Heroes in the House

Three from Ohio Wesleyan family among Red Cross honorees

(left) Ohio Wesleyan student Rachel King ’12 was named the 2010 Public Safety Hero for her actions during a residence hall fire in February. Thanks to King’s efforts, the fire was extinguished quickly and no one was injured. (right) OWU employee Deborah Lipscomb, director of the Upward Bound program, was honored with the 2010 Work Place Hero Award. Lipscomb has been helping disadvantaged children attain their educational goals for more than 20 years. (Photos by Cole Hatcher)

The Delaware County Chapter of the American Red Cross held its annual Heroes Award Breakfast on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus this week, honoring local heroes in eight categories.

Three of those recognized at Tuesday’s community event held in the Benes Rooms, are members of the OWU family.

Student Rachel King ’12 was recognized with the Public Safety Hero Award, staff member Deborah Lipscomb with the Work Place Hero Award, and alumnus Bill Sheehy ’49, who was unable to attend, with the Senior Hero Award.

King of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was nominated by Public Safety officer Ramon Walls for her response to two fires—one involving a bulletin board and one a plastic jug—set in February on the second and third floors of Smith Hall East. King, a resident advisor, was the first to discover the bulletin board fire on the third floor.

According to Walls’ nomination letter: “Rachel quickly located a fire extinguisher in the smoke-filled hallway and suppressed the fire, which had engulfed a hallway bulletin board. After putting the fire out, Rachel contacted the OWU Public Safety Department, and began to direct a safe and orderly evacuation of the building residents. Through her quick actions and heroic effort, Rachel was able to prevent what could have been a far greater and deadlier event.”

No one was injured during the early morning incident.

Lipscomb, director of the Upward Bound program, was nominated for the Work Place Hero Award by her OWU colleagues, including co-worker Robert Louis-Charles ’08, the program’s academic and student services coordinator.

In the office’s nomination letter, Louis-Charles wrote: Deborah has made it her business and vision to see disadvantaged students receive an education that fosters opportunity, exposure, and success. As a result of her hard work and efforts in upward mobility, Deborah has watched her students set sail as engineers, educators, professors, directors, entrepreneurs, and professional athletes. … It is often said one person cannot change the world, but I truly believe it is in Deborah’s efforts our future has hope and is bound for change. Surely enough she cannot save all of our youth, but this has not stopped her from trying.”

Sheehy, who earned a business administration degree at Ohio Wesleyan, was honored with the Senior Hero Award for his work with the Council for Older Adults’ Meals on Wheels program, with veterans’ organizations, and additional community service. Sheehy began delivering meals to homebound seniors in 2004. Prior to becoming a driver, he served on the original Meals on Wheels board of directors. Sheehy, a member of the U.S. Army’s 89th Division during World War II, also helped to establish the Veterans Memorial Garden at the Center for Older Adults, 800 Cheshire Road.

Additional Hero awards were presented in the categories of Community, Education, Health Care, Military, and Youth. In addition, the Delaware Gazette recognized 10 children in grades 1 through 10 for their submissions in the annual Heroes’ Breakfast Children’s Writing Contest.

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