Scientology Volunteer Ministers Honor Heroes at Patriots’ Day Award Banquet
Remembering September 11 by honoring those who serve.
On September 11, 2001, America witnessed tremendous heroism in the face of incalculable loss. The day has since been designated as Patriots’ Day. In honor of that day, and the acts of bravery that have inspired a generation to do more for their fellows, the Volunteer Ministers of the Church of Scientology hosted their first annual Everyday Heroes Award Banquet.
Held in the Auditorium of the Fort Harrison, the international religious retreat for the Church of Scientology in Clearwater, more than 250 guests from all walks of life attended and participated in the program.
“We are gathered to remember the acts of selfless heroism on September 11, 2001,” said Lisa Mansell, Public Affairs Director of the Church. “We are familiar with the statistics and why first responders are honored throughout the United States on September 11. Their sacrifices in the line of duty are not to be forgotten. Their sacrifices have inspired millions to serve their fellow man.”
An array of speakers echoed that sentiment, demonstrating how that one day shaped the course of their lives.
The evening’s keynote speaker, Jack L. Tilley, 12th Sergeant Major of the Army, retired, spoke passionately of these incidents. He was at the Pentagon on 9/11 and was one of those who rushed into the building to help rescue victims.
Speakers also included Dan Ebert, representing OneBlood—the blood supplier for the majority of Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Mr. Ebert recalled how his eyes were glued to the TV while potential donors arrived in shock. He said blood donors are everyday heroes to the strangers they will help through their donations.
Mr. Jose Bueno of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Red Cross spoke of his organization’s work to prevent disasters by installing of fire alarms in homes in Tampa Bay and across the U.S.
Glendy Goodsell, Executive Director of the Volunteer Ministers of Florida, presented awards to those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to build a better community.
Those awarded were:
- OneBlood—whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of others through blood and stem cell products and by facilitating scientific research
- Feeding Children Everywhere—whose mission is a hunger-free world
- Mr. Ray Neri and Mr. Neil Brickfield from Lealman and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Police Athletic League, who are keeping youth on a positive path.
Looking back on September 11, Mansell spoke of the Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response Team and their work to provide food, water, clothing, gear and the human element that helped rescue workers cope with the horrific destruction they were contending with. “From that day, they have not looked back, assisting at over 200 disaster sites internationally,” she said. “The Volunteer Ministers were organized by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard to bring back religious influence to society. This group is open to members of all faiths, anyone who wants to do something about the turmoil that they see around them.”
For more information about the Volunteer Ministers, please visit the website at www.volunteerministers.org.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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