Monday, June 17, 2024

Bossier Chamber names 2024 Community Heroes

by BPT Staff
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The Bossier Chamber held its third annual Salute to Community Heroes event on Wednesday, May 15 at Margaritaville Resort Casino. The event, presented by sponsor Willis-Knighton Health System, recognized 20 finalists and named five Community Heroes.

The Salute to Community Heroes event was designed to not only continue the tradition the Bossier Chamber has of recognizing our military and first-responders for their great work day-in and day-out, but to also recognize those in other sectors who do work daily to make the lives of those in our community better. The nominees come from the sectors of education, healthcare, non-profit, military and law enforcement.

Keynote speakers were former Air Force pilots Russ Mathers and Warren Ward, both of whom were part of the Secret Squirrel mission and both still live in the area, serving in other job duties now. The mission took place on January 16-17, 1991, as seven B-52Gs left Barksdale Air Force Base to deliver the AGM-86C for its first operational use in the opening hours of Operation Desert Storm.

“What we did was train every day like we were going to war,” Mathers said. “We know that is what our military members, first responders and others do now as well to be prepared.”

Mathers and Ward were each flying one of the seven aircraft.

“No one asks to be a hero,” added Ward. “But training prepares you when there’s an opportunity.”

Taking home the top honors as our 2024 Community Heroes, awarded by sponsor Brentwood Hospital, were:

EDUCATION CATEGORY: Lindsey Tuberville of Calvary Baptist Academy, was honored for her quick thinking and selflessness when she helped saved the life of a student during a grand mal seizure.

FIRST RESPONDER CATEGORY: Detective Drew Harris of the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office was honored for his bravery and dedication to his fellow officer, helping during a life-threatening moment while working as a part of the Louisiana Violent Offender Task Force.

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

MILITARY CATEGORY: TSgt. Tommie Andres for his dedication to mentoring fellow airmen in the 307th Bomb Wing and accomplishing a critical mission as a civilian working for the Commissary on Barksdale Air Force Base.

NONPROFIT CATEGORY: Angie White, COO of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, was honored for her work in starting the FAME program in our area to train students in key manufacturing occupations.

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