June 23, 2021 — In its second announcement of 2021, the Carnegie Hero Fund is proud to recognize 18 civilians who risked their lives for others. Each will receive the Carnegie Medal, North America’s highest honor for civilian heroism.
Among those to be awarded this quarter are 50-year-old Ryan Keith Cox, who saw to the safety of a group of his co-workers before being shot and killed by a gunman who opened fire in the Virginia Beach city government building; Steven T. Boesl, a 49-year-old farmer, who died after he entered a Minnesota silo filled with noxious gas to attempt to save his brother and nephew; and Bronx student Lucas Y. Silverio Mendoza, 19, who was killed while attempting to guide a 3-year-old from a burning building. Those heroes along with Christine L. Beheler, a mom, 41, who died trying to save a 12-year-old boy from drowning and Keawe Michael Pestana, 34, who drowned attempting to save his three cousins who had entered a cold, swift-moving river after their canoe tipped over, will receive the Carnegie Medal posthumously.
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 10,238 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 117 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, nearly $43 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
- Steven T. Boesl, deceased, Brandon, Minnesota
- Ryan D.A. Horne, International Falls, Minnesota
- David J. Brown, Shakopee, Minnesota
- Jamey Ruth Klassen, Guelph, Ontario
- Marc F. Romano, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
- Scott D. Morrison, Rescue, California,
- Keawe Michael Pestana, deceased, Donnelly, Idaho
- Antonio Morgan, St. Louis, Missouri
- Lucas Y. Silverio Mendoza, deceased, Bronx, New York
- Eric Andrew Staten, Heber City, Utah
- Mark Pierce, Sandy, Utah
- Nathan Hammond, Heber City, Utah
- Christine L. Beheler, deceased, Niles, Ohio
- Mark A. Krempasky, Warren, Ohio
- Melinda J. Wilms, Salem, Ohio
- Renata Bandel, Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Ryan Keith Cox, deceased, Virginia Beach, Virginia
- D. Roderick Boothe, Mableton, Georgia
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.