Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 9:30am
The Southern Arizona community is invited to thank first responders for their work during Heroes Day 2011.
The annual event, now in its fourth year, recognizes law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, Border Patrol agents and other first responders who work to keep the community safe and help citizens in times of crisis.
Donations will be accepted at the event to benefit the University Medical Center Trauma Center, the only Level 1 trauma center in Southern Arizona.
Heroes Day will kick off at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 8 at the La Encantada shopping center, 2905 E. Skyline Drive, with a press conference honoring three selected “Hero of the Year” award recipients. They are:
· Tyler Menke, a Tucson Fire Department firefighter who carried a helicopter crash victim from the burning aircraft on July 28, 2010. Although the victim died in the hospital, his family was given the chance to say goodbye because of Menke’s heroic actions.
· Nicole Crawson, a Pima County Sherriff’s Department deputy who rescued a family from a car after it was struck by a robbery suspect fleeing the scene on April 1, 2011.
· Dan Gutierrez, a Department of Public Safety officer who rescued an abducted infant from an armed and dangerous offender on Oct. 13, 2010.
Heroes Day is a volunteer effort supported by local businesses and presented by Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care in partnership with the UMC Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization that supports UMC. The day was started in 2008 to honor fallen Tucson Police Officer Erik Hite and to thank law enforcement members who serve the state and put their lives at risk every day.
Free breakfast and lunch will be available to all first responders from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sept. 8 at any of the five participating Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care locations: 5852 E. Speedway Blvd., 8080 E. 22nd St., 4291 W. Ina Road, 3002 N. First Ave. and 7846 N. Oracle Road. The public can stop by any Jack Furrier location that day to sign a giant thank-you card or drop off personal thank-you notes to first responders.
A photography exhibit opening at La Encantada on Heroes Day will feature images captured by Tucson photographer Roni Ziemba during ride-alongs with various first-responder departments. The “Stronger than Steel” exhibit will be on display from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 8-11 at the former location of Bluepoint Kitchen & Bar at La Encantada.
Heroes Day also will kick-start a four-day live radio broadcast by 94.9 MIX-FM disc jockey Bobby Rich, during which time the public is encouraged to donate to the UMC Trauma Center. The broadcast will take place from La Encantada Sept. 8-11. Community members also can donate by calling (520) 694-1196 or mailing a check, payable to UMC Foundation/Heroes Day, to UMC Foundation, 655 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85704. Or they can text the word HERO to 20222 to make an automatic $10 donation.