Everyday Heroes

Welcome to “Everyday Heroes,” a Northwest Herald special project celebrating local residents who selflessly donate their time and their talents to help those most in need. There are hundreds – thousands? – of everyday heroes living in our own communities.

They are the volunteers who make our McHenry County communities better places to live simply because they care. They are motivated not by money or success or prestige, but by a love for their fellow human beings and a deep desire to help.

In November, we asked our readers to nominate their unsung heroes – selfless local folks who give back to their communities in a variety of ways. Our readers responded in huge numbers. We received more than 100 nominations. Most of the nominees were worthy of making this project. Read More >>

Introduction video

The definition of a hero differs from person to person. Many people deserving of recognition are too humble to see the difference they make.

Watch the Everyday Heroes introduction video

To order DVDs of videos by the Northwest Herald call 815.459.4040

For each Hero, click to play a video, and to read their story.

Five videos will be revealed each day, so check back often.

Jody

Mead

Delivers meals to Seniors for The Salvation Army.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603496457001
/2012/02/02/delivering-meals-is-all-in-the-family/ai854mc/
Jody_Mead.jpg

Betty

Cleveland

Volunteer nurse at the Family Health Partnership Clinic in Woodstock.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603496459001
/2012/01/31/were-going-to-help-you/ayvzwa9/
Betty_Cleveland.jpg

Rich

Ring

PADS site manager at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Cary.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544379001
/2012/02/01/its-a-family-thing/acyg3es/
Rich_Ring.jpg

Adam

Schraw

A Woodstock Police Officer, he saved a 9-month-old from choking.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544407001
/2012/01/23/i-was-just-doing-my-job/achx279/
Adam_Schraw.jpg

These videos will be available Sunday, February 26

Jake

Rasmussen

Diagnosed with autism, he has overcome many obstacles.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544417001
/2012/02/01/overcoming-obstacles/aatl9jd/
Jake_Rasmussen.jpg

Steve

Starr

Always opens his doors for a neighbor in need.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603286206001
/2012/01/07/steve-starr-neighbor-helping-neighbors/acf9j1d/
Steve_Starr.jpg

Steve

Rusin

President of Guardian of the Ribbon, known for pink firetrucks,

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544415001
/2012/01/30/guardian-of-the-ribbon/ave1o10/
Steve_Rusin.jpg

Cheryl

Vaughn

Helped start the Cary-Grove Fights Hunger campaign.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603575732001
/2012/02/01/cheryl-vaughn-its-not-always-about-you/ajjxnqo/
Cheryl_Vaughn.jpg

These videos will be available Monday, February 27

Cheryll

Triefenbach

Her kindness extends to the whole neighborhood and beyond.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544408001
/2012/01/06/you-do-what-you-can-do/amwhqfg/
Cheryll_Triefenbach.jpg

Wendy

Hoover

Helps senior citizens in Port Barrington, works as a firefighter.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544418001
/2012/01/26/helping-on-and-off-the-job/azea3v4/
Wendy_Hoover.jpg

Alice

Hallett

Volunteers at Grafton Food Pantry, "paying it forward."

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603496427001
/2012/02/03/alice-hallett-paying-it-forward/adw8k88/
Alice_Hallett.jpg

Jerry

Schillaci

Helped raise nearly $40,000 for battling cancer through “Heroes for Hope."

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603496430001
/2012/01/06/firefighter-who-thinks-pink/akba8jp/
Jerry_Schillaci.jpg

These videos will be available Tuesday, February 28

Robert

Roe

Leads land conservation in the Dutch Creek conservation area.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544398001
/2012/01/30/passion-for-restoration/ajc7l5g/
Robert_Roe.jpg

Gene & Sarah

Schrempf

Work with the Crystal Lake Jaycees on a variety of projects.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344175001
/2012/01/11/gene-sarah-schrempf-all-in-the-family/ac91pcb/
Gene_and_Sarah_Schrempf.jpg

Mary Lou

Glenn

Nearly every day of the week, Glenn is volunteering somewhere.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603496419001
/2012/01/06/living-large-giving-back/ae9f7ci/
Mary_Lou_Glenn.jpg

Larie

McKeever

Picks up litter on a two-mile walk through Crystal Lake each morning.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544421001
/2012/01/18/one-woman-war-against-litter/a7b6p25/
Lari_Mckeever.jpg

These videos will be available Wednesday, February 29

Marty

Lenzen

A retired truck driver that volunteers for several groups.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344155001
/2012/02/02/marty-lenzen-its-almost-like-family/at7syuu/
Marty_Lenzen.jpg

Jacqueline

Piggott

Started Blessing Barn, a non-profit providing donated items.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544393001
/2012/01/29/blessings-in-a-barn/a5khy7i/
Jacqueline_Piggott.jpg

Joyce

Stevenson

The Crystal Lake Fire Rescue public education coordinator.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603286211001
/2012/02/02/teaching-others-to-save-lives/a13u5a4/
Joyce_Stevenson.jpg

Bill

Pickett

Leads 80 active members in his Neighborhood Watch in Cary.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603286174001
/2012/01/20/bill-pickett-one-thing-led-to-many-more/a122nxw/
Bill_Pickett.jpg

These videos will be available Thursday, March 1

Chrissy

Callaway

Volunteers as a wish-granter with the Make-A-Wish foundation.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603287613001
/2012/01/10/granting-wishes-is-a-privilege/a9uzvnz/
Chrissy_Callaway.jpg

Cindy

Gaffney

Shelters cats in her basement and volunteers with other animals.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544405001
/2012/02/02/her-basement-is-a-kitty-shelter/ajqh75p/
Cindy_Gaffney.jpg

Michael

Barrett

Founded 'Hero in the Hallway' to stop school bullying.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344128001
/2012/01/06/founder-of-hero-in-the-hallway/axof3ia/
Michael_Barrett.jpg

Gloria

Mack

Focused on preserving history with McHenry County organizations.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603286202001
/2012/02/02/gloria-mack-preserving-the-past/aa7owrc/
Gloria_Mack.jpg

These videos will be available Friday, March 2

Jon

Petersen

Has been helping families in Haiti for over 20 years.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544401001
/2012/01/30/helping-haiti-to-heal/abuyjwd/
Jon_Petersen.jpg

Janet

Smith

Coordintes the Love Lights a Tree memorial, raises money for organizations.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603287562001
/2012/02/03/janet-smith-they-call-i-go/a3dvy2m/
Janet_Smith.jpg

Sue

Dunn

Founded Cary-Grove Neighborhood Life, helping people in need.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603286197001
/2011/12/29/sue-dunn-support-in-times-of-need/a9y25xb/
Sue_Dunn.jpg

Gary

Cook

Makes walking sticks for cancer patients at Provena St. Joseph Hospital.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344131001
/2012/01/06/gary-cook-finding-strength-to-give-support/aoan1ww/
Gary_Cook.jpg

These videos will be available Saturday, March 3

Joseph

Blanco

The head of a local PADS program, he passed away Dec. 22.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603544412001
/2012/01/06/legacy-of-inspiration/ae1smhj/
Joseph_Blanco.jpg

Phyllis

Croswell

Volunteers and raises funds for many local social service agencies.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603130072001
/2012/02/02/wrapped-up-in-helping-others/adxasls/
Phyllis_Croswell.jpg

Deb

Beyer Klein

A cancer survivor, she donates time at Helping Paws Animal Shelter.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344184001
/2012/01/25/deb-klein-giving-back-despite-trials/afag71w/
Deb_Klien.jpg

Larry & Stella

Golden

The couple has served as 'bigs' for nearly 15 years.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344125001
/2012/01/17/helping-to-shape-the-future/allqncb/
Larry_Stella_Golden.jpg

These videos will be available Sunday, March 4

Susan

Braun

Currently working on her 10th home through Habitat for Humanity.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603287571001
/2012/01/13/susan-braun-building-hope-from-the-ground-up/acj2fqb/
Sue_Braun.jpg

Lavonne

Sallaz

Travels to Haiti with The Church of Holy Apostles each year.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344122001
/2012/01/19/lavonne-sallaz-helping-in-haiti-and-at-home/afjkbpb/
Lavonne_Sallaz.jpg

Ruth

Drye

Has been a friend to Pioneer Center since retiring in 1999.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603286132001
/2012/01/16/ruth-drye-retired-from-job-not-cause/a64cves/
Ruth_Drye.jpg

Jen

Lehmann

Fostered over 100 dogs through Animal House Shelter of Huntley.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603287608001
/2012/01/12/jen-lehmann-hooked-on-fostering-pets/ajtpiwj/
Jen_Lehmann.jpg

These videos will be available Monday, March 5

Dawn

Wagner

A foster mom to five children ages 8 to 16, she is planning to adopt all five.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603286145001
/2012/01/30/home-filled-with-love/ahicy2c/
Dawn_Wagner.jpg

Martin

Lopez

Travels the world teaching kids to play violin.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603286140001
/2012/02/06/sharing-a-passion-for-music/apitda7/
Martin_Lopez.jpg

Tom

Lotito

A Cub Scout leader since 2008, expert cold-weather camping.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344114001
/2012/02/03/tom-lotito-a-vice-that-builds-character/aqo9ffg/
Tom_Lotito.jpg

Mary Chris

Arnesen

A Girl Scout leader and volunteer for 13 years.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603287563001
/2012/01/31/building-confidence-in-others/ah0615v/
Mary_Chris_Arnesen.jpg

These videos will be available Tuesday, March 6

Kenneth

Samborski

Meets with veterans going through stress disorder treatment.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603130070001
/2012/02/04/kenneth-samborski-helping-fellow-heroes/agx2g0x/
Kenneth_Samborski.jpg

Elvira

Moreno

Fundraiser for United Way through her company, True Value.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344110001
/2012/02/01/elvira-moreno-happy-to-help-out/a9k9uri/
Elvira_Moreno.jpg

Girl Scout

Leaders

Margaret Boettjer, Janice Piesens, and Theresa Behrens of Troop 454.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603344098001
/2012/01/22/janice-piesens-theresa-behrens-margaret-boettjer-wonderful-women-to-thank/a3aatxw/
Girl_Scout_Leaders.jpg

David

Faccone

Coaches and fundraises for Crystal Lake youth sports.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603287540001
/2012/02/03/david-faccone-food-and-fundraising/aola67w/
David_Faccone.jpg

These videos will be available Wednesday, March 7

Nick

Begrowicz

Hosts monthly bingo for seniors at the Crystal Lake Culvers.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603130065001
/2012/01/13/nick-begrowicz-charity-with-a-side-of-respect/arcwngs/
Nick_Begrowicz.jpg

Tom

Dougherty

Serves with The Salvation Army and founded Tommy’s Angels.

http://www.nwherald.com/video/index.xml?vidid=1603287539001
/2012/01/10/tom-dougherty-remembering-humble-roots/akbwclh/
Tom_Dougherty.jpg

CREDITS

Web project by
Adam Nekola

Video footage, Photos by
Jenny Kane, Lance Booth, Lauren Anderson

Video editing, Intro video by
Lance Booth

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