POMEROY — Paul Strauss of Meigs County and Fannie Metcalf of Gallia County have been selected as Community Heros of their respective counties by the American Red Cross of Southeast Ohio and will be among honorees presented awards at a recognition breakfast to be held at 8 a.m. Feb. 11, at the Athens Community Center.
The program is geared to honor residents who have gone “above and beyond” in their service to the community. The recipient selections were made from nominations submitted by the public.
Strauss was nominated by David Reiser for his work as an herbalist, environmentalist and volunteer, and Metcalf was nominated by Edie Bostic in recognition of her work as the program manager of the Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center.
Metcalf was selected to receive the Gallia County Community Hero Award for her role in implementing two 21st Century grants received by the Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center. As coordinator she helped develop the after- school program geared to enriching the lives of students.
She is credited with living out the Red Cross mission by giving students and adults in this impoverished area the opportunity to learn and grow. She has continued to direct the Gallia County Local Schools LEADS program, and serve as a consultant in developing other after-school programs in surrounding counties.
“If you want to change the world, start at home,” is the motto of Strauss, according to Reiser who nominated him for the Meigs County Hero Award. Reiser said Strauss exemplifies that philosophy in every way. He makes his living as an herbalist, turning plants into medicines, and operates the only apothecary in Ohio.
Outside his work, he volunteers to those in need of assistance here as well as anywhere, like in Mississippi when Hurricane Katrina struck, and in Hawaii when a lifeguard wasn’t available to rescue a floundering swimmer.
Other recipients selected to receive the Community Hero Award were Jessie Reynolds for Vinton County, a school volunteer, and Bob Troxel, the Athens fire chief, for Athens County.
Ten other area residents will also be recognized and presented awards. Those recipients will be Samuel Reinhart, maintenance specialist at the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development, the Workplace Hero Award; Kara Haning of Albany who started a backpack program for Alexander Elementary School, the Education Hero; volunteers at the Athens County Public Library, the Group Hero Award; Sandra Baker, a paramedic, who goes out of her way to help, the Health Care Hero award; Bill Evans, the Senior Hero Award, and Ken Bussart, the Sandy Shirey, the Volunteer Award.
Keynote speaker at the event will be Mike Bartrum of Pomeroy, former NFL standout, now retired and employed as football coach at Meigs High School. He graduated from Meigs High School and Marshall University and over the years played with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Green Bay Packers, the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.
After retiring in 2006 he and his family returned to Meigs County where he opened a pre-school facility in Pomeroy. Bartrum will be speaking not only about his years as a professional football player, but of his intense interest in the development of children and teenagers, and the important role which residents play in community development.
Tickets for the breakfast are $20 each or $175 for a table. Tickets can be purchased at www.redcross.org/oh/athens or by calling 740-593-2573 or at the office located at 100 S. May Avenue in Athens.