FORT DODGE, Iowa — Fort Dodge community leaders came together to honor Hometown Heroes serving in their area.
The ceremony took place at a luncheon. Devon Shuster of the Fort Dodge Fire Department was named the Servant of the Year.
Pastor Al Henderson of the group SOS, or Serving Our Servants, read a note from the Fort Dodge Fire Department.
“Devon is a very skilled and knowledgeable paramedic and fire fighter,” read Henderson. “His greatest gift is his kindness and empathy for those he serves. We routinely receive ‘thank yous’ and messages from patients Devon has had contact with.”
Randy Hanna of the Moorland Fire Department and Sgt. Jayson Heesh were recognized for their efforts to help a driver whose car submerged in a pond.
“Sgt. Heesh and Randy Hanna entered the pond to search for the vehicle until Fort Dodge Fire arrived with a boat to assist with the search,” said Henderson. “The vehicle was located and pulled from the water and did contain the body of the driver.”
“Just out there to help everybody, when I can. I think any first responder here would have done the same thing,” said Hanna.
Heesh has since retired from the Webster County Sheriff’s Office. He said that going into the pond was not the hard part. The difficult part was informing the spouse of the driver who died in the incident.
The youngest person recognized was 17-year-old Morgan Border, who founded an organization to raise funds to fight breast cancer.
“That’s Morgan Border, she started thinking about how to raise money and make a difference in people’s lives though an organization she started called Stay Abreast. And she started at the age of twelve,” said Randy Kuhlman, CEO of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way.
“I would just like to say that I do not believe myself, I am personally a hero, I believe the heroes are the cancer patients and what they go through because it’s really hard,” said Border, fighting back tears. “I know a lot of people who fight this disease, and I’m really sorry that you had to go through this.”
The luncheon also recognized John Bruner for his efforts to found Crime Stoppers in Fort Dodge back in 1982. He has served that organization for 36 years.
Jim Reed was recognized for helping start the “Shellabration” concerts in Fort Dodge. Those events have raised funds to restore the local Oleson Park Band Shell and bring Grand Funk Railroad, Boston, the Beach Boys, Huey Lewis and the News, and ZZ Top to Fort Dodge.
The awards were put together by the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and the group SOS, a Christian ministry to emergency personnel.