This year marks the 25th annual Black Swamp Humanitarian Awards dinner to be held Nov. 8, at Nazareth Hall in Grand Rapids.
|File photo. An overall view of the 2011 Black Swamp Humanitarian Awards dinner. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The first Black Swamp Humanitarian Awards dinner was organized by former Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Betty Montgomery, and the late David C. Miller, former editor of the Sentinel-Tribune. Since 1989, more than 350 awards have been presented to individuals in recognition of their heroic deeds. This year, 13 awards will be given including the Life Risk, Good Samaritan and Service to Others awards.
Sen. Randy Gardner will also present awards from the Ohio Senate. A special posthumous award will be given to honor Miller.
A reception will begin at 6 p.m., with the dinner following. This event is open to the public.
Friends, relatives and co-workers of award recipients may attend for $15 per person. Those interested may contact Dean King at 419-463-4838 or
. Former award recipients and committee members are invited to attend and be recognized, as a part of the 25th anniversary.
Life Risk Award recipient:
• James Perry, who was working in the garage of his Dowling Road home when his wife heard a crash outside. Perry noticed smoke coming from the road and immediately rushed to the scene. There Perry found two people trapped in the car and a fire that had ignited as a result of the crash. A neighbor arrived on the scene and went to get fire extinguishers, leaving Perry, who attempted to open the driver's side door, which was stuck, and then the passenger's door to get the victims out of the car. The neighbor returned to the scene and Perry extinguished the fire.
Service to Others Award:
• Nick Nichols, who is responsible for saving his father's life. On Jan. 12, Nichols initiated CPR on his unresponsive father, Richard Nichols, and continued performing CPR on him until the EMS arrived. According to the EMS captain, had Nichols not initiated CPR his father may not have been able to be revived.
• Officers Jessica McClure-Weis, Gordon Finger and Terry Davis were the first on the scene of a possible drug overdose. The officers found a female who was unresponsive and not breathing. Immediately, the officers administered rescue breathing and continued until EMS personnel arrived. Their efforts saved the life of the victim.
Good Samaritan Award:
• Malissa Amos was in her house when her daughter, Gracyn, came in and told her someone was laying in the front yard. Amos, a registered nurse, went outside to find a young male jogger had collapsed in her yard and had no pulse. She began administering CPR with her husband, Josh, keeping time for her. Amos and her husband continued CPR efforts until the EMS arrived.
• Jennifer Richards was in her yard with her son, Nathan, when they heard a crash. Nathan pointed to the accident, a young man who had just driven by on an ATV. They ran to the scene and were met by Richard Strow and Ryan Mazey, who came upon the accident on their way to the Richards' house. All of individuals performed extraordinary measures to save the life of this young man, providing care and comfort to the victim until EMS arrived.
• Logan TenEyck was getting ready to jump back into a community swimming pool in Perrysburg Township, when he noticed a mom and her two young children coming out of the restroom. The mother, tending to her baby in a stroller, didn't notice the older child running toward the pool and falling in the deep end. TenEyck jumped in and went to the bottom of the pool and grabbed the boy, bringing him back up. TenEyck's quick response saved the little boy and he didn't require any further medical attention.
The all-volunteer humanitarian awards committee is headed by Dr. Joe Frederick of New Rochester. Other committee members include Allan Baer, North Baltimore Police Department; Kathy Bomer, Boy Scouts of America; Tony Hetrick, Bowling Green Police Division; Holli Engle, Wood County Hospital; Kathy Heyman, Weston EMS; Dean King, Bowling Green Lincoln Auto Sales; Jeff Klein, Perrysburg Fire Department; Jan Larson-McLaughlin, Sentinel-Tribune; Steven Meredith, Bowling Green Fire Division; Jessica Miller-Blakely, Bowling Green Care Center; Gary Spencer, BGPD; and Mark Wasylyshyn, Wood County Sheriff's Office.
Nine Wood County funeral homes underwrite the cost of the program, paying for the plaques and dinners for the award recipients and their guests. The sponsoring funeral homes are Barndt Funeral Home, Wayne; Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home & Crematory, Bowling Green; Dunn Funeral Home, Bowling Green; Marsh Funeral Homes, Luckey and Pemberville; Peinert-Dunn Funeral Home, Tontogany; Smith-Crates Funeral Home, North Baltimore; Sujkowski Funeral Home, Rossford; Witzler-Shank Funeral Homes, Perrysburg and Walbridge, and Wright-Habegger Funeral Homes, Grand Rapids.