Red Cross names Hometown Heroes

By on March 20, 2009

Two of seven award winners are from Elburn
by Martha Quetsch
Dr. Laura Lemke and U.S. Army Cpl. Kevin Lamb, both of Elburn, were named 2009 Hometown Heroes on Friday in recognition of their outstanding actions on behalf of others.

They were among seven area recipients of the honor bestowed by The Fox River Chapter of the American Red Cross during its seventh annual Hometown Heroes awards program Friday at Eagle Brook Country Club in Geneva.

Lamb received a U.S. military medal of valor for his actions on Feb. 22, 2007, in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. That night, he helped as a grenadier to clear an enemy stronghold after lead forces suffered mass casualties. According to the Army, he reacted “with the aggression and discipline of an experienced combat veteran.”

homeheroes_1 Lamb, 20, since has been promoted from a private to a corporal, and expects to become a sergeant next month. Stationed in Colorado Springs, Colo., Lamb made the trip to Geneva for the Hometown Heroes ceremony.

Lamb said he did not feel like a hero, since he was “just doing his job,” but finds it “awesome” to be considered one by the Red Cross, as well as by his family.

Lamb received the Military hero award and Dr. Lemke was named the Medical hero, for administering life-saving chest compressions and CPR during the Elburn Days Festival last August to a man who was stricken with a heart attack and had no pulse.

homeheroes_2 When she heard that a man had collapsed in the parking lot at Lions Park, she said she “handed off (her) baby and ran” to the victim. She remembers his 3-year-old daughter watching from the back of the family’s car.

“I was grateful to be in the right place at the right time. And I’m thankful this family still has their dad.”

Other award recipients were Jim Wheeler of St. Charles, the Adult Good Samaritan hero, who started Toys for Kids in the Tri-Cities; Geneva Police Sgt. Tim Baker, the Community Safety hero, a 15-year volunteer for Operation Snowball, a local alcohol, tobacco and drug-use prevention program; Michael Donahue of Geneva, the Environmental Impact hero, a wind energy developer; Jonathan Cross of Oswego, the Medical hero, a Delnor Hospital emergency room technician who saved the life of a man suffering a heart attack on I-88; and Nicholas Amatangelo, the Youth Good Samaritan hero, a St. Charles Eagle Scout who coordinated a collection of more than 10,000 items to send in care packages to U.S. troops overseas.

Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez emceed the awards ceremony. During the event, Greg Hoskins, chairman of the Fox River Chapter, American Red Cross, thanked the many business sponsors of the awards, including Delnor Community Hospital. He called them “heroes,” too, for their generosity.

“We simply could not put on this event without their help,” Hoskins said.