Bill Tutt will receive the Humanitarian Award on Thursday from the American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado during its annual Hometown Heroes Dinner, the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser at which eight other awards will be presented.
Tutt was a key player in bringing the Air Force Academy and the U.S. Olympic Committee to Colorado Springs and helped start the Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation. He has been a key leader in the hotel industry nationwide as well as the Olympic Committee, its national governing bodies and several national nonprofits based in Colorado Springs.
“Colorado Springs is a finer and brighter community because of Tutt’s outstanding philanthropic and business leadership in the region for over 40 years,” the Red Cross said in a news release.
The event is from 6-9 p.m. in the Rocky Mountain Ballroom of Broadmoor West. Other recipients of the organization’s 2019 Hero Awards include:
• Adult Hero — Jerrell Jinkins Sr., who responded to a natural gas break after a vehicle crashed into the furnace room of the apartment complex he managed. He called for the evacuation of 28 residents, then rushed into an area with a high concentration of natural gas to close a stuck valve and stop the flow of gas.
• Animal Hero — Go Team Therapy, Crisis and Airport Dogs Inc., which provides teams of dogs to visit schools, hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, military bases and other locations. The group has been present during local disasters such as wildfires and shootings to help first responders and victims by providing comfort and distraction from tragedy.
• Community Partner Hero — Shield 616, which equips first responders with advanced active-shooter/crowd control gear and provides personal support to first responders. Gear is donated and will be replaced every five years at no cost.
• Adult Hero — Josh Rivera, Mike Perkins, Brian Cathey and Isaiah Rivera, a group of dirt-bike riders who helped save the life of fellow rider and friend, Eddie Kerr, who slammed into a tree. A large branch glanced off his chest protector and punctured his neck and shoulder, leaving him impaled and dangling from the tree. They provided first aid and went for help.
• First Responder Hero — Colorado Springs police officer Clay Sunada, who helped Jered Wickman after a high-speed motorcycle crash that left him with two broken legs. Sunada helped calm Wickman’s wife in the emergency room and ensured his children received Christmas gifts and helped with his son’s birthday party.
• Military Hero — Air Force Academy Cadet Kristen Nye, who saw a concrete truck overturn while returning to the academy. After calling 911, she jumped onto the top of the cab of the truck to remove debris that trapped the driver in the vehicle and helped others to free him. She also directed traffic safely around the accident.
• Military Hero — Staff Sgt. Branden Smithwick, Airman Anthony Bustamante and Airman Matthew Huff, who rushed to a location on Peterson Air Force Base where a vehicle had rolled 30 feet down an embankment, ejecting the driver and pinning her beneath the vehicle. They scaled a fence to reach the vehicle and lifted the vehicle off the victim and provided first aid.
• Youth Hero — Tayla Bertrand, MaKayla Coates, Greta Penner, Arianna Ponce, Emery Roher, Kate Ulmer, and Danielle Wilke, all sixth-grade students at Palmer Lake Elementary School, who helped a fellow student who suffers from selective mutism resulting from severe social anxiety. They accompanied the new student at her pace between classes, sat with her at lunch and included her in group projects.