping people suffering from physical and emotional effects of the pandemic, and more.
Honorees included The Cuyahoga County Library system, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, local supermarkets, pharmacies employees, the Greater Cleveland Foodbank and EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute.
Bibb also presented awards to Dr. Joanne McKell and Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Anita White of the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System, Red Cross worker Jackie Otte, and Allen Morinec and Michael Kuznik of Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood who responded to a fire at a neighbor’s home.
Jim and Dee Haslam and the Browns were presented the Community Leader award for their support of youth football, volunteerism, and educational programs.
"Education is something we care deeply about. The biggest inequality in the country is the lack of quality education,” said Dee Haslam during the acceptance speech. “For us, it's giving everyone a chance, no matter where you live, to a great education and a great future."
"It was a pleasure to be involved with the Red Cross. From my earliest days , I have contributed. In Elementary school, I brought my contributions to school. The school participated in Red Cross collections. We students were encouraged to give," says Leon Bibb. "My first gift came in the first grade when my mother gave me a dollar to drop in the Red Cross collection. I was given an emblem bearing its logo which I proudly wore on my shirt collar. First grade. I’ve contributed ever since. I have given both money and blood as a donor."