Ro­mance at Red Cross He­roes Soiree

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Joanne Davidson Joanne Davidson: 303809-1314, par­ti­writer@hot­mail.com and @joanne­david­son on Twit­ter

By its very na­ture, the an­nual Red Cross He­roes Soiree is an emo­tional oc­ca­sion. De­scrip­tions of the acts of hero­ism, brav­ery and com­pas­sion are so mov­ing that they of­ten elicit tears from both au­di­ence mem­bers and the hon­orees them­selves.

This year was no ex­cep­tion, al­though the most heart­warm­ing mo­ment had more to do with ro­mance than an award.

Rex Laceby, re­cip­i­ent of the Ser­vice to the Armed Forces He­roes Award, ended his ac­cep­tance speech by ask­ing girl­friend Sab­rina Blosky to join him on stage so he could pub­licly thank her for the sup­port she has given him over the years.

When she did, he got down on one knee, took a ring from his pocket and asked her to marry him.

She said “yes,” and the 600 guests gave the cou­ple a stand­ing ova­tion.

Laceby re­tired as a dec­o­rated U.S. Ma­rine Corps cap­tain to lead a ca­reer place­ment pro­gram for vet­er­ans at the Univer­sity of Colorado. He also teaches cour­ses on how to cre­ate a wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment for vet­er­ans and vol­un­teers with the Boul­der Emer­gency Squad.

“I’ve never con­sid­ered my­self a hero,” he said. “But I’m truly hon­ored to re­ceive this award.”

The 2017 He­roes Soiree was chaired by Alice Jack­son, Mark Mathews and Brett Dolan and held at the Sher­a­ton Den­ver Down­town. It raised $490,000.

Re­cip­i­ents were cho­sen by a com­mit­tee headed by Colorado first lady Robin Hick­en­looper and Mu­ru­gan Palani, di­rec­tor of sup­plier di­ver­sity for Xcel En­ergy.

The Life­sav­ing Hero Award went to Christo­pher Franck­lyn, CU’s club row­ing coach. He was do­ing some main­te­nance work at the Boul­der Reser­voir when he re­al­ized row­ers from a high school club were on the wa­ter as a squall with winds of 40plus miles per hour broke out, swamping the row­ing shells and en­dan­ger­ing the young peo­ple in them. De­spite the strong winds and waves break­ing over his launch, he made his way to the nine stu­dents and pi­loted them to safety.

Girl Scouts Ha­ley Bolen and Annabelle Scha­ef­fer, re­cip­i­ents of the Youth Hero Award, were rec­og­nized for rec­og­niz­ing the signs of a stroke in a par­ent vol­un­teer dur­ing a camp­ing trip at Sky High Ranch in Wood­land Park. EMTs were sum­moned, the par­ent was trans­ported to a hos­pi­tal and her life was saved.

“These young ladies showed great life­sav­ing skills by keep­ing ev­ery­one calm, not pan­ick­ing and also know­ing what to do in an emer­gency,” noted mas­ter of cer­e­monies Reg­gie Rivers.

The In­ter­na­tional Ser­vices Hero Award went to Yadira Ro­driguez Ber­nal in ap­pre­ci­a­tion for her ser­vice to de­tainees at the Im­mi­gra­tion De­ten­tion Cen­ter in Aurora and for or­ga­niz­ing a home fire preven­tion pro­gram where her co-work­ers at Na­tion­wide In­surance in­stalled smoke de­tec­tors in homes lo­cated in vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties.

Po­lice Det. Shawna Gil­bert and nurse Sue Jor­dan, re­cip­i­ents of the Health and Safety Hero Award, were par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Law En­force­ment United’s Road to Hope, a three­day bi­cy­cle ride that be­gan in Read­ing, PA and ended in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., when on day two they saw a rider fall from his bi­cy­cle.

Jor­dan was the first to reach him and found that he was un­con­scious, had no pulse and wasn’t breath­ing. They ad­min­is­tered CPR and the rider re­gained a heart­beat and be­gan breath­ing on his own be­fore be­ing taken to a hos­pi­tal and un­der­go­ing triple by­pass surgery.

“As a re­sult of these ladies’ quick as­sess­ment and ef­fec­tive ren­der­ing of CPR, he is alive to­day, fully re­cov­ered with no per­ma­nent dam­age and has re­turned to work as a po­lice sergeant,” Rivers noted.

Gino Greco, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the Amer­i­can Red Cross of Colorado & Wy­oming, joined Den­nis Moore, chair­man of the Mile High Chap­ter board, in wel­com­ing such guests as Den­ver Mayor Michael Han­cock; Norm Franke, re­gional pres­i­dent of Alpine Bank; Roger Hutson, pres­i­dent/ CEO of HRM Re­sources, and his wife, Meredith, founder and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Pre­sent­ing Den­ver; Deirdre Wild­man, an ex­ec­u­tive with MorEvents, and boyfriend Rick Steiner, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent at Air Comm Cor­po­ra­tion; Elaine Tor­res, com­mu­nity affairs di­rec­tor at CBS4; Ruth Rohs, di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions for IMA Fi­nan­cial Group and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the IMA Foun­da­tion; Bare­foot PR prin­ci­pals Cori Street­man and Sarah Ho­gan; Perla Gheiler, di­rec­tor of strate­gic ini­tia­tives and out­reach for Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Univer­sity; Wells Fargo VP Vince Abrue; Chris Chavez, di­rec­tor of global cor­po­rate cit­i­zen­ship for Ball Corp.; Glo­ria Schoch, com­mu­nity affairs man­ager for Miller Coors; and Hollie Velasquez Horvath, Xcel En­ergy’s di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity re­la­tions.

Pho­tos by Steve Peterson, Ter­raChroma.com

From left: Asa Cap­souto, James Fabi­ano, Rex Laceby, Paul Chyc and Amy Men­dez at the Amer­i­can Red Cross He­roes Soiree at the Sher­a­ton Den­ver Down­town on March 10.

Sue Jor­dan and Shawna Gil­bert.

Carter, Brian, Alec and Tisha Schuller, with Gino and Kristin Greco.

Regi­nald, Bar­bara and Sally Franck­lyn, with Chris Franck­lyn and Alyssa Frank.

Annabelle Scha­ef­fer, Ann Scha­ef­fer and Ha­ley Bolen.

Diana Alayon, Flor Ber­nal, Robert So­mand, Yadira Ro­driguez and Deb­bie and Michael So­mand.

Event chairs Alice Jack­son and Mark Mathews.

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