Everyday Heroes Honored for Contributions at Run to Remember

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

For the second year in a row, everyday heroes were honored at the start of the fifteenth annual Run to Remember in addition to police officers, firefighters and members of the armed forces on Sept. 11. Three winners of the Hero Campaign were announced before more than 1,200 runners and walkers cruised over the starting mats. The Campaign was sponsored by Mizuno and each winner will receive a running outfit and shoes courtesy of the company.

Take a few moments to read the amazing recommendations that their family members wrote describing their selfless contributions to their communities:

Thomas Harmon

Nominated by Heather Harmon Disque

Tom Harmon is my Dad. I have never known anyone to be more supportive to his family than him. His family is not just our immediate family. He is a retired Deputy Chief from BWI Airport and many of his former coworkers are also family. He cares for them, assists them, and encourages them just like he does for my sister and I. He spent many hours training and making sure his shift was prepared while Division Chief for any thing that would come there way. He also now uses this knowledge to teach firefighting to students across the state of Maryland, across the country,and across the world through Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute where he was recently named Instructor of the Quarter.

His passion for firefighting started when he became a volunteer for our local fire department and has never wavered. He commemorates all those lost while on the job and continues to run the Sept 11th race year after year.

He began exercising after 9/11 and after a major heart attack. He went from not being able to walk a mile to now running half marathons. He is truly an inspiration to me and to my young children.

I really could go on and on, but he is an amazing man. From making sure everyone in the fire house is trained on a job to keep them safe, to treating all as family, and still having time to spend with his actual family he had instilled in us a love of life and is an awesome example of a hero. I love that we get to call him Dad and Pa.

Tom (red shirt) strides up the last hill of the Run to Remember.

Tom (red shirt) strides up the last hill of the Run to Remember.

Jennifer Denny

Nominated by Matthew Denny

My wife is my hero for several reasons. Not only is she a police officer full time, but she teaches college part time for two schools. She takes care of our two boys by herself when I am on nightwork (she was blessed with a permanent day position), as well as, taking care of her mother. Her mom lives with us and has for 7 years. She had a stroke 7 years ago and is paralyzed on the right side, and she is also fighting lymphoma now.

When her mother had the stroke, there was no questioning as to where she would go after rehab. An assisted living home was not an option, she came to live with us. Jenn also is the den leader for our younger sons cub scout group as well as being very active with the pack. She is very willing to volunteer at our boys private school when needed. After all of that, Jenn sets goals for her life. She has completed countless 5k and 10k’s, about 12 half marathons, 3 marathons, and now is addicted to triathlons (8 under her belt). She makes time to train and to keep herself well, I think that is her stress reliever! I would love to see my wife win this, as she is a local hero in the community, and our family hero!

Mark Bulla

Nominated by Elizabeth Williams

Mark is one of my little brothers – he has a regular full-time job, but he has a second full-time “job” as a Master Firefighter, a volunteer at the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department in Burtonsville, MD. He, his wife, Tami Bulla, and their son, Michael Bulla, are all volunteers there. Mark and Tami actually met there when they were in their teens, got to know each other, fell in love, got married and have two children (Michael whom I mentioned earlier, and Katie who lives and works in New Orleans).

Mark, as a Master Firefighter, has a lot of responsibilities other than just responding to fires, but he also continues his firefighter responsibilities by serving as a host/sponsor/escort for the families of Fallen Firefighters each year. He keeps in touch with each family and they all comment on his caring attention helped them through a difficult, but thoughtful time. He has also participated in multiple stair climbs in remembrance of fellow firefighters who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. His selfless, thoughtful, community focused attitude is why he is my hero!

Thank you for sharing your stories with us and nominating such deserving individuals. We are honored to recognize three outstanding members of our community.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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