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Students Honored as ‘Good Samaritans’ at Heroes Breakfast

President Davie Jane Gilmour joins (from left) Thomas P. Veres, of Scarsdale, N.Y.; Leonardo Tejeda, of New Rochelle, N.Y.; and Anthony V. Rode, of Lords Valley; prior to Friday's Red Cross Heroes Breakfast at The Genetti Hotel.
President Davie Jane Gilmour joins (from left) Thomas P. Veres, of Scarsdale, N.Y.; Leonardo Tejeda, of New Rochelle, N.Y.; and Anthony V. Rode, of Lords Valley; prior to Friday’s Red Cross Heroes Breakfast at The Genetti Hotel.
Among those attending on behalf of the student heroes are representatives of Penn College Police, College Health Services, Student Affairs and administration and faculty from the School of Construction & Design Technologies (in which the students' majors are housed).
Among those attending on behalf of the student heroes are representatives of Penn College Police, College Health Services, Student Affairs and administration and faculty from the School of Construction & Design Technologies (in which the students’ majors are housed).
The students recount their fire-rescue story  in a video accompanying their accolades.
The students recount their fire-rescue story in a video accompanying their accolades.
Penn College alumnus Casey S. Lowmiller (center), a 2008 graduate in emergency medical services, is among the morning's other honorees.
Penn College alumnus Casey S. Lowmiller (center), a 2008 graduate in emergency medical services, is among the morning’s other honorees.

Three Penn College students who entered a burning building without hesitation on Sept. 22, ultimately shepherding four people (and a few cats) to safety, were among those honored at Friday’s fifth annual American Red Cross Heroes Breakfast.  Anthony V. Rode, of Lords Valley; Leonardo Tejeda, of New Rochelle, N.Y.; and Thomas P. Veres, of Scarsdale, N.Y.  – joined at The Genetti Hotel by their families and other supporters – were presented with “Good Samaritans” awards by college President Davie Jane Gilmour. Video profiles compiled by the Red Cross’ Northcentral PA Chapter and shared with the audience recounted tales of heroism in nine categories, including the city fire rescue. “The last thing three carefree college students needed was to become involved with someone else’s drama, (but) life doesn’t always go as planned,” the narrator said of the Penn College trio. “The fabulous threesome all said their mothers, while proud, were also a bit cross with their actions, each asking, ‘Why would you do something like that?’ Their answers were all the same: ‘Someone had to.’ Acting on instinct and showing skills and maturity beyond the standard reputation assigned to young men in college, they taught us lessons in bravery; smart, quick thinking; and decency.” Rode is a construction management major, Tejeda is an architectural technology student and Veres is enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration. Honored in the “Pet Rescue” category was Casey S. Lowmiller, a 2008 graduate of Penn College’s emergency medical services major, one of two South Williamsport firefighters who saved a 5-week-old puppy that was trapped within a wall at a Market Street home.

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