PROVO -- Marlo Evans is being honored Wednesday by the American Red Cross Mountain Valley Chapter and will receive the Red Cross Heroes First Responder Award. Hearing Evans talk about what she does every day is proof she is deserving of the recognition.
Evans has spent the past six years volunteering with an ambulance service, and recently stepped down as the volunteer president, although she still volunteers. When she isn't volunteering with them, she is working at the Utah County Health Department in the WIC program. If that's not enough, she is also in an accelerated nursing program. Two of her four children also are in nursing programs, and so is her husband.
"We'll be poor for a few years, but we hope it will pay off later," Evans said. She loves volunteering and helps with the lactation program at WIC. Her schedule really isn't her own right now.
Evans is one of 16 Utahns from the Provo-Orem area who have been named Utah Red Cross Community Heroes for acts of exceptional courage, compassion and service. They will be honored at an awards luncheon Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Ballroom C at the Utah Valley Convention Center.
Receiving the Lifetime of Service Award is popular little league coach Jack Swenson. For 60 years Swenson has been coaching The Yankees Little League team in Spanish Fork, serving three generations of baseball players. When he started coaching, The Yankees were the only youth team in the city. They now have nearly 200 boys and girls teams. Swenson was the parks and recreation director for 45 of those years.
"I hope they've all learned to love baseball. It's been more than teaching baseball. It's teaching them to be good citizens and teaching them to have fun. The place to be in the summertime is at the ballpark," Swenson said. "When I started coaching I didn't even have my driver's license."
Swenson said he is humbled and appreciative of the Red Cross award. "I feel I don't deserve it," he said.
Sara Hacken is just as busy, working with the Alpine School District, teaching at Lakeridge Junior High and taking teachers on special history tours to locations along the East Coast, from Boston Harbor to Colonial Williamsburg. Hacken also is a committee member for the annual Colonial Heritage Festival at SCERA Park, and at the Eat Like a Pilgrim event in November at Thanksgiving Point.
When congratulated on being recognized by the Red Cross for her methods of teaching history to children as an education hero, Hacken blushed and noted it was a great honor.
Other 2013 Mountain Valley Chapter Red Cross Heroes include:
• First Responder Award to Brandon Wise for risking his life while rescuing automobile crash victims trapped in a partially submerged car in swift, icy water;
• Good Samaritan Awards to Red Austill, Barry Dayton, Brad Frost, Randall Honey and Jon Varney for risking their lives while saving a woman and young child from a burning house;
• Red Cross International Award to Dr. Richard Nielsen and his wife, Jodi Nielsen for helping to feed and educate hundreds of impoverished children in Africa;
• Preparedness Award to Dawn Larsen, for championing the cause of water safety and using her preparedness skills to help save lives during an unexpected storm;
• Family Award to the Warren Osborn family for aiding an injured parachutist trapped on a dangerous cliff;
• Youth Good Samaritan Award to McKenzie Weeks for organizing the volunteer efforts of other teens to touch the lives of more than 1,000 people.
Teresa Zundel, director of communication with the Red Cross Utah region said, "We're very impressed with the sacrifice and accomplishments of our Utah County area Heroes. It's an honor to honor them."
Red Cross Heroes from the Ogden and St. George areas also will be honored during a series of events in their communities throughout March and early April.