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Recognizing Hometown Heroes

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

Each day, we often hear an enormous amount of heartbreaking news-from wars raging around the world, to disease, hunger and deaths.  Being aware of what is going on around us is important.  However, it often seems that good work gets overlooked in the shuffle.  A couple of Idahoans are working to change that by honoring the outstanding work and service of Idahoans through the Hometown Hero Medal.  

Drs. Fahim and Naeem Rahim, of Pocatello, established the Idaho Hometown Hero Medal to recognize individuals who embody the spirit of philanthropy while showing remarkable commitment in both their personal and professional lives.  Their efforts to honor those working for the betterment of our communities play an important role in inspiring others.

Through Congressional Record Statements, I have had the opportunity to help congratulate the award recipients and commend the Rahim brothers and all those who assist with this.  This year, nine extraordinary individuals have been recognized as 2014 Hometown Hero Award recipients.  Medical pioneer Dr. Lloyd Call helped establish the Washington Wyoming Alaska Montana Idaho Medical Education Program and the Idaho State University Family Practice Residency in Pocatello.  Dedicated, eleven-year-old Alec Carlson assists his blind mother with their daily routines.  Volunteer Lin Carlson helps seniors maintain healthy lifestyles.  Sarah Anita Hibbert serves her community delivering toys and goodies to children in the hospital, and she collected over 4,500 pounds of shoes for orphanages through the national Shoes for Love drive. 

Sergeant Mathew J. Krumwiede served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and does not let his injuries impede his achievements.  Fifteen-year-old Adalaide "Addy" Mayer not only helps care for her father, who was injured serving our nation in Iraq, but also serves as a volunteer athlete with the Special Olympics.  George G. Nickel, who served our nation in Operations Southern Watch in Iraq and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, founded the Idaho Veterans Network to assist fellow veterans.  Ann Toomey Walsh created Camp Magical Moments Cancer Camp for Kids to help improve the lives of children with cancer and their families.  Helen Wayman Ward, who served as the music specialist for Malad Elementary School for more than 30 years, prevails over significant mental and physical health challenges in her family to give her time and talent to her community.

Idahoans are working to make a great difference in our communities and inspiring others.  Drawing attention to accomplishments can help spark more positive actions and help us remember that despite the sadness in the world, there is also immense good.  I thank the Rahim brothers for their work to honor outstanding Idahoans and all those Hometown Heroes, including those unrecognized, who work to decrease the burdens of others and improve our communities.        

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