The following people were honored Wednesday as Monroe County Everyday Heroes:

Adult Good Samaritan Hero

The Sieb family

The late Dick Sieb and his family have shown their support for police officers nationwide by donating custom-made life jackets to local police departments. Their donation has helped small police departments that don’t have the funds to pay for new vests. In the aftermath of the Monroe Police Cpl. shooting. Renae Peterson, the Sieb family wanted to help local law enforcement and show their appreciation for all they do for the community.

Monroe Police Officer Peyton Smithers

animal rescue hero officer

Peyton Smither

While on patrol, Monroe Police Department Officer Peyton Smithers observed a mother duck and her ducklings waddling down Bentley Drive. Officer Smithers noticed one of the ducklings falling into the sewers without his mother’s knowledge. Officer Smithers removed the grate cover and lay down on the sidewalk to retrieve the baby duck. Smithers rescued and reunited the duckling with his family without any “poultry” games.

Members of the Rotary Club of Carleton

community heroes

Rotary Club of Carleton

Rotary of Carleton, in partnership with Mimi’s Mission, an autism awareness group, donated over 50 “911 Ready Bags” to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Each bag contains a weighted blanket, noise canceling headphones, and sensory devices like chew toys and jewelry. Each bag costs around $40. Funds were raised by the Carleton Rotary Club, and members worked with nonprofit founder Lisa Vilella to secure items and assemble bags. Placed in patrol cars, the bags are used to bring comfort to people with autism during stressful situations.

Bedford Lady Mules Gallup Team Members

community heroes

Bedford Lady Mules Team Gallup

The Gallup Bedford Lady Mules team, a fourteen member softball team, honored the 20th anniversary of the events of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a physical activity. Event attendees had the option of walking two miles or climbing 110 flights of stairs at the Bedford High School stadium. In addition to performing the athletic feats, participants and softball team members donated non-perishable snacks, which were delivered to first responders in the Bedford area.

Members of the Monroe Township Volunteer Fire Department

heroes of fire

Monroe Township Volunteer Fire Department

The Monroe Township Volunteer Fire Department surprised Malachi Doherty, an Ewing’s Sarcoma cancer survivor and hopeful future firefighter, on his ninth birthday with fire trucks and fire cars. squad. Allen Park firefighter Kevin Maury had met Malachi at a previous event and the two had stayed in touch. When the Doherty family moved to Monroe, Maury contacted the fire department and told them about his special friend and his love for firefighters. In a parade of department vehicles, the Doherty family was welcomed to Monroe. Malachi was given a neon yellow bicycle to match the fire trucks in his new hometown.

Pete Patterfritz

Labour/Labour Hero

Pete Patterfritz

Pete Patterfritz, a carpenter with Carpenters Local #687, has been helping during a time of transition at United Way of Monroe/Lenawee Counties by filling the gap needed to build handicap ramps around Monroe County. Patterfritz has been working over the summer of 2021 to complete the access ramps for seniors who need help getting in and out of their homes. Patterfritz also mentored local high school graduates, teaching them carpentry skills in the process of building the ramps.

Lulu Ghannam, Michigan State Police Officer

Law Enforcement Heroes

Rider Lulu Ghannam

On December 27, 2021, Michigan Monroe Post State Police Trooper Lulu Ghannam arrested a driver suffering from a mental health crisis who was speeding on I-75 and South Otter Creed Rd. After the Stopping traffic, Cavalier Ghannam saw the driver leave his car, walk to the center lane and lie down on the roadway. Private Ghannam dragged the driver off the road to avoid being hit by oncoming traffic. The individual was then secured and transported to hospital for evaluation. Private Ghannam’s quick action in this incident saved one life.

Members of the VFW Post Honor Guard No. 1138

local military hero

VFW Post No. 1138

It has been a busy year for the members of the Monroe Post No. 1138 Honor Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 2021, they provided services at Veterans Park on Memorial Day, hosted displays of patriotism, good citizenship and flag-raising demonstrations, and participated in military and veteran tributes at a game of soccer at Monroe High School. The 28-member team has attended over 120 funerals and memorial services at over 30 different locations. They honored veterans who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and the Desert Storm. The team logged over 3,700 hours and traveled 28,000 miles in 2021 to perform memorial rites for members of the post.

rachel palm tree

healthcare professional hero

rachel palm tree

Dundee Community Schools District Nurse Rachel Palmer has been assisting with health-related decisions and contact tracing efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, Palmer also created a district-wide program called Backpack Brigade to help food-insecure students. The program helps feed students over the weekend, and thanks to securing thousands of dollars in donations, Palmer has been able to continue the program throughout the pandemic.

Alexander Noland

Young Good Samaritan Heroes

Alexander Noland

Kicking off the arc season on the morning of November 13, Ida High School student Alex Noland and his father, Donald Noland, headed into the woods. As the duo exited the woods, Alex noticed that his father was struggling to breathe. Realizing something was seriously wrong, the asthmatic lay down in wet sheets and told his son to call 911. The severe asthma attack caused Donald’s breathing to stop and he lost consciousness. Alex immediately started CPR until emergency help arrived. Alex’s quick thinking helped save his father’s life.

Elise Hill (left) and Lauryn Reau

Young Good Samaritan Heroes

Raisinville Primary School

After battling an early morning fire on Baldwin Rd., firefighters from the London-Maybee-Raisinville (LMR) Fire Department were greeted by Raisinville Elementary School students for free coffee and donuts. Refreshments were provided by the students, who celebrated National Random Acts of Kindness Week throughout February. At the end of the month, the students’ goal was to show kindness to those who served the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Monroe County first responders and healthcare workers were invited to the school for coffee and donuts to thank them for their service.

Chip and Kerri Williams

United Way of Monroe/Lenawee Counties Volunteer of the Year

Gerald “Chip” and Kerri Williams

Gerald “Chip” and Kerri Williams of Williams Insurance Agency of Southeast Michigan have served as Campaign Chairs for the United Way of Monroe/Lenawee Counties Annual Fundraiser for the past two years. Throughout the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have created videos, slideshows and Facebook posts to draw attention to the reader. The couple enlisted volunteers and created a campaign strategy to help raise the funds needed to provide the vital United Way services and programs in both counties.

Todd Riggs

United Way of Monroe/Lenawee Counties Volunteer of the Year

Todd Riggs

Todd Riggs, a boxing trainer, mentor and advisor for over 20 years, volunteers countless hours every week. As a teacher and trainer, Riggs worked to develop Joe’s ALCC Boxing Club, training professional and amateur boxers. The Monroe youth Riggs works with have been able to develop their athletic talents while learning valuable life lessons under his mentorship.

Nominations are currently open for Everyday Heroes 2023. The act of heroism must have taken place between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022, and nominee must have been resident or employed in Monroe County; or the heroic deed must have taken place in Monroe County. For a list of award categories or more information, log on to https://www.unitedwaymlc.org/everyday-heroes.