KNX Heroes – 2010

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knx heroes graf2 KNX Heroes   2010MARIE ASHMORE-SAN PEDRO
Marie Ashmore/ San Pedro
August 5, 2010

Marie Ashmore is a sewing whiz and she puts her talents to good use making Memory Bears for the bereaved. Marie volunteers her time for Providence TrinityCare Hospice in Cerritos. The project came out of nowhere after she mentioned to her husband a desire to sew for others. The soft, cuddly bears are made from a garment of a person who has died and they’re used as a “grief tool” for those left behind. Marie tells me her tears are “just under the surface” when she’s making the bears…and she gives each one a special touch by using buttons, lace or embroidery from the garment she’s been given. Bereavement Coordinator Becky McAleer tells me Marie’s Memory Bears are truly helping people.

DON and KIM TOVAR-MONROVIA
Don and Kim Tovar/ Monrovia
July 30, 2010

Kim and Don Tovar do jobs for the LA City Fire Department that allow the fire fighters to do their job! The Tovars are members of a specially trained group of 28 volunteers imbedded in the fire department called the Bureau of Support Services. They’re on call 24-7. Don’s been with the program 16 years. He’s one of the co-founders. The Tovars met each other through the group! Don tells me they couldn’t do this volunteer work for LA City Fire without the support of their families and employers.

CHRIS FIGUREIDA-VENTURA
Chris Figureida/ Ventura
July 23, 2010

When Chris Figureida goes for a bike ride he takes it seriously. The “adventuring philanthropist” has criss-crossed the country twice by himself!! He’s also pedaled up the eastern seaboard and down the west coast. Why does he do it?? Well, Chris wants to spread the word of how important it is to take care of your heart and your health. Chris launched his non-profit 3 years ago called Cycle for Heart and during his first cross-country trip, he spoke to more than 12,000 elementary school kids. Chris says they are his inspiration.

SHANE CIANCIOLO- SEAL BEACH
Shane Cianciolo/ Seal Beach
June 17, 2010

It happened in the middle of the night at the Alamitos Bay Marina. Shane Cianciolo heard something on the dock that didn’t sound quite right. Shane didn’t waste any time. He ran down the dock to see if he could help his panicked neighbor. Shane jumped on board the burning boat and burned his hand trying to open the rear hatch, then he realized the man’s wife was in the front of the boat stuck! After they got out of the water, Shane says his neighbor expressed concerned about her cat but it was too risky to go back on board the burning boat. The near tragedy has brought Shane much closer to his neighbors.

TYLER LEWIS- FONTANA
Tyler Lewis/ Fontana
June 3, 2010

They came with hammers and plenty of good will to help Misty Kester whose bus driver-husband was murdered last month- leaving behind 6 kids under the age of 10. Tyler Lewis heard about Larry Kester’s murder and knew in heart he had to do something to help the family. So, he organized a work day, which has now turned into a complete home make-over project for the Kester family. Tyler’s received donations from Home Depot and Wal-Mart along with professional help from private contractors. 20 sailors showed up last week to lend a helping hand.

SHAWN HUBBARD- VICTORVILLE
Shawn Hubbard/ Victorville
May 6, 2010

Shawn Hubbard pulled over on a busy freeway to help someone in trouble when nobody else would. The Victorville trucker was heading home last November when he spotted a car fire on the 57 freeway near the 60 interchange. At first, he didn’t think there was anybody inside the car. The driver was deceased, but Shawn could tell the passenger needed help. Shawn’s a big guy, but the passenger was even bigger and he had to use all of his inner resources to pull the man out of the burning car. The man Shawn rescued is a trumpet player and he was coming home from a gig in San Diego when both he and the driver fell asleep and crashed into the freeway sign and a chain link fence.

SARAH KOVAR- TORRANCE
Sarah Kovar/ Torrance
April 29, 2010

Sarah Kovar is a senior at Torrance high school where she’s immersed herself in the production of the musical “Quilters”, a story of American pioneer women, their daughters and their hardships. Sarah is producing the show to raise money for breast cancer research. Sarah’s mom is a breast cancer survivor and other cast members are dealing with this issue as well. They’ve been rehearsing the show since October with opening night set for April 30th at Torrance High school with performances through Mothers’ Day.

HUDSON THAMES- LOS ANGELES
Hudson Thames/ Los Angeles
April 8, 2010

A 16th birthday is a milestone for teenagers. It puts them at the threshold of adulthood. Most teens celebrate with a big birthday bash but not high school sophomore Hudson Thames. Hudson didn’t want a party this year, instead, he wanted to help earthquake victims. Hudson is lead singer of a rock band called “The Leather Souls” and they got Sound City recording studio in Van Nuys to donate a sound stage for a special charity concert. Hudson tells me the concert was a huge success and they raised close to 2,000 dollars for quake victims. But, we can’t forget about them.

PETE BARGAS-SANTA CLARITA
Pete Bargas/ Santa Clarita
February 11, 2010

Tucked behind the Student Life building at Masters’ College in Santa Clarita sits a collection of growing beds covered in plastic sheeting to create a greenhouse effect. Pete Bargas is proud of what’s growing underneath the tarps, a sustainable vegetable garden to help families who don’t have enough healthy food to eat. Pete tells me the students, faculty and staff at the small Christian college have wrapped their arms around this project planting their first crops last September. Last weekend, they harvested their first crops and delivered fresh lettuce, garlic, broccoli, beats and spinach to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.

RICHARD JACKSON- VALENCIA
Richard Jackson/ Valencia
February 25, 2010

Sayeed Abdul says two “angels” pulled Abdul Sayed and his wheelchair out of the flaming mini-van just in time. Unfortunately, the van was a total loss. Richard Jackson owns Valencia Auto Body and he was touched by Abdul Sayed’s story especially since the high school art teacher recently got a lay-off notice. Jackson provided some new wheels to Abdul Sayed.

JOE ST. GEORGES-LOS ANGELES
Joe St. Georges/ Los Angeles
February 4, 2010

Journalism professors tell us it’s only news when “man bites dog”…but that’s not the case this time. “Dog bites man” made headlines. When LA City firefighter Joe St. Georges hanging from a helicopter cable pulled Spikey the dog out of the rain-swollen LA River two weeks ago, the German Shepherd mix gave him the bite heard round the world. Swift water rescue is what St. Georges does best and the 5-member crew from Chopper 4 was ready for anything- but a dog? St. Georges says the dog nipped at him 4 or 5 times and gave his thumb a good chomp requiring medical treatment. But, he’d do it again. St. Georges actually saved 2 dogs that day. Spikey’s dramatic tv rescue led his owners to a shelter in Downey where they found Spikey’s brother, Polo.

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