Highland County Red Cross volunteers gathered Friday morning to continue planning the 2014 Heroes Awards Breakfast and to discuss other upcoming events, including the Heroes Campaign kick-off on Feb. 26.
This year’s speaker for the March 19 breakfast is Jessica Buchanan, a hostage survivor who was abducted while in Somalia. She will be the first female speaker for the breakfast, which is attended by hundreds each year.
And she won’t be the only hero in the room because dozens of local heroes, nominated by community members and honored for their efforts in saving or improving the lives of others in Highland or Clinton County, will be there, too.
Buchanan, a Clinton County native, was working as a regional education adviser at the time of her abduction. Following a staff training visit in the field office of South Galkayo, Somalia, Buchanan was taken hostage by a group of Somalis.
Buchanan was rescued by U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six after more than 90 days of captivity. During that time, she lived in “deplorable conditions” and was “terrorized by drugged out thugs who demanded a 45 million dollar ransom for her freedom,” according to her biography on the invitation to the breakfast. Buchanan will speak about her experience and different African issues during the eighth annual Clinton and Highland County Heroes Awards Breakfast on March 19, 2014.
“When I heard her story, I felt like sometimes people who have to persevere through challenges are truly heroic in their own way,” said Kelley Robbins, communications coordinator, American Red Cross of Clinton and Highland counties.
The breakfast will take place at the Roberts Center in Wilmington, with doors opening at 7 a.m. and the program beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Other upcoming events are Valentine’s Day cookies and balloon deliveries with more details on pricing and ordering forthcoming, Robbins said. And Paint the Town Red Day, part of the Heroes Campaign kick-off, is set for Feb. 26 with the decorating contest culminating on March 17.
According to www.redcross.org, “The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world…” through disaster relief, supporting military families, health and safety services, blood donation, and international services.
The Red Cross relies on the generous contributions of community members and businesses throughout the county to carry out its humanitarian mission and is not a government-supported agency. All donations stay local to help community members throughout Highland County.
For more information, contact Robbins at 937-382-0083 or email her at email@example.com. For more information about the Red Cross go to www.redcross.org.