HOMETOWN HEROES 2016 LUNCHEON EVENT A BIG SUCCESS!
Northeast Tarrant’s Hometown Heroes Annual Luncheon recently celebrated more than 40 local Hometown Heroes from right here in Northeast Tarrant County. Over 400 luncheon attendees along with memorable co-hosts Super Bowl XXX MVP, Larry Brown & Channel 8 Meteorologist, Colleen Coyle came out to honor our Hometown Heroes.
Area cities, health care associations, educational institutions and non-profit organizations each nominate Hometown Heroes and submit them to the Northeast Tarrant Chamber. Each nominee, in addition to a chosen returning veteran and fallen soldier, was then honored at the Hometown Hero luncheon that was held at the Radisson Hotel Fort Worth Fossil Creek.
The NYTEX Sports Center was honored as the April Member of the Month and Dale White of Dale White Insurance Services earned April Diplomat Star of the Month honors!
All the Homeotwn Hero event photos are available to view and download HERE!
Hometown Heroes was the “don’t miss” event of the year and everybody attending left the event feeling a little more inspired! You can read about all the nominees below from each of our participating non-profit or city/educational/healthcare partners.
Patty Stager - I Can Still Shine
Patty Stager lives to help others! She has volunteered with I Can Still Shine for over 5 years, she has a heart for the community and she believes that everyone deserves a second chance. When called upon, her answer is always “YES” and she continually gives hope to battered women and kids. She volunteers 3-4 days a week, and is dedicated to those who needs help.
She’s not one who wants praise or recognition - she truly is just glad to help. For the I Can Still Shine Program, she is one person who truly changes lives forever. Year after year she continues to give hope and encourage others and I Can Still Shine is so proud to select Patty as our Hometown Hero for 2016!
The Turner Family - Larry, Marlene and Chad - North Texas SNAP
Larry, Marlene and Chad have been members of North Texas SNAP since 2001, graciously supporting the organization’s mission in the community and always ready to help! Marlene served on the board of directors for 11 years and currently serves on the Boots & Bling Committee, Larry serves on the Golf Classic Committee, and both volunteer their time in other areas for the organization as well. Chad currently serves on the board of directors as an ambassador for North Texas SNAP, volunteers at events and provides shredding services through his business Chad’s Shred N’ Service. The Turners are a family that gives back and pays it forward with their time and talents, making them North Texas SNAP’s Hometown Heroes.
Bobbi Arthur - Taps ‘n Tunes
Bobbi spends countless hours above and beyond her regular duties to provide opportunities and care for seniors. She spends her own private time and resources to take them on trips and fun events and organizes community events to help those in need. She is always pleasant and understanding and provides joy to the seniors at her center. One would never know of her having a “bad” day, making her a real Hometown Hero for Taps ‘n Tunes.
Hal Gerhardt - City of Watauga
City Council Member Hal Gerhardt has lived in the City of Watauga since July 1997, is a Veteran of United States Air Force and has worked as a dedicated volunteer with the City of Watauga Municipal Court since 2012. He was appointed as a volunteer bailiff in July 2015, has served on the City of Watauga Charter Review Commission, VIPS Program, and is always looking for ways he can help ensure Watauga is a great and safe place to live. Most recently, he brought a driver safety ordinance to the city council which was passed in December 2015. The city of Watauga thanks Council Member Gerhardt for his service to the community and citizens of Watauga.
Lindi Andrews - City of Watauga
Ms. Lindi Andrews is the Principal for Grace Hardeman Elementary School in Watauga where she is dedicated to educating the school’s 745 students. She has collaborated with the City on numerous projects and when needed, graciously offers her school to assist the City.
She is also an active volunteer in Sertoma of Watauga to improve the quality of life today for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss through education and support. With her combined service of educating the youth of tomorrow and her volunteer efforts, she continues to make a positive impact on the community.
Michael Glenn - City of Watauga
Coach Michael Glenn has been serving as the head Track Coach of the Watauga Track Club for 7 years. During that time, track club participation levels have increased each year along with the club’s state level participants. The program owes its success to Coach Glenn and would not have reached the level that it is today without his guidance and leadership. Coach Glenn. Participating youth come from many surrounding communities because to become the best, you have to train with the best. The City of Watauga is proud to select Coach Glenn as our Hometown Hero for 2016.
Dr. Larry Darlage - American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is honored to name Dr. Larry Darlage its 2016 Hometown Hero. Dr. Darlage is a devoted member of the American Cancer Society’s Tarrant County Advisory Board and he is a powerful influencer in the Northeast Tarrant community. After retiring from the presidency of Tarrant County College’s Northeast campus in 2014, Dr. Darlage increased his circle of motivation by becoming principal of Crown of Life Lutheran School in Colleyville. He’s a cancer survivor who takes steps to inspire his community in so many ways, and the American Cancer Society is proud to call Dr. Darlage our hero.
David Riggall - Harvest Christian Academy
David Riggall has served 13 years as a police officer in Texas including seven years on tactical teams. Following the Sandy Hook school massacre, David, his wife Erin, and fellow officers co-founded Sheepdog Defense Group to train and provide armed security for churches, schools, and ministries. Harvest Christian Academy wholeheartedly presents David and Sheepdog Defense Group as our Hometown Hero for transforming our campus safety and security protocols. Thank you for teaching us how to protect the flock.
Debbie York - Northeast Environmental Team - NEET
Debbie York has been a Northeast Environmental Team member and leader for more than 15 years and has been instrumental to the success of NEET’s Enviro-Camp, Enviro-Fair, Recycles Day Flea Market, Custodian of the Year program and NEET’s annual scholarship. She currently serves as the organization’s vice-president and treasurer, tracking funds generated by our activities and NEET could not sustain our projects and success without Debbie’s dedication. She is well-deserving of the title “hero.”
Ray Champney - Arts Council Northeast
As a board member of Arts Council Northeast and champion of the emerging Bedford Cultural District, Ray strives to help create a broad appreciation of arts and culture as a way of building a vibrant and involved community in the Mid-Cities. The Bedford Cultural District is a reflection of growing regional support for the arts with greater emphasis on local community activity. Through Ray’s efforts, the cultural district has become a natural extension of the growing appreciation of arts and culture in this area.
Paul and Steve Campbell - Community Enrichment Center-CEC
Brothers Paul and Steve Campbell are dedicated to serving people in poverty. They have served as Board Chairmen of the CEC, golf committee chairs, architects for the CEC remake on Loop 820 construction, and have spent countless volunteer hours with food drives, Christmas parties for kids, and generally promoting the CEC. They are both currently serving on a task force providing expert advice for the redesign of the new CEC Market and teaching pantry. The Community Enrichment Center is thankful for their big hearts and commitment to service!
Allison Long - City of Haltom City
Allison Long has worked at the Haltom City Public Library for over 18 years. She serves as the Outreach Librarian, regularly visiting homebound patrons who are over 50 to deliver books, magazines, and movies and visits 6 day care centers each week to conduct story times and other educational programs. She works with summer programs in local elementary schools and represents the Library in community events such as Haltom City SpringFest, Car Show, and the BISD Back to School Health Fair. She also serves as the City’s Easter Bunny and facilitates story & craft times at the Recreation Center’s Halloween, Haltom Stampede and Christmas on Broadway events. She is a regular visitor to the Haltom City Senior Center, providing any assistance that she can and she is the go-to person at the Library for anyone with a question about community service in Haltom City and Tarrant County.
She has never met a stranger, her hugs are freely given and widely spread to all members of this community and we are all lucky to have Allison Long working every day in Northeast Tarrant County!
Erin Powell - City of Haltom City
The Birdville ISD Council of PTAs operates two programs to help BISD students from low-income homes: Clothes Connection & Supply Depot. These programs serve disadvantaged BISD students with school supplies, one shoe voucher, and two (2) clothing orders per year. The City of Haltom City recognizes Erin Powell and the tremendous efforts and hours she has put into her role with the BISD Council of PTAs and the Supply Depot. She also put time and energy into the 2016 Car Show for Kids event committee, a fundraising event for backpacks and school supplies for Haltom City students. Her insight and experience into the current needs of the student population helped make the event a success and we are all very grateful to Erin Powell and thank her for her service in our community.
Greg & Valerie Scoggins - Covenant Christian Academy
This amazing couple has spent the past 22 years volunteering and serving the students at Covenant Christian Academy! Valerie has given countless hours of service for the Athletic Booster Club, football team and Auction committee. Greg has served on the Board of Trustees for 12 years and was instrumental in developing and growing the school’s Championship Athletic program. As a volunteer, he coached football, basketball, baseball, and track and continued as a volunteer track coach for an additional 6 years after their last child graduated from the school. Their many hours of volunteer service to Covenant Christian Academy is greatly recognized and appreciated.
Lynn Kelley, Missy Angeley, Beth Stewart, Debra Dean - The Emergency Department at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital – Hurst, Euless Bedford
Texas Health HEB recognizes Lynn Kelley, Missy Angeley, Beth Stewart and Debra Dean of the hospital’s Emergency Department and their “Healing Ceiling” project as the hospital’s 2016 Hometown Heroes. The Healing Ceiling project idea came about as a result of the ED staff searching for ways to beautify the hospital while relieving anxiety, decreasing pain and offering hope to patients who unexpectedly find themselves in the emergency room.
More than 100 ceiling tiles were transformed into works of art by students of all ages in the HEB Independent School District. “An Evening at the Gallery” was held in May of last year at the hospital for the students, their parents, school personnel and hospital staff to admire the art work prior to being hung throughout the Emergency Department. Texas Health HEB is proud of the way these employees promoted this community partnerships and gave of their time to this multi-year project designed to better the patient emergency room experience while giving art students an opportunity to make a difference doing something they love.
Nina Kalianivala - St. John the Apostle Catholic School
Nina has been teaching and molding students at St. John the Apostle Catholic School for the past 15 years. She’s dedicated to teaching English and Literature daily to middle school students and her peers, her students and their families are constantly raving about how supportive she is in every endeavor. The school and her past students are indeed blessed to have her at St John the Apostle and we are blessed to honor her today.
Cris & Emily Gross - Mid-Cities Care Corps
Cris & Emily Gross have helped develop the Mid-Cities Care Corps Helping Hands initiative into the wonderful program it is today. The have consistently worked to ensure that needs are being met for both senior clients and volunteers, they’ve helped coordinate large scale group project days, and worked with staff to ensure the program is as efficient and effective in the community as possible. Northeast Tarrant County is blessed to have them on the Mid-Cities Care Corps volunteer leadership team.
Gerrit Speiker - We’re All About The Dress
Everyone at We’re All About The Dress is in the business of providing free wedding dresses for military personnel or their families as well as providing free prom dresses for local high school students in need.
Since 2008, Gerrit has volunteered his time by helping the organization rearrange and move the dress inventory when required. He has also remodeled their spaces, put up signs, done plumbing work, and assisted with paperwork and taxes.
Gerrit has contributed in multiple ways whenever needed by the organization and even when he was in the hospital, he was assisting with emails and phone calls. Whether at We’re All About The Dress or others in the community, Gerrit is always helping others and we are lucky he is a Northeast Tarrant Hometown Hero.
Athena Campbell – City of Richland Hills
Athena Campbell served as chairwoman of the Planning & Zoning Commission for the City of Richland Hills which led to the development of the 2014 Comprehensive Plan update, the 2014 Land Use Plan update, and the 2014 Zoning Ordinance update. Additionally, Chairwoman Campbell was instrumental in community awareness efforts for the new Richland Hills Activities Center, recently named “The Link.” Her efforts are much appreciated by the city of Richland Hills.
Pastor Paul King – City of Richland Hills
Pastor Paul King’s efforts as the community liaison with 6Stones mission network are making a big difference in this area. Pastor King spent countless hours meeting with homeowners in need of home repair assistance in Richland Hills and helped them apply for that assistance through the Community Revitalization Program (CPR) with 6Stones.
Reverend Phillip Heinze – City of Richland Hills
Reverend Phillip Heinze is a former City Councilman and still continues to serve Richland Hills beyond his church’s doors by providing weekly meals to the public and serving his famous chili each year to the employees at the City of Richland Hills. He has also been very supportive of various City initiatives to beautify the major thoroughfares and increase economic development opportunities across Richland Hills.
Martha Strain – Birdville ISD
Since her graduation from Richland High School, Martha Strain has been a consistent and dynamic supporter of Birdville ISD. She has served on the PTA Board at Glenview Elementary, served as PTA President at Richland Middle School, PTSA President of Richland High School, Birdville Council of PTAs in various positions; honored with the Extended Life Member of Texas PTA and the National Life Member of PTA, served on campus and the District Site-Based Teams; and served on five BISD Bond committees. This commitment to BISD has made a definite impact and Northeast Tarrant County and why Birdville ISD selected her as their 2016 Hometown Hero.
Harry Thorley - Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County
Harry Thorley spent 14 months volunteering onsite as the new Meals On Wheels facility was being constructed. His engineering background made him an invaluable asset to the Agency as he oversaw the project. He made sure work followed specifications and identified potential problems so they could be addressed and he was well received because of his professionalism and communication skills.
Thorley’s knowledge, expertise, and attention to detail were critical factors in the success of the project and now Northeast Tarrant County is home to this great new facility.
Randy Richards - 6 Stones
Randy tirelessly champions programs like 6stones CPR and others designed to meet the needs of those in the city of Watauga. Willingness to take no credit for compassion is the description of what 6Stones feels a real hometown hero is and Randy fits that bill especially in the way he seeks to serve versus enforce. The use of opportunities like CPR to remedy the situations of others is the hope that he brings to the community. His leadership has proven invaluable and we need more Hometown heroes like Randy Richards.
Eva Ramirez - City of North Richland Hills
Eva is a Buyer in the North Richland Hills Finance Department. She has always been a cheerful, helpful and productive employee who volunteers her service at every opportunity. In 2015, she took on many extra responsibilities in her department and helped to train several new employees, including her supervisor. In addition to having the extra workload and being enrolled in two college classes, she made time to chair the City’s United Way campaign. Because of her hard work, enthusiasm and community spirit, the campaign raised more than $50,000, exceeding our goal by more than $10,000 and setting a new record for the city. Thank you Eva for all you do!
Kathy Corley - City of North Richland Hills
Kathy Corely is the Office Coordinator for the North Richland Hills Fire Department. She does an exceptional job each day at work and goes above and beyond with her involvement in community service activities. She volunteers for Meals on Wheels, coordinating lunch-time deliveries by a team of city employees each Friday and thanks to her dedicated service over the last 8 or 9 years, thousands of meals have been delivered to residents in North Richland Hills. She is also a member of the city’s United Way Committee and volunteers for Special Olympics. Kathy is an excellent role model to others, demonstrating every day what it means to have a Servant heart.
Sharon Davis - City of North Richland Hills
Sharon is the Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation for the City of North Richland Hills.
Over the past 25 years, she has helped develop and expand numerous events including Night of Holiday Magic, Hoot and Howl, Easter in the Park, the Sounds of Spring Concert Series, Senior Prom Night, Daddy Daughter Valentine Dance and thousands of classes and programs for our community. Sharon also served as the chair of the city’s United Way Committee in 2013 and 2014 and helped grow employee contributions through new activities including “United We Dine” and “United We Golf.” Because of Sharon’s leadership, she was recognized by the United Way as the 2014 Campaign Manager of the Year for Northeast Tarrant County. Sharon has a heart for service and consistently shows this with her interactions in the community.
Hugh Underwood - Longhorn Council, Boy Scouts of America
Hugh Underwood has been an adult leader in the Boy Scouts, Longhorn Council for 16 years. He grew up in scouting from the ages of 6-18 and achieved the organization’s highest ranking of Eagle Scout.
Within the Longhorn Council, he has served as Crew Advisor, Post Advisor, Committee Member and Assistant Scoutmaster for over 10 years. He also served as the Council’s Climbing Director for 9 years.
For the last 6 1/2 years, he has served doing unit commissioning and has served in the crucial role of Trailblazer District Commissioner for 4 1/2 years, doubling the term of most District Commissioners. Every volunteer organization should have a dedicated leader like Hugh Underwood showing others the way!
Carol Lopez - The Clubhouse for Special Needs
Carol Lopez is a mother of a special needs adult so she knows first-hand the challenges of a family that has a challenged person in their home. By experiencing firsthand the struggles and victories involved in raising a special needs person, she understands the feelings and emotions that are involved.
Carol has been instrumental in giving assistance to The Clubhouse for Special Needs wherever needed -- giving freely of her time and resources. Her wisdom and life experiences have made her a valued advisor and Board Member. The Clubhouse for Special needs and Northeast Tarrant County thanks Carol for all you do!
Jose Rodriguez - Winfree Academy
Jose Rodriguez represents all the best qualities of humanity, inspiring his peers with the power of his personality and capturing hearts with the grandness of his character. He truly epitomizes all that is right with our world and the Winfree Academy is proud to present Jose as their Hometown Hero and commends him to all in attendance here as one who is very deserving of this honor.
Jane Danielson, RN; Terrance Bruce, Security Officer; Brad Morrow, CTE Teacher; and Roy Sanchez, 5th Grade Teacher - Timberview Middle School Code Red Team from Keller ISD
In a moment of clear-sighted heroism, Keller ISD’s Timberview Middle School Code Red Team acted rapidly in order to save a student who stopped breathing following a seizure.
Timberview Nurse Jane Danielson said the student’s seizure began right after her teacher began to walk her to the office because she wasn’t feeling well. Immediately, 911 was called and the Code Red Team assembled.
When the student’s seizure continued and she stopped breathing, TMS Security Officer Terrance Bruce rushed Danielson an automated external defibrillator (AED). Danielson used the AED paddles along with giving CPR, both chest compressions and breaths. After a few minutes of administering CPR, the student began breathing again and the ambulance arrived.
Keller ISD couldn’t be more proud of these outstanding individuals whose heroic actions were instrumental in saving the precious life of one of the school’s students.
Fallen Army SPC Christian C Schulz & Parents Emmy & Bob Schulz
Army Specialist Christian Schulz, 20 years of age, died Friday, July 11, 2003, from injuries sustained in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Baqubah, Iraq.
Chris dreamed early on of joining the military began after a Boy Scout camping trip to Fort Hood. That dream became a reality June 2001, when he joined the U.S. Army. Chris served in the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, in the 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Hood. Chris was authorized to wear the Expert Weapons Qualification Badge and was awarded the Army Service Ribbon and the National Defense Medal. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.
He is survived by his parents Emmy and Bob Schulz of Colleyville; and his sister, Rebekah Schulz of Colleyville.
Returning Hero Sergeant Major Russell Brown
Sergeant Major Brown enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 1987 and reported to Recruit Training in August 1988. After training as a computer programmer and then graduated from Marine Security Guard School, he served at the American Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. After being promoted to the rank of Sergeant, he reported to the American Embassy in Budapest, Hungary where he later assumed the duties as the Detachment Commander. During his tour with Marine Security Guard Battalion, Sergeant Brown participated in several Diplomatic Security missions for high-ranking officials, including providing security to the President of the United States, the Vice President, the Secretary of State in Cairo, Egypt, and security for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Budapest, Hungary.
From there, Sergeant Brown served in several countries in a variety of capacities including volunteering for the Multi-National Security Transition Command in Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In May 2006, First Sergeant Brown was promoted to Sergeant Major Brown and his personal awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Humanitarian Assistance Medal.