Nationally-know hero to help recognize local heroes June 6

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nationally-known hero to help recognize local heroes

The Northeast Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross is wrapping up a month of grass-roots fund raising activity, according to chapter executive director Pam Knapp-Carver. As the final event in its Every Red Cent Counts fund raising campaign, the local chapter will welcome a nationally known hero.

Dave Sanderson was aboard U.S. Airways Flight 1549 which crashed into the Hudson River.

Dave Sanderson is a member of a very exclusive club, in that he can say he was aboard a major airliner when it crashed and lived to tell about it. Sanderson was aboard US Airways Flight 1549 in January, 2009 when it crashed into the Hudson River, an event also known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

According to reports of the incident, Sanderson was the last person off the plane, having stayed inside to make sure everyone else was safely out. Once he did leave the plane, however, he had to stand waist deep in freezing water for several minutes, and was in very bad condition by the time he was rescued and taken to shore. He was met at the shore by EMTs, and by a representative of the American Red Cross, who covered him with a blanket.

From that day on, Knapp-Carver explained Sanderson has committed himself to the Red Cross. He has spoken at over 200 events and raised more than $7 million for Red Cross relief efforts, including the Nashville, Tenn. Floods, the Oklahoma City tornadoes, and the Haitian earthquake relief efforts.

The event at which Sanderson will speak and raise money for the Northeast Arkansas chapter will be held June 6 in Jonesboro, and will be a salute to local heroes. Nominations are currently being accepted by the chapter of anyone who has rescued someone from a burning building, performed CPR on a choking or drowning person, or in some other way put out a heroic effort or even risked their own life to save that of another.

"We wanted to honor our local heroes, and at the same time bring Dave Sanderson and his story of heroism to our own community," said Pam Knapp-Carver, executive director of the Northeast Arkansas Chapter American Red Cross. "This event will mark the culmination of a fund raising effort which began in March by asking local residents and businesses to raise $1,000 each for the Red Cross."

Nominations for hero recognition during this event must be received by May 1. To nominate someone, you must have the person's name, age, address, and a detailed account of their act of heroism.

Tickets are now on sale for tables of 8 for the event, which will be held at 11:30 a.m., at the Cooper Alumni Center on the Arkansas State University campus. Lunch will be provided by Sodexo. To purchase tickets or nominate a hero, call either the Jonesboro chapter office at 870-932-3212, or the Blytheville chapter office at 870-763-4481.

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