Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bossier Chamber Announces 2024 Community Heroes

by BIZ Magazine

The Bossier Chamber held its third annual Salute to Community Heroes event on Wednesday, May 15, at Margaritaville Resort Casino. Presented by sponsor Willis-Knighton Health System, the event celebrated 20 finalists and honored five outstanding Community Heroes.

The Salute to Community Heroes event aimed to continue the Bossier Chamber’s tradition of acknowledging the exceptional contributions of military personnel and first-responders while also spotlighting individuals from diverse sectors who strive daily to enhance the lives of community members. Nominees represented the fields of education, healthcare, non-profit, military, and law enforcement.

Former Air Force pilots Russ Mathers and Warren Ward, both integral members of the Secret Squirrel mission and current residents of the area, delivered keynote speeches. The Secret Squirrel mission, occurring on January 16-17, 1991, witnessed seven B-52Gs departing from Barksdale Air Force Base to execute the AGM-86C’s first operational use in the initial stages of Operation Desert Storm.

Reflecting on their experiences, Mathers emphasized the importance of rigorous training in readiness for duty. “What we did was train every day like we were going to war,” Mathers remarked, highlighting the dedication shared by military members, first responders, and other professionals.

Echoing Mathers’ sentiment, Ward emphasized the role of training in preparing individuals to act heroically when the occasion arises. “No one asks to be a hero,” Ward noted, “But training prepares you when there’s an opportunity.”

Receiving top honors as the 2024 Community Heroes, awarded by sponsor Brentwood Hospital, were:

EDUCATION CATEGORY: Lindsey Tuberville of Calvary Baptist Academy, honored for her quick thinking and selflessness in assisting during a student’s grand mal seizure, ultimately saving their life.

FIRST RESPONDER CATEGORY: Detective Drew Harris of the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, recognized for his bravery and dedication in a life-threatening moment while serving on the Louisiana Violent Offender Task Force.

HEALTHCARE CATEGORY: Danny Talley, of Brentwood Hospital’s Star program, acknowledged for his exemplary work with veterans navigating mental health crises.

MILITARY CATEGORY: TSgt. Tommie Andres, commended for his commitment to mentoring fellow airmen in the 307th Bomb Wing and for his instrumental role in mission success as a civilian working for the Commissary on Barksdale Air Force Base.

NONPROFIT CATEGORY: Angie White, COO of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, honored for her role in establishing the FAME program in the area, aimed at training students in crucial manufacturing occupations.

The Bossier Chamber extends its heartfelt congratulations to all the 2024 Community Heroes for their exceptional service and dedication to improving our community.

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