By Larry Richert

We’re excited to announce that we’ve narrowed down our search to Larry’s 5 Hometown Heroes. This year we are honored to award a lifetime hero award at our banquet. The event was held on March 5 at the Lexus Club in PNC Park.

Click here to see the photos.

It's About The WarriorAll proceeds will benefit It’s About the Warrior Foundation.


Lifetime Hero Award: Dr. Stanley Marks

Dr. Marks was a medical graduate from the University of Pittsburgh. He has received numerous awards including the Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Dedication to Housestaff Education from Allegheny General Hospital, Hillel Academy Outstanding Alumnus, and The Winged Victory of Samothrace Award from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Larry’s Hero #1: Officer James Williams

This Munhall Borough officer brought Project Lifesaver to his area in hopes of protecting and helping people with cognitive disorders. This national organization was developed to use technology to better help those with disorders like autism, Down syndrome, and Alzheimer’s. Officials estimate that more than 4,000 people live on the autism spectrum in Allegheny County.

Larry’s Hero #2: Renno Young

A Bethel Park High School senior stopped at his house during lunch and noticed smoke coming from his neighbors house and the garage door moving. He ran over to find his neighbor struggling to open her garage door with her oxygen tubes still strapped to her nose. He carried Lillian Kelly away from her home and then along with another neighbor, proceeded to carry oxygen tanks out of the burning home.

Larry’s Hero #3: Lisa Bills

For seven years she has worked for Bethany Christian Services as a Domestic Infant Adoption Social Worker. Since 2007 Lisa has been able to place 89 children into their “forever home”. She has actively recruited families for special needs kids, children with possible drug and/or alcohol exposure, medical conditions, lack of prenatal care and/or victims of rape or incest. She has dedicated her life to providing happiness for others by giving them the love of a family.

Larry’s Hero #4: Joel Vanucci

Joel Vanucci is the founder and program director of Project Succeed, an award winning grant-funded educational program sponsored by the Keystone Oaks School District. Since 1988 this program has helped over 500 students receive a Keystone Oaks High School diploma, not a GED. Students who want to graduate but cannot go to class during the day, are now given the opportunity to come back to school at night.

Larry’s Hero #5: Sister Thaddeus Markelewicz

She is the President and CEO of the McGuire Memorial Home in New Brighton, a home committed to helping warm the hearts and lives of adults and children. Throughout the organization’s 51 years they’ve been able to provide residents with their state-of-the-art school, training and employment programs, community homes, and a residential campus.

Guest Speakers


Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh entered the United States Marine Corps in November of 2007, and then graduated from boot camp on Parris Island in February of 2008. He completed infantry training at Camp Geiger to become an 0341 Mortarman. He joined 1st Battalion, 8th Marines Weapons Company in an 81mm mortar platoon. In 2009 he set off for his first tour of duty to Iraq, and then in 2010 he traveled to Afghanistan as a squad leader. After one month of deployment he was promoted to the billet of section leader.

After three months in Afghanistan, while on a foot patrol, a fellow marine was wounded by stepping on an IED and needed help. Brandon immediately jumped into action and attempted to aid the marine but in the process he tragically stepped on a secondary IED causing him to lose both legs. He then spent 15 months recovering at the Walter Reed Army Medical center before retiring from the Marine Corps in September of 2012.

Currently Brandon is living in his hometown of Uniontown, Pa. while attending Penn State University to receive his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He travels to local schools as a motivational speaker explaining the benefits of not drinking and doing drugs.

He enjoys weight lifting competitions, and racing ATV’s cross country in a series that covers over 40 miles in a 2 hour time period. The support he received after his injuries helped him find his true passion of “paying it forward.” He’s now a member of “It’s About The Warrior Foundation” and will continue to help veterans as they come home and transition to civilian life.

“I am thankful for the many people who have assisted me along the way and am grateful to still be alive today,” – Brandon Rumbaugh, USMC Retired.


CBS News Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett has had the privilege of covering numerous landmark events in our country. He extensively reported on the fiscal cliff negotiations; President Obama’s second inauguration; and President Obama’s gun control proposals. He’s also had the pleasure of traveling with President Obama to the Middle East to cover the first foreign trip during his second term in office.

Before becoming the CBS News White House Correspondent he had been a constant face of CBS News’s coverage of Campaign 2012 through a partnership with the National Journal where he was Chief White House Correspondent.

Prior to National Journal, he was the Chief White House Correspondent for Fox News. During his eight years at Fox, Garrett covered two presidential elections, the war in Iraq, and other major stories. Before joining Fox News, he was a White House correspondent for CNN during the administrations of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Previously, he was a senior editor and congressional correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, a congressional reporter for The Washington Times, and the newspaper’s deputy national editor. Earlier in his career he was a reporter for The Houston Post, Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Amarillo Globe-News.

Garrett is the author of three books: “Common Cents,” with former Rep. Tim Penny (D-Minn.) “The 15 Biggest Lies in Politics,” and “The Enduring Revolution”. Garrett is a native of San Diego and graduated in 1984 from the University of Missouri with degrees in journalism and political science.

84 proj pro logo Larry Richerts Hometown Heroes






  • AAA West PA (AAA Travel)
  • Aquaguard Systems
  • Bowser Automotive
  • C.J. Betters Enterprises
  • Dollar Bank
  • Giant Eagle
  • Goodwill
  • Guardian Angel Home Services
  • Gutter Helmet
  • King Orthodontics
  • LaRoche
  • Lennox International (Lennox International and Air Pro Heating)
  • Levin Furniture
  • McGuire Memorial
  • Metropolitan Windows
  • Phase 4 Learning Center
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • UPMC
  • Weight Loss North
  • 84 Lumber



More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE