Community servants honored in 'Celebration of Heroes' ceremony


ABINGDON, Va. - Heroes in our community were honored Thursday afternoon in a special ceremony by the Red Cross. The Mountain Empire Chapter of Red Cross serves southwest Virginia. The Celebration of Heroes ceremony honored 16 people and groups of people who have served the region selflessly this year. Honored include: Military Hero: Leonard Bowen 9-1-1 Dispatch Hero: Nancy Mullins Community Impact Heroes: Bristol Recovery Road for Women Community Impact Hero: Merylen Ott Community Impact Hero: Bob Guffey Community Impact Hero: Susan White Education Hero: April Addington Education Hero: Dr. Oliver McBride Volunteer Emergency Responder Hero: Charlie Harrington Workplace Hero: Pam Venable Firefighter Hero: Matt Russell Medical Heroes: Dr. Paul Phillips Red Cross Hero: Jean Magnuson & Peggy Williams Corporate Good Samaritan Heroes: Food City Law Enforcement Hero: Eric Lucy, Scott DeBusk, & Jason Shepherd Rescue Heroes: Bristol Swift Water Rescue Team We will be featuring many of those stories throughout the next few months on News 5 WCYB. Now, you can help the Red Cross too with a simple music download. Local musician Michael Blackstone is selling his version of George Jones' 'He Stopped Loving Her today' to benefit the organization. Blackstone has also worked to develop alert systems for local emergencies for sheriff's departments across the country. "It just seemed to fit. With what they do with disaster victims and how they're helping people with the community. That's parallel into the technology that we're trying to help with," Blackstone said. The downloads are 99 cents on Google and iTunes platforms; 50 percent the proceeds from downloads in the first three months will be donated to the Red Cross.