Red Cross honors Peninsula heroes

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BLYN — The American Red Cross Olympic Peninsula chapter will honor eight people and a group of volunteers for their lifesaving actions at the 2013 Olympic Peninsula Heroes Dinner on Thursday.

The recognition banquet will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 7 Cedars Casino, 270756 U.S. 101.

Seats were still available Tuesday for the dinner.

The suggested donation is $75, according to Meleah Roy, Red Cross spokeswoman.

Seats can be reserved by phoning the chapter’s office at 360-457-7933 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“The Heroes Dinner is a crucial part of the Red Cross in the Olympic Peninsula,” said Michelle Kelley, executive director of the chapter.

“We take this time every year to honor those in our community who have gone above and beyond.

“This year’s heroes are no exception. Every one of them deserves special recognition for coming to the aid of others.”

The annual dinner raises money to support local Red Cross programs and services.

All award recipients took action, perhaps endangering themselves, to help others.

Heroes to be awarded

They are:

■ Jaime Armitage and Wayne Brown — The two will be given the Good Samaritans Award for helping three canoers out of the water in Dungeness Bay in July.

The two experienced crabbers in their 60s brought the canoers aboard their own boat and back to safety on the shore.

■ Dave Herndon — This retired emergency medical technician from Sequim will be given the Medical Rescue Award for saving the life of his friend Ron Coleman, 71, of Sequim during a pickleball game in August 2012.

Herndon, 62, was nominated for the award after he and Bob Sester, 66, a retired firefighter who is also of Sequim, worked to help Coleman.

Coleman collapsed at the Sequim Community School courts. His heart had stopped.

“Dave was able to perform effective CPR and resuscitate him,” the Red Cross said.

Coleman survived after getting treatment.

■ Red Cross volunteers from Olympic Peninsula deployed to disasters — The Dedication to Disaster Relief Special Recognition will be given to the volunteers who helped survivors after disasters during the past year such as superstorm Sandy and the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Recipients are Colin Anable, Zane Beall, Denise Bergeron, Mike Blair, Diane Bommer, Roger Drake, Don Dybeck, Wayne Foth, Jamie Goodwin, Betty Hendricks, Frank Keener, Ryan Ollerman, Janet Parris, Marianne Ude, Shirley Williams and Don Zanon.

■ Elwha Police Department Officers Steffen Estep and Don Kitchen, and state Fish and Wildlife Officer John Gresham — They will be given the Emergency Response Award for their rescue response during last year’s Paddle to Quinault.

Over the course of the journey, many canoes tipped over, and these officers were able to save the canoers from the water.

No photographs were available for the officers.

■ Jim Klarr, a light operations manager for the city of Port Angeles — The Compassion in Action Award will be given to this Port Angeles man who saved a 15-year-old girl from jumping off the Eighth Street Bridge over Tumwater Truck Route in August 2012.

Klarr received the 2013 Northwest Public Power Association Safety Heroism Award at the organization’s annual Engineering & Operations Conference and Trade Show on April 8.

Klarr was on duty when he saw a girl swing her legs over the railing of the bridge, which is 90 feet above the road.

He wrapped his arms her and lifted her over the railing and back onto the bridge walkway.

■ Brian Kienle — Kienle, 42, of Port Townsend will be honored with the Water Rescue Award for using his paddleboard to save three people who were drifting quickly into Admiralty Inlet in May.

East Jefferson Fire-Rescue identified the three who were rescued as Lauren Dicksion, 11; Madison Carlson, 10; and William Brown, 43. The agency spokesman did not know where they lived.

Kienle, the family services and community manager for Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County, was on his paddleboard — a long surfboard propelled by a swimming motion if kneeling or a pole if standing — when he saw three people on inner tubes a few hundred yards away who seemed to be in trouble.

He placed one of the girls on the front end of his 11-foot paddleboard and took her to shore while the man and the other girl floated on the inner tubes, then paddled back out, put the second girl on the board and towed the man.

The three were examined and were determined to be unharmed, said Bill Beezley, spokesman for the fire department.

This year’s Leadership Sponsor for the heroes banquet is 7 Cedars Casino. Green Crow is the Sustaining Sponsor. Award sponsors for the event include Columbia Bank, First Federal and Dr. John Skow and Jeanne Skow.

Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.

To donate to the Red Cross, visit A $10 donation can be made by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

Contributions also can be sent to the Olympic Peninsula chapter, P.O. Box 188, Carlsborg, WA 98324; taken to the office at 151 Ruth’s Place in Sequim; or sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.

For more information about the Red Cross on the North Olympic Peninsula, visit

Last modified: November 05. 2013 5:27PM
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