The Hero Campaign Voting!
The Run to Remember was founded in 2002 to honor the extraordinary heroism, commitment and sacrifice of the victims, survivors and rescuers of the events of 9/11. Since then, the race has raised over $400,000 for the Baltimore City Police Foundation and Baltimore City Fire Foundation. The organizations assist families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty and we proudly support them.
For the 3rd year, we are running the Hero Campaign - a way to recognize the individuals who are everyday heroes in our lives - sponsored by Mizuno. We know there are individuals out there who do great things each and every day keeping our communities safe and inspiring many to be the best they can be. We think it's time to say "thanks."
HERE ARE YOUR 5 FINALISTS FOR THE 2017 HERO CAMPAIGN! Please read their stories and vote for the winner below.
The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony of the Mercy Run to Remember 5K & 11K presented by Mizuno on September 10th.
Finalist #1: Jill Beauregaurd (2 nominations)
Here commitment to her job as a homicide detective is Baltimore is outstanding to say the least. She works countless hours and is always willing to drop everything in her personal life to follow-up on a lead. She doesn't sleep much and can show up for a 65 mile bike ride or run on a relay team to support her crazy friends. Jill's passion is unstoppable and her heart is made of gold. She's my hero!
Jill is a homocide detective in Baltimore City. After patrolling the streets and then rising quickly to a detective status, she is one of the best! Her caring nature produces results. She is smart, and has a heart of a lion. She works insane hours and is making a difference. Just talk to anybody who has been involved in her investigations. She is my hero!
Finalist #2: Allison Borror
I believe my daughter Allison is a hero. She's been through so much at only 20 years old. Allison is one of the most selfless people that strives to make everyone around her happy. She worked so hard in her college classes, which were extremely hard because she's a cancer survivor and had significant brain damage from her chemotherapy at only 17 years of age. Right now she volunteers at a fire company as an EMT, but is soon beginning firefighter 1. Eventually she plans on becoming a paramedic and in a few years she will finish out college to complete her ultimate goal of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse to put smiles on the faces of children that have life threatening illnesses.
Finalist #3: Melissa DiDonato
Melissa DiDonato is my hero. Melissa is a wife, mother and the dedicated principal of Padonia International elementary school in Cockeysville. There are approximately 500 students at Padonia and Melissa treats them with the same love and respect that she treats her own children. For the past three years, she has been fighting tirelessly for renovations and an addition to the building to alleviate overcrowding. Even though many BCPS officials told her she wouldn't get the money, she fought until her plan was heard and approved. Last year the renovation and addition began. Our school is a Title 1 school which means a large percentage of our students qualify for free and reduced breakfast and lunch. When there is no school, many of our students struggle to eat.Melissa has partnered with local churches who help to provide backpacks of food for our students to take home on Fridays. These backpacks help to feed them till school reopens on Monday. During the blizzard of 2016, school was closed for five days. Knowing our students would be hungry, Melissa organized a food drive for Padonia and several other schools in the area. She and her staff took to social media to spread the word. She and her staff were able to collect and distribute enough food for 20 families.
Not only does she fight for the students but she is also a great leader for her staff. Her enthusiasm spreads among her staff and they are willing to help her make the dreams and vision for the school become a reality. When construction began, teachers lost their designated parking lot and were asked to park in an adjacent lot at the nearby skate park. Even though Melissa has a spot right outside of the front door, she gave up that spot and parked in the lot that the teachers parked in. Her "we're all in this together" attitude makes it easier when times are challenging. She organized a running club that meets after school on Wednesdays, holds dance parties in the main lobby on Friday afternoons and encourages staff to wear workout clothes on Wednesdays in order to play more with the students during recess time. Staff is also encouraged to be positive by contributing to the gratitude board that is in the main office. This board showcases sticky notes with words of praise and thanks for one another.
Melissa's contributions have also been recognized by BCPS officials. In the last four years, she has been nominated twice for Principal of the Year. She has been featured in the Towson Times and the Baltimore Sun. If you asked her about all the items I mentioned, she'd say, "It's my job." but it's more than that. It's her passion and she believes that every child, no matter their circumstance or situation can be successful if you give them the right tools. She cares for the whole child, not just the test scores that he/she receives on standardized testing. She works tirelessly to make sure that every one of her students has what they need to succeed. She is a hero to many of her students and she is a hero to me.
Finalist #4: Nick Green (2 nominations)
Nicholas Green or Nick as his friends call him is 39yrs old, born and raised in Columbia, MD where he graduated from Howard High school in 1996. After graduating from school he enlisted in the United States Army as a Infantry solider, jumping out of airplanes as a member of the 82nd airborne division. He then reenlisted and changed jobs to military police. Nick even did a extra year of active duty time due to the events of September 11th, 2001. Nick was Honorably discharged 2003 after obtaining the rank of E5 Sargent. He joined the Baltimore city fire department in Dec 2004 where is currently a firefighter and paramedic . Nick is assigned to the Largest fire house on the east coast and busiest firehouse in the nation (fire house magazine survey 2015-2016) Steadman station E23. This will be Nick's 7th year in a row running the race and he has ran it every year in his full turnout firefighting gear and he is the background picture of the hero campaign on your website. Nick loves physical activities like running and working out and was even a contestant on the 2016 reality sports show American Ninja Warrior. I think Nick would be perfect winner of your campaign because is lives and works by the values your campaign is based on and those are selfless service, integrity, duty and respect for others.
Finalist #5: Jarrett Stafford
My brother Jarrett has been my hero and my protector my entire life. First my brother went into the marine corp to serve his country. Then my brother became a Baltimore City Fireman and has served this city and saved lives for almost 20 years following the the footsteps of our father who served our country and was a fireman for 25 years. When my brother found out I had chronic kidney disease he was the very first person to step up and say I will donate my kidney. At this point it's been 18 years and my kidney functions at 30 percent with a nephrostomy tube. But my brother always checks in on me, always makes me laugh on my hard days. He always waits for the day to step up and give me his kidney when ever I need it without question. He has been watching over me my entire life and given his life also to Baltimore city and its citizens no matter the cost to himself. He is always there to help in any and all situations that's what will always make him a hero in my eyes.