Four local heroes to be honored for ‘profound impact’

Mailman Charlie Rose rests on his route during his lunch break. He will be honored by the Red Cross for smelling out natural gas leaks on his daily route. (Katharine Egli | Picture Editor)

Though Athens mail carrier Charlie Rose defines firefighters, policemen and soldiers as true heroes, the Southeastern Ohio American Red Cross has distinguished Rose and three others as Hometown Heroes.

After smelling natural gas while on his daily route delivering mail, Rose went above and beyond his prescribed duties to protect the local residents. Rose’s vigilance during his everyday routine led to substantial repairs of the city’s gas lines and ultimately removed a threat to the lives of thousands of residents.

Rose is one of four “heroes” being honored Tuesday morning who have had a profound impact on their communities said Pamela Marino, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southeastern Ohio.

The other heroes, nominated by regional residents, are Ronda Clark, the Trimble Textbooks and Supplies Committee, and Scott Hatfield.

“I am proud that what I have done may have the potential to affect thousands of lives, but I don’t feel like a hero,” Rose said, who was distinguished as the Community Hero this year.

“What I have accomplished is not unique to me.  Mail carriers all over the nation always do this (sort of thing),” Rose said “We don’t just deliver mail, sometimes we have to save lives.”

Ronda Clark, distinguished as the Humanitarian Hero, spent her last eight years with the Community Food Initiative collecting more than 20,000 pounds of food annually for distribution to various charities in the county.

Clark’s worked with the initiative to take over the community gardens, which brings in around 6,000 pounds of food annually, and to bring in donations from the Athens Farmers Market, which grosses 15,000 pounds of food annually, Clark said.

“These programs are good ones because they have our local farmers supporting those in need locally,” Clark said.

Clark said that she plans to retire at the end of this coming March in order to spend more time with her family.

In its fourth year, the Hometown Heroes Breakfast is being held in the United Methodist Church in The Plains to honor the four heroes.  The breakfast will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

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