Indianapolis Red Cross honors State Fair heroes, others


The Greater Indianapolis Red Cross held its Hall of Fame Awards Wednesday at the Conrad Hotel honoring 14 ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things.

Mark Bowen, Debra Evans, Rob Klinestiver, Doug Lackey, Chris Lockman, Toby Pauley, Natalie Prater and David Wood were honored for working together to help a young girl injured in the state fair state collapse.

"All of a sudden, it was like Maggie was dropped in my lap," said Hamilton County Sheriff Mark Bowen. "She sustained a very severe arm injury and leg injury as well, and was carried out by a number of folks, passed on from one person to another. All were strangers to her but all were there willing to help."

"It's great to be with everybody who helped rescue Maggie that night and I'm really proud they're giving them that award," said Maggie's mother Laura Magdziarz, who was a former 911 dispatcher. "Usually people turn around and walk away. People actually stepped in this time."

According to the Red Cross, Alyssa Bergdoll, Nate Borgenheimer, Jordon Turner and Emily Willmann of Hartford City were honored for running to the scene of a fire at an assisted living facility for seniors and breaking out windows to rescue trapped residents and providing first aid.

The Red Cross honored Tim Balz of Plainfield for rehabbing and customizing motorized wheelchairs for a fellow student and other people in need. Balz, 17, created a not-for-profit called Freedom Chairs of Indiana.

"He's touching so many lives. He's changed not only his classmates' lives, but the folks he's retrofitting wheelchairs for them," said Red Cross Public Affairs spokeswoman Ann Gregson.

Connie Rufenbarger of Winona Lake was honored for co-founding and being the driving force behind the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

"This is an ongoing thing that could help millions of women in the years to come," said Red Cross Public Affairs spokeswoman Ann Gregson.

The honorees were presented Hall of Fame awards and a lapel pin.

CNO Financial Group was the presenter of the Hall of Fame Awards.