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Making Good Things Happen In Our Communities

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

We do not have to look hard in Idaho to find great people helping others.  Idahoans strive every day to ease the burden of others and inspire acts of kindness through their service.  The Idaho Hometown Hero Medal reminds us of the many Idahoans, including those unrecognized, who make good things happen in our communities.


Through Congressional Record Statements, I have had the opportunity to help congratulate the award recipients.  Ten Idahoans working in various fields are 2017 Hometown Hero Medal recipients:

  • Century High School Principal Sheryl Brockett, of Pocatello, was honored for her two decades of dedicated service to educating youth in which she also led her school to excel in providing educational opportunities. 
  • Dr. Jacob DeLaRosa, a cardiothoracic surgeon from Pocatello, overcame significant injuries from a car accident to walk again, continue providing surgical care and significantly contribute to the community by expanding area surgical operations. 
  • Lee Hammett, President of the Board of Directors for the Community Dinner Table, was recognized for his extensive work to reduce hunger and loneliness and helping to bridge cultural and religious differences in Bingham County. 
  • Owner of Barrie’s Ski and Sports Store Barrie Bennett Hunt, of Pocatello, received the medal for helping to provide others with quality access to the outdoors, inspiring active lifestyles and giving considerably to his community, while also overcoming serious health challenges.
  • Executive Director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence Kelly Miller, of Boise, is a statewide leader in ending violence and has made a considerable difference in assisting Idaho families. 
  • Manager of Morgan Construction Matt Morgan, of Idaho Falls, is honored for his courageous voice in helping advance awareness of the sexual abuse of children and his support of others who have faced child abuse.  His efforts include founding “Building Hope Today.” 
  • World War II Veteran Anton Newman served in the U.S. Army assisting with recovery after the Hiroshima bombing, has farmed in Cambridge and continues to be actively involved in the community encouraging and inspiring others. 
  • Retired U.S. Army Colonel Craig W. Nickisch, of Chubbuck, served our nation with distinction in Central America, Europe and Southeast Asia and continues to serve others in various roles locally and internationally. 
  • Shoshone-Bannock Tribe member and the Tribe’s Public Affairs Manager Randy’L Teton overcame adversity to reach educational goals and has encouraged Native American education, helping educate others about the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe’s history, culture, government and economic projects. 
  • Eric Thomas, of Fremont County, has not let his disability and multiple health concerns stand in the way of him assisting others as an active member of Fremont County Search and Rescue for the past nearly 30 years. 

Drs. Fahim and Naeem Rahim established the Idaho Hometown Hero Medal in 2011 to recognize outstanding Idahoans working for the betterment of our communities.  There is no doubt the giving Idahoans the awardees represent leave lasting, positive marks in many lives. 

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