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Red Cross honors everyday heroes

Watson Dispatch Vice President Mark Musick presents a heroes award to Firefighters Dan Mustard of the Bremerton Fire Department and Rick O’Rourke of Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue.  - Photo by Charlie Bermant
Watson Dispatch Vice President Mark Musick presents a heroes award to Firefighters Dan Mustard of the Bremerton Fire Department and Rick O’Rourke of Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue.
— image credit: Photo by Charlie Bermant

The Kitsap County Red Cross hosted its seventh annual Heroes’ Breakfast on Thursday, providing recognition of local heroes in 10 different categories while offering a tribute to the Red Cross itself.

Around 350 people attended the event, which raised about $30,000.

J.B. Hall, a member of the West Sound Advisory Board, noted that while the Red Cross operates nationwide, many communities don’t have their own chapter. Kitsap County, however, is fortunate in this respect.

“Red Cross assistance often goes to where it is most needed,” Hall said. “But we’re lucky here because the needs of the community are being filled from within the community.”

The Red Cross earned the highest praise from attendees who work in law enforcement or emergency services. CENCOM Director Ron McAffee lauded the agency’s fast response to fire disasters, while former Bremerton Police Chief Rob Forbes said the Red Cross’ volunteer network is “the backbone of the county.”

“The Red Cross helps individuals in a disaster,” Forbes said. “This is crucial. It has always been a wonderful organization to give money to.”

Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer said the Red Cross “is essential to disaster response.”

Many of those cited for heroism graciously accepted the honor, but said their behavior represented what they do in their daily lives.

Those achieving recognition were Medical Heroes, Jennifer Rice and Steve Martin; Preparedness Hero, Kelly Finch; Firefighter Heroes; Rick O’Rourke and Dan Mustard; Law enforcement Hero, Robert Norris; Workplace Heroes, John Bishop and Mark Eathorne; Water Safety Heroes, Ed Morgan and Valerie Pentoney; Youth Good Samaritan Hero, T.J. Sims; Adult Good Samaritan Hero, Trudy Stacy; 9-1-1 Hero, Tami Kimball; and, the Commitment to Community award to the officers and crew of the USS John C. Stennis.

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