Congratulations to the 2013 Honorees. To find out more about the 2014 event and Heroes, please click here.
Click here for event pictures from the event in 2013.
Robert Mangino spoke to each of the heroes, listen to the interviews here:
Monday: Paul Shields
When he walked out of his house the morning after Thanksgiving, Paul Shields did not expect to see his neighbor’s house on fire. Paul rushed across the street and beat on the front door and woke neighbor Jeffrey Heyl. Paul told him the family needed to get out of the home because the back deck of their house was on fire. Paul and Jeff rushed in to evacuate the Heyl Family including Kim, Kevin, Krissy and their dog. Ross Fire Marshall John Reubi said that the intensity and the speed of the fire would have hindered the family’s escape if Mr. Shields would not have alerted them. Paul’s neighbor Kim credit’s him for saving their lives. Mr. Shields is a North Hills High School Graduate and a junior at Penn State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering. As a result of his actions on Nov. 23, Paul was awarded a plaque from Ross Township and a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Paul will be donating his $1000 charity donation to Thon, Penn State’s Dance Marathon which raises funds to conquer pediatric cancer.
Tuesday: Jamie Holmes
Jamie Holmes, 26, has dedicated her life to helping make others dreams come true. Jamie has done some remarkable things and has attained some unbelievable achievements. Jamie started her own organization just before her 18th birthday in 2005, which was named Jamie’s Dream Team. The origin of the organization had not begun in a way most may think, but when she was a patient at Children’s Hospital herself. Jamie witnessed children who rarely had visitors and were not receiving gifts. She then took her own gifts and balloons and gave them away to those less fortunate. This was the basis of “Jamie’s Dream Team,” a non-profit organization that has helped families and individuals achieve dreams that seemed out of reach because of their medical conditions including helping plan trips, a wedding and arranging for a young mother to meet her bone marrow donor. Jamie still fights her own battles and has undergone countless surgeries, but she continues to give back to others and help them fulfill their dreams.
Listen to Jamie Holmes’ story:
Jamie Holmes will use her $1000 charity donation towards Jamie’s Dream Team. Click here for more information on Jamie’s Dream Team.
Wednesday: Summer Tissue
Summer Tissue founded Military Connections when her brother deployed with the United State Marine Corps. Her efforts quickly grew beyond shipping care packages to her brother and his platoon and she now ships regularly to men and women stationed all over the world. Ms.Tissue will take special requests and works hard to fulfill them with items such as books, food, air conditioners and video games. In addition to items requested she sends special seasonal packages in an effort to support to lift their spirits when they are away from their loved ones over holidays. She will send special Easter Egg Hunt packages to the troops and encourages families to work together to create these bags. Her impact is seen throughout the region as she coordinates with several volunteer organizations. Volunteers of all ages have helped prepare and ship the care packages. Ms. Tissue is encouraged by the faith in her volunteers and her positive attitude and the positive response from those who have received packages keep her motivated to continue her work.
Summer will use her $1000 charity donation towards Military Connections. Click here for more information on Military Connections.
Thursday: Sgt. Patrick Manning
Sergeant Patrick Manning of the Penn Hills Police Department restored an unplayable baseball field in Penn Hills into a Field of Dreams for a local youth baseball team called Team United. Team United needed a home field location to play and practice on and Sgt. Manning saw an opportunity in the unplayable and unused Bessemer baseball field located in Penn Hills. He met with the Municipal Manager, the Parks Department Supervisor and the Public Works Supervisor and was granted permission to use and repair a field that had sat unused for over 15 years. Sgt. Manning requested and received donations from many local businesses and worked with several companies in the area to help restore and rebuild the field. A total of $20,000 in products and services were donated to create this Penn Hills “Field of Dreams”. On April 29, 2012, Team United had a Bessemer Field re-opening and opening day game. None of that would have been possible without Sgt. Patrick Manning. Sgt. Manning worked within the community to help make the dream possible.
Sgt. Manning will use his $1000 charity donation towards Team United.
Friday: Bill Neal
A lifetime resident of the city of Pittsburgh, Bill Neal began his dedication to Community Service at an early age with the Boy Scouts of America and still serves as a life-long Scout mentor. Following college and while being employed by several of the world’s leading industries, Bill created and founded Champion Enterprises. A now 38-year-old Non-Profit all Volunteer Community Service Agency that annually provides 25 programs at no cost to the disadvantaged and low-income members of the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County communities with no restriction on age, race, sex, religion, income, residence, political affiliation or sexual orientation. Champions’ combined programs have served an average of 50,000 people with more than 10,000 of them being children. It has been directly responsible for assisting more than 500 student-athletes into colleges, fed more than 4,000 Senior Citizens Thanksgiving dinners and honored more than 2,000 people at the Willie Stargell MVP Awards Banquets. In addition, Champions has provided free basketball, football, tennis, golf and track programs to thousands of area youth ages 8 – 18 and has given away an average of 500 toys and clothing items to low-income children in their “Toys for Champions” programs every Christmas.
Check back for details or how you can nominate someone for next year’s Hometown Heroes.
Larry Richert’s Hometown Heroes is presented by 84 Lumber.