We live in a great city. Columbus is lively and has true community spirit. We have a lot that brings us together, like our love of the Buckeyes, the Ohio State Fair, festivals and parades that celebrate all walks of life, and farmers’ markets that fill the weekend streets in both urban and rural neighborhoods. We are fortunate to be able to come together for the fun stuff, but we are privileged to have people in our community that come together during the tough stuff.
Officers Jonathan Skinner and Amanda Hill demonstrated their bravery in 2017 when saving a suicidal teen’s life. The boy jumped a fence onto I-71, and the officers chased him across northbound and southbound lanes of traffic. Using their flashlights to alert oncoming cars of their presence, they were able to tackle the boy and move him to safety.
Combat veteran C. Michael Fairman proved his dedication to our military by co-founding a non-profit supporting soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Michael struggled with PTSD and contemplated suicide after his service. Summit for Soldiers, his organization with the goal of eradicating veteran suicide, is dedicated to fighting the stigma of mental health treatment and helping to heal service members by building a community through group activities and engagement.
These valiant men and women are heroes to those they have saved, and in the numerous lives they’ve impacted. The Associate Board of the American Red Cross of Central Ohio hosts an annual black-tie gala honoring local heroes like these. Such heroes go beyond the call of duty to keep our neighborhoods safe and support our community members. The incredible stories of Officer Skinner, Officer Hall, and veteran Fairman are just a few of the many acts of service behind our past hero nominees. These brave men and women often put their own welfare aside, and fight against many odds in their effort to make Columbus a safe and welcoming community.
Think of these stories as you are watching the news, talking with friends, and surfing social media. Remember these heroes and the impact they have had on the community in which you and your loved ones live and work. If you’ve heard a story, or have been impacted by the heroic acts of a first responder, recognize their dedication and nominate the hero who acted above the call of duty to protect our great city and all of us who call Columbus home.
Learn more about the Heroes Gala, how to get involved, and nominate your hero here.