Red Cross recognizes local heroes

Bianca Villalobos

On Oct. 10, the American Red Cross of San Diego announced its 20th Annual Red Cross Real Heroes Awards aboard the USS Midway, with eight San Diegans recognized for outstanding acts in the community, including two from East County. The Real Heroes Awards is one of the largest fundraising events for the local Red Cross and this year’s event raised over $141,000 for the organization.

Bianca Villalobos is a 12-yearold Girl Scout, volunteer, pageant queen, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and American Diabetes Association youth ambassador. From Lakeside, Bianca dedicated her time volunteering with her church at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post, where she retires the flag and serves meals to veterans.

She frequently donates to other causes she supports such as Little Free Libraries, and insulin to the nonprofit Insulin for life. Bianca was chosen for her work, and her continued efforts in bringing awareness and understanding of Type 1 diabetes.

Bianca earned the Youth Hero Award.

Receiving the Corporate Hero Award, Sycuan Casino Resort has been a longstanding partner of the American Red Cross. Sycuan supports the Red Cross mission through its philanthropic giving, and supports local disaster preparedness and response efforts, allowing the Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties to place a Disaster Response Trailer on the Sycuan Tribal Reservation and incorporating the local Red Cross into their annual Safety Expo.

Through its Sycuan Cares initiative, Sycuan serves as a dedicated partner to numerous local charities as well, donating over $1 million dollars in support of the community.

Every year, the Real Heroes Awards honors ordinary people with extraordinary courage. Nominations are submitted by the public and are chosen by a selection committee based on the extent to which nominees embody the spirit and mission of the Red Cross. Real Heroes nominations are accepted year-round in the following categories:
• Animal Welfare Hero
• Corporate Hero
• Disaster Services Hero
• First Responder Hero
• Gift of Life Hero
• Good Samaritan Hero
• Service to the Armed Forces Hero
• Youth Hero