Heber Alonzo Meraz
Heber Alonzo Meraz - American Red Cross Lifesaving Awards Achievement

Heber Alonzo Meraz Looks Back on American Red Cross Lifesaving Awards Achievement

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Heber Alonzo Meraz reflects on his American Red Cross Lifesaving Award and other achievements.

 

Heber Alonzo MerazProject coordinator, senior analyst, and retired United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Heber Alonzo Meraz looks back on his American Red Cross Lifesaving Award and other achievements, and reveals more about his keen community spirit, neighborhood safety events, and work with the Toys for Tots program.

 

American Red Cross Lifesaving Awards have issued annually from the American Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C. All nominees for the organization’s national awards are also entered into the pool of nominations for their local chapter’s annual American Red Cross Heroes event, such as the so-called ‘Breakfast of Champions.’

 

Heber Alonzo Meraz received his own American Red Cross Lifesaving Award in 2010 for saving the life of an individual who was choking. For saving the life of the woman, a resident of Fairfield, Connecticut, he also received a State of Connecticut General Assembly Official Citation.

 

“I’m immensely proud,” Meraz reveals, “of both my American Red Cross Lifesaving Award and the subsequent State of Connecticut General Assembly Official Citation.”

 

A retired United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, Meraz became a member of the U.S. Armed Forces in 1994 and went on to complete 20 years active duty service. Today a project coordinator and senior analyst with Sikorsky Aircraft in Shelton, Connecticut, Meraz also boasts a keen community spirit, regularly hosting local events in and around both Shelton and nearby Trumbull where he currently lives.

 

“One event which I host every year now is our annual neighborhood safety event, here in Trumbull, which is focused on teaching children in the community about cardiopulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR, as well as fire safety and prevention, and how to recognize choking hazards,” the retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant explains.

 

Raised between El Paso, Texas, and Dodge City, Kansas, Heber Alonzo Meraz is also a keen marathon runner and is heavily involved with Toys for Tots, for which he served as project coordinator for three years in 2010, 2011, and 2012. “Toys for Tots is an incredible program,” he adds, “run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents are unable to afford to buy them gifts at Christmastime.”

 

The mission of the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program, founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks, is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, before distributing those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity located in Triangle, Virginia, which serves to fund, raise funds for, and support the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. For more information, head to https://www.toysfortots.org/.

 

To learn more about the American Red Cross Lifesaving Awards, meanwhile, please visit https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/lifesaving.

Heber Alonzo Meraz reflects on work with United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program

Heber Alonzo Meraz 

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant and former Toys for Tots coordinator Heber A. Meraz reveals more about the Christmastime charitable toy distribution program.

A program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Toys for Tots distributes toys to children whose parents are unable to afford to buy them gifts at Christmas. A retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, Heber Alonzo Merazreflects on his work with the organization for which he served as project coordinator for three years between 2010 and 2012.

“The mission of the program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, before distributing those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community,” reveals former Toys for Tots program coordinator Meraz.

“The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks,” explains Meraz, who was coordinator for the project in 2010, 2011, and 2012, “and, to this day, aims to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less-fortunate youngsters which will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, and patriotic citizens.”

Initially established solely as a Los Angeles-based and focused charitable effort, the program’s first event, under then-coordinator Lieutenant Colonel John Hampton, collected more than 5,000 toys for local children from collection bins placed outside Warner Bros. movie theaters across the city. “Such was the success of the program’s first Christmas,” Meraz adds, “that, the following year, Toys for Tots was launched as a national campaign.”

Celebrity support quickly ensued, while Walt Disney Studios designed the organization’s red toy train logo. “A while later,” former project coordinator Meraz reveals, “a theme song for Toys for Tots was written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, which was then recorded by Nat King Cole, Jo Stafford, and Peggy Lee, among several other big names.”

“Today, and since its inception,” he adds, wrapping up, “the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program has successfully distributed more than 530 million toys to over 244 million less-fortunate children throughout the country at Christmastime.”

Heber Alonzo Meraz is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant. Raised in El Paso, Texas, and Dodge City, Kansas, Meraz joined the Marine Corps in 1994 and went on to complete 20 years active duty service. Today a senior analyst with Sikorsky Aircraft in Shelton, Connecticut, Heber A. Meraz boasts a keen community spirit, regularly hosting local events in and around both Shelton and nearby Trumbull where he currently resides. A keen marathon runner and the recipient of an American Red Cross Lifesaving Award, events hosted by Meraz include the annual ‘Neighborhood Safety Event’ focused on teaching children in the area about CPR, fire safety and prevention, and recognizing choking hazards.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity located in Triangle, Virginia, which serves to fund, raise funds for, and support the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. To learn more, or to make a donation, please visit https://www.toysfortots.org/.

Heber Alonzo Meraz

Heber Alonzo Meraz shares details of this year’s Hartford Marathon

Heber A. Meraz looks forward to this year’s Hartford Marathon, set to take place in and around Bushnell Park this October.

Set to take place on Saturday, October 12, this year’s Hartford Marathon is already hotly anticipated by runners, families, charities, and volunteers in the capital of Connecticut and surrounding areas. Held in and around Bushnell Park and consisting of a marathon, half marathon, and 5K race, the event is set to kick off at 7:55 am, while the finish line expo and post-race festivities will continue until 2 pm, according to Heber Alonzo Meraz.

“Bushnell Park is an oasis in the heart of the city of Hartford,” reveals Meraz, a keen marathon runner, project coordinator, and retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant from Trumbull, Connecticut, “where both adults and children from all walks of life head out to play.”

A thriving, beautiful, and inviting place to play, exercise, and relax, says Meraz, the park is the ideal location around which to base the Hartford Marathon. The biggest race day in Connecticut, the marathon welcomes participants of all ages and abilities to join in what it calls ‘an annual celebration of community, charity, health, and fitness.’

“There’s a positive experience and a distance for everyone,” Meraz suggests, “as runners, families, charities, and volunteers all come together in the heart of Connecticut for a truly unique and inspiring event.”

The marathon is the final event in the three-race ‘Connecticut Triple’ challenge, taking runners through picturesque communities across the state as they progress from 10K to half marathon before taking on the Hartford Marathon itself in October. Participants in the challenge who register in advance also earn a commemorative medal, according to Meraz.

Perks of running the Hartford Marathon include specials at local restaurants, attractions, and events from October 11-13, while runners will also enjoy sports massages provided by the AMTA CT Sports Massage Team, security and medical services, and free athlete tracking, gear checks, and showers at YMCA Downtown.

“Athletes may also refuel with plentiful options at the food tent in the center of Bushnell Park, and enjoy a free beer in the beer garden for over-21s,” reveals Meraz.

“There’s also plenty of special swag up for grabs for runners to support big-time bragging rights!” he adds, wrapping up.

Heber Alonzo Meraz is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant. Raised in El Paso, Texas, and Dodge City, Kansas, Meraz joined the Marine Corps in 1994 and went on to complete 20 years active duty service. Today a project coordinator and senior analyst with Sikorsky Aircraft in Shelton, Connecticut, Heber A. Meraz—recipient of an American Red Cross Lifesaving Award—boasts a keen community spirit, regularly hosting local events in and around both Shelton and nearby Trumbull where he currently resides. Events hosted by Meraz include the annual ‘Neighborhood Safety Event’ focused on teaching children in the area about CPR, fire safety and prevention, and recognizing choking hazards. A keen marathon runner, Heber Meraz is also involved with Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents are unable to afford to buy them gifts at Christmas.

For more information about the 2019 Hartford Marathon set to take place on Saturday, October 12, please head to https://www.hartfordmarathon.com/.