Three 2014 Hometown Hero Awards, saluting dedication to making the Omaha area a better place to live, will be presented Thursday by the Omaha FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association in partnership with the Omaha FBI field office.
Nominees for the award embody the spirit of community outreach. They live in the Omaha metro area, devote time and/or resources in service to those within the Omaha metro area, demonstrate a meaningful impact on the lives of others and must show a consistent dedication toward assisting worthy causes. Nominees can be any age, but U.S. citizenship is required.
The 2014 award recipients:
John and Laurie Parsons, founders of the Omaha Street School, a faith-based school that takes kids "falling through the cracks" and helps them realize their potential. The focus is on the total person, tending to a child's emotional and spiritual needs as well as the needs of his or her family.
Tom McCoy, an Omaha firefighter whose job is to help people. But he took that a step further when he created the Helmet Club's Bikes for Kids program in 2012 after noticing that neighborhood kids did not have bicycles. Feeling strongly that every child deserves to have a bike, McCoy created an annual bike giveaway program and has since distributed nearly 300 bikes to kids.
Sammy's Superheroes, created to honor Sammy Nahorney, who in 2012 at age 4 was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a solid tumor of the adrenal system. Sammy's loved ones created Sammy's Superheroes to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer research. This year the organization presented a check for $60,000 to the Nebraska Pediatric Cancer Research program.
The honorees will be saluted at a banquet that begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in La Vista.