San Diego, California - On October 7, 2016, the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties held the 14th Annual Real Heroes Breakfast aboard the USS Midway Museum. Nearly 500 people were in attendance. Every year, the Real Heroes Breakfast honors ordinary people with extraordinary courage.

The Real Heroes event is one of the largest fundraising events for the local Red Cross. This year’s event raised over $130,000 for the organization.

“Every year, we are amazed by the bravery and selflessness of our honorees. They have all done extraordinary things—from saving lives to working tirelessly to create safer and stronger communities,” said Bill Earley, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties. “Each one of this year’s winners truly embodies the spirit and mission of the Red Cross.”

Since the event’s inception, over 100 local heroes have been honored. The 2016 Real Heroes award recipients include:

o   Jim and Robin Madaffer – Adult Honorees. Jim and Robin used CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED), which Jim keeps in his trunk, to save a father of two who collapsed on a sidewalk in their neighborhood. Award presented by Kaiser Permanente.

o   Amy Silveira – Animal Welfare Honoree. Through her work with the Animal Safehouse Program at Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Amy helps both the human and animal victims of domestic violence.

Award presented by Cox Business.

o   Ready Carlsbad Business Alliance (RCBA) – Community Partner Honoree. RCBA works to create a safer, stronger and more resilient Carlsbad through a variety of preparedness programs and disaster response services. Award presented by U.S. Bank.

o   Firefighters Dallas Higgins and Joe Zakar – Fire and Rescue Honorees. Dallas and Joe ran into a burning home, saving two children trapped inside. Award presented by San Diego City Firefighters Local 145.

o   Officers Adrian Hirales and Stephen Singh, El Centro Police Department – Law Enforcement Honorees. Hirales and Singh, without any protective gear, ran into a burning home and successfully saved a man trapped inside. Award presented by Wawanesa Insurance.

o   Joshua Cardona, USMC – Military Honoree. On his way to work one morning, Joshua pulled an accident victim from an overturned car on a local freeway, freeing the driver from the wreckage and securing the scene until first responders arrived. Award presented by Sycuan Casino.

o   Grace Morgan and Isabelle Heinken - Youth Honorees. Sixth-graders Grace and Isabelle jumped into action and saved a young boy from drowning this summer at Gator Beach in Coronado. Award presented by SDG&E.

“We’d like to thank our sponsors for their support of Real Heroes, which not only enables us to continue wonderful events such as this one, but also allows us to perform our vital mission in the community,” said Wendy McKinney, Chief Development Officer for the local Red Cross.

Sponsors of the 14th Annual Real Heroes Breakfast include:

  • SDG&E: Hometown Hero Sponsor
  • Ford Motor Company: Community Champion Sponsor
  • Sycuan Casino: Co-Presenting Sponsor
  • U.S. Bank: Co-Presenting Sponsor
  • Wawanesa Insurance: Co-Presenting Sponsor

For more information about the local Red Cross, including ways to volunteer and get involved, please visit