2014 Red Cross Hometown Heroes announced

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield man who saved a neighbor from a burning mobile home; a Ludlow resident whose donated blood and platelets for more than 30 years.

They’re two of 11 Hometown Heroes to be honored by the Pioneer Valley Red Cross later this month.

Since 2002, the Pioneer Valley Red Cross has honored Hometown Heroes who have saved lives and helped improve the quality of life for others

Executive Director Rick Lee outlined the plan to honor 11 Hometown Heroes on March 27th at the Mass Mutual Center.

“We had no clue it would turn into this sort of thing,” said Lee. “We thought the average special event runs three to five years. This year we had 46 nominees and 14 life saving stories.”

Stories 22News will share with you one week before the Hometown Heroes’ breakfast.

I’m proud and honored to once again co-host the Hometown Heroes’ event with Sarah Corrigan, who heads the Hometown Heroes’ selection committee.

Each story is personal and emotional. “Pretty much all of them, pretty much all of it, that’s where it gets difficult, and members of the committee are talking of these that touched them,” said Corrigan.

More than 600 people will salute this year’s hometown heroes after seeing the stories of their accomplishments.

Westfield Fire department Captain Rebecca Boutin was honored last year for going into a burning building to save the life of a fellow firefighter. She said receiving Hometown Heroes recognition is an experience she’ll never forget.

Tickets are still available to the hometown heroes breakfast March 27th.

Below is the list of the 11 American Red Cross 2014 Hometown Heroes. 22News reporter Sy Becker will profile each honoree leading up to the March 27th:

  • Joseph Allen
  • John Weston
  • Maryann Alben
  • Gina Lopez
  • Sandra Land
  • Steve Berube
  • Art Hardy
  • Kevin Collins
  • Alan Kraefft
  • Vincent Ferrero
  • Dr. Wilson Pyle