Inland Empire residents and organizations are being saluted by the American Red Cross for their heroism and service.
They will be honored at the Inland Empire Heroes Awards, set for Tuesday, March 8, at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in downtown Riverside.
“We are thrilled to recognize local heroes from across the Inland Empire that are saving lives and creating safer and stronger communities,” Lois Beckman, executive director of the American Red Cross of Riverside County, said in a news release.
The event will raise money for Red Cross disaster relief. The Jackie Autry and the Autry Foundation will match event donations up to $25,000.
For ticket, sponsorship or donation information, visit: redcross.org/ieheroes.
The honorees, and details about them from the release, are:
Animal Welfare Hero Award: Lori Rich, from Taking it to the Streets with Lori and Shira
Taking it to the Streets with Lori and Shira is a nonprofit organization in Jurupa Valley founded by the mother-and-daughter team of Lori and Shira Rich. It helps pets that belong to homeless people, offering them food, water and veterinary services.
Corporate Hero Award: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has donated to hundreds of non-profit groups across the Coachella Valley for more than 25 years. These include public-service agencies, youth groups, healthcare organizations, schools, libraries and food banks. It also has contributed toward efforts to fight diseases and to disaster-relief agencies such as the American Red Cross.
First Responder Hero Award: Upland Police Officer Christopher Delaney, Sgt. Jim Tseng
In September 2021, Delaney and Tseng responded to a call about a man with a gun who was on his way to a hospital and had threatened to harm his staff. They worked with other officers to stop and arrest the man before anyone was hurt.
Gift of Life Hero Award: Mark Shinoda
Shinoda drives from Riverside County to Orange County to donate platelets. Each donation takes an average of 2 ½ hours, yet Shinoda donates every other Wednesday — despite the coronavirus pandemic. I have done so 44 times since 2020.
Good Samaritan Hero Award: Mike Johnson
Johnson, a Murrieta resident, was playing pickleball with a friend when his buddy suffered a heart attack. Johnson started CPR and yelled for help. He and others did CPR and used an automated external defibrillator and the friend could breath again before going to a hospital. Johnson now works to train others in CPR and first aid.
Service to the Armed Forces Hero Award: Michael and Daisy Welsh, Working Dogs for Warriors
The Welshes founded Working Dogs For Warriors, a Fontana-based non-profit group that trains and donates service dogs to veterans and first responders. They match service dogs with the needs of recipients.
Youth Hero Award: Delaney Atkinson
Atkinson, a Rancho Cucamonga resident, is president and founder of the Service for Heroes club at Los Osos High School. She has honored first responders in several ways, including taking them treats from the club and delivering pies on Thanksgiving. She is also leading a fundraising effort for a campus memorial to honor Marine Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, a Los Osos graduate killed in Afghanistan in August.
Youth Hero Award: Andrew Phelps
On May 22, 2021, the Riverside resident was in a car with his sister and mother when he saw a vehicle clip an electrical pole and drive onto the curb. The driver, who turned it out was having a diabetic seizure, was slumped over the wheel. He asked his family to pull over and he called 911. Tapping his knowledge from sports medicine courses at North High School in Riverside and recent first aid/CPR training, he ensured the scene was safe, turned off the car and monitored the driver until paramedics arrived.