Thumbs up: To the American Red Cross Heroes of Adams and York Counties.
Sixteen people were honored last week at the charities' 11 annual awards ceremony for what event chairman Michael Hady called "extraordinary acts."
They ranged from everyday people who rose to the occasion when compelled to do so, to trained firefighters and a police officer.
Penn Township resident Richard A. Bradburn was one of them. He received the Adult Good Samaritan award for rescuing his fiancee and their two young children from a burning house last January.
Twenty-four at the time, Bradburn woke to flames and moved his family onto the roof of a porch. Trained as a volunteer firefighter, he first tried to battle the spreading flames himself before realizing his efforts were fruitless.
He said he then went out onto the porch and leaped to the frozen ground below, bruising one of his heels. Wearing only boxer shorts, Bradburn got a ladder from behind the house and, with the aid of a responding police officer, helped his family to the ground.
Bradburn's farther, Richard P. Bradburn, nominated his son for the Red Cross award.
"Richard put his own safety in jeopardy that day and thought of others before himself," the elder Bradburn wrote.
Thumbs up: After saving York's New Year's Eve celebration at the last minute last year, Sprint again is stepping up, providing the funds to help the city ring in 2014.
The telecommunications company also will use the event as a food drive to benefit the York County Food Bank.
Anyone who takes a non-perishable food item to a York County Sprint location will be eligible for prizes - including a Samsung Galaxy S4 and a Samsung Gear Watch - to be drawn during the celebration on Continental Square.
The free event - featuring entertainment by RPM, a multi-genre band, and the Sabrina Duke Band, which plays R&B - will kick off at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31. A children's countdown, sponsored by Shipley Energy, is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m., and fireworks will shoot off at midnight.
Thumbs up: To Emilie Lonardi, who recently was recognized as the Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year for her "innovative leadership" in the West York Area School District during the past 16 years.
The award was given by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, which cited several programs she has started in the district, including the "West York Way" campaign that helps to identify cost-savings across the district.
Lonardi was also chosen for multiple initiatives that encourage academic improvement within the district, including programs that encourage students to take responsibility for their growth and improve scores for struggling students.
The superintendent shared the credit for those efforts, saying, "It's all the teachers. They make it happen."