Bay News 9, Spectrum Networks salutes 2016 Everyday Heroes

By Dalia Dangerfield and Felix R. Albuerne Jr., Team Coverage
Last Updated: Saturday, April 01, 2017, 7:08 PM EDT

Earlier in March Bay News 9 and Spectrum Networks held the 13th annual Salute to Everyday Heroes Luncheon to honor individuals profiled each week during the previous year for the difference they're making in the Bay area. Several heroes received special awards for going above and beyond.

  • Event airing on Bay News 9 April 1 at 7 p.m., April 2 at 4 p.m.
  • Bill Murphy hosts Everyday Heroes every Monday morning
  • To nominate an Everyday Hero, visit baynews9.com/everydayhero

During the event, airing on Bay News 9 April 1 at 7 p.m. and again on April 2 at 4 p.m., the heroes made their way on stage one by one to accept recognition they never expected to receive.
 
“Oh my gosh, I was shocked,” said Callee Rose Connon, Bay News 9’s Young Hero of the Year.
 
“This is a chance for Bay News 9 and Spectrum Networks to really recognize people who do good, who reach out, who see a problem and then figure out a way to solve it on their own, on their own time and often with their own money,” said Alan Mason, Spectrum Networks News Group Vice-President South.

For Everyday Heroes host Bill Murphy, the event is also a chance for a welcome reunion with cherished friends.

"It's almost like 'old home week,' said Murphy. "My unofficial definition of an 'Everyday Hero' is someone who makes the world a better place in which to live, and they all do. They have different stories -- some are more dramatic than others -- but all of them make a contribution and they put perspective in everything, and inspiration, too."
 
Wayne Washington, this year’s Volunteer Hero of the Year, is a comedian in Manatee County who uplifts his community with an organization he started called Straight Talk.
 
“I just want to let the young people know that you can achieve if you just keep dreaming and keep trying to be positive and doing the right thing,” Washington said.
 
Jessica Helmes, a veteran, received the Viewer’s Choice award for creating a social media support system for other veterans.
 
“It's humbling,” Helmes said. “It's very humbling. It means that the civilians and other community members know that there’s a real need for the veteran community to get a support system.”

One thing in common for all of the event's honorees, as well as all the other "Everyday Heroes" gathered Wednesday. What they're doing isn't for fame to seek attention -- they just want to help those who need it most.

“Honestly, I would do it anyway, even if I’m not honored,” Connon said.