In its first announcement of 2022, the Carnegie Hero Fund is proud to recognize 18 civilians who risked their lives to save others. Each will receive the Carnegie Medal, North America’s highest honor for civilian heroism.
Among those saved by this quarter’s awardees, were at least nine children ranging in age from 5 to 13 years old. Ten-year-old Ricky Lee Sneve died saving his 5-year-old sister from drowning in the Big Sioux River and Arizona teens Zachary Johnson Haugen, 16, and Jake Vageli Watson, 15, jumped from Sunset Cliffs in San Diego to save an 18-year-old woman and 11-year old girl from drowning after they were swept into a Pacific Ocean cove by a 5-foot wave.
The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who enter extreme danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. With this announcement, a total of 10,291 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the 118 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, nearly $44 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
Evan Daniel Townsley, Los Angeles
Ricky Lee Sneve, deceased, Hudson, South Dakota
Patrick J. Driscoll, Centerville, Ohio
Justin Leland Perry, Interlochen, Michigan
Jason Hadfield, Kingsley, Michigan
Peter Rosengren, deceased, Batavia, Illinois
Arthur R. Caballero, Sr., deceased, Fresno, California
Carl J. Robinette II, deceased, Hartsville, South Carolina
Christopher Lee Taylor, Greenville, Ohio
Marena L. Kouba, St. Cloud, Minnesota
Magdalini Chormova, Athens, Greece
Anthony Hogan, Haslet, Texas
Daniel L. Cook, Alexandria, Louisiana
Brandon Melancon, Church Point, Louisiana
Layne Paul Gravois, deceased, Gray, Louisiana
Kim A. McGrady, deceased, Dunwoody, Georgia
Zachary Johnson Haugen, Phoenix
Jake Vageli Watson, Scottsdale, Arizona
To nominate someone for the Carnegie Medal, complete a nomination form online or write to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, 436 Seventh Ave., Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. More information on the Carnegie Medal and the history of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission can be found at carnegiehero.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.