Better Makers: 14th Annual Heroes Breakfast Raises Over $1.3 Million

On April 28th, guests gathered at the Hilton Chicago to celebrate the incredible works of this years heroes at the 14th Annual American Red Cross Heroes Breakfast. Raising a remarkable $1,300,000, the breakfast honored 15 people who have committed their lives to service or have performed amazing life-saving acts for those in need. They are a true inspiration and testament to the impact that every person can have on this world from being a good samaritan to being there to help during a disaster. Awards were given in the categories of Blood Services, Disaster Services, Emergency Medical Assistance, Firefighter, Global Citizenship, Good Samaritan, Heritage, Law Enforcement, Military, Nurse, Youth, and Community Impact(Click the links to learn more about each of the winners). Each award winner was able to tell their stories at the breakfast, many causing both tears and laughter in the attendees.

2016 Heroes include:

  • Youth Hero Caley Trepac of Plainfield
  • Global Citizenship Hero Samer Attar, MD, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Northwestern University and volunteer physician with the Syrian American Medical Society and Doctors Without Borders
  • Nurse Hero Darice Bohne, RN, BSN, of Oswego at Rush University Medical Center
  • Good Samaritan Hero Mike Robeson of Oswego
  • Emergency Medical Assistance Hero Staff Sergeant Jeremy Adkins, of Chicago, Illinois National Guard
  • Emergency Medical Assistance Hero Sergeant First Class Tony Genovese, of Chicago, Illinois National Guard
  • Firefighter Hero Firefighter/EMT Felix Serrano of the Chicago Fire Department
  • Firefighter Hero Firefighter Christopher Heinz of the Chicago Fire Department
  • Firefighter Hero Robert Bloome of the Chicago Fire Department
  • Firefighter Hero Lt. Hans Ziegenbein of the Chicago Fire Department
  • Blood Services Hero Diane Calamaras, APN, of Chicago at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital
  • Community Impact Hero Daniel Ivankovich, MD, of Chicago, medical director and co-founder of the OnePatient Global Health Initiative non-profit
  • Disaster Services Hero Lazenia Adams of Richton Park
  • Law Enforcement Hero Officer Lourdes Nietoof the Chicago Police Department
  • Not Pictured: Petty Officer Meosha Thomas, United States Navy, Retired (Absent from event due to hospitalization)

According to the American Red Cross, the funds raised this year will be able to make a huge impact across the country. They said that the funds from the breakfast alone could provide people with services like 22,000 measles and rubella vaccinations, and basic necessities like soap, shampoo and toothpaste to 20,000 hospitalized veterans just to name a portion of the examples.

Since 2002, the American Red Cross has been able to recognize and honor 205 heroes at their annual breakfasts.

Heroes Breakfast-8
Global Citizenship Hero Samer Attar, MD, Good Samaritan Hero Mike Robeson of Oswego, and Law Enforcement Hero Officer Lourdes Nieto of the Chicago Police Department
Heroes Breakfast-1
Firefighter Hero Award Winners Lt. Hans Ziegenbein, Firefighter Christopher Heinz, Firefighter/EMT Felix Serrano, and Engineer Robert Bloome all of the Chicago Fire Department
Kim Falk, Andy McGaan, President of the Kirkland & Ellis Foundation, Make It Better President and Chief Strategy Officer Francia Harrington, and Member of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois Board of Directors, Partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLC R. Scott Falk
Eduardo Conrado, 2016 Heroes Breakfast Vice Chair, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Innovation at Motorola Solutions, Ted Dysart, 2016 Heroes Breakfast Co-Chair, Vice Chairman at Heidrick & Struggles, Celena Roldán, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois, and Jill M. Schaaf, 2016 Heroes Breakfast Co-Chair, President of Renal and Corporate Vice President of Baxter International Inc.
2016 Heroes Breakfast Co-Emcees, CBS 2 Chicago Anchors Rob Johnson and Irika Sargent. This year was Rob Johnson’s 9th year hosting the annual event
Sergeant First Class Tony Genovese and Staff Sergeant Jeremy Adkins, both from Chicago, are the Emergency Medical Assistance Heroes. The two Illinois Army National Guardsmen saved the driver of a car on fire in the Chicago Loop, breaking the windows and pulling him to safety before emergency crews arrived.


Make It Better is a proud Media Sponsor of the American Red Cross Heroes Breakfast.

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