Local woman earns Red Cross' "Hero of a Lifetime" award - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local woman earns Red Cross' "Hero of a Lifetime" award

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Chippewa Valley (WQOW) - A local woman is being recognized asa hero for her volunteer service to countless families across the nation,including one family in Elk mound.

DonnaBorner, an American Red Cross volunteer, said, "When a disaster strikes, timeis very important."

As a helper during the Vietnam Warera to becoming one of American Red Cross' valuable volunteers, she wasnominated by two people for the Red Cross' "Hero of a Lifetime" award.

Donna Borner, who earned the award,said, "It's more than a fulltime job. I was just thrilled, I just was sohappy."

Devoting 8 years of non-paid workhas allowed her to see the best in people and the worst of 14 naturaldisasters. Borner said, "When I'm out on a national deployment, I get tomeet so many different people, from so many different walks of life." Shealso said, "The most troubling thing is, to see the look on the peoplethat have been devastated by the disaster."

A look that was all too familiar to Donnaon March 10th when she assisted a family of nine in Elk Mound after they losttheir home to a fire. Borner said, "They lost everything, their home,their clothing, everything they had."

Paula Gunderson, who lost her homein the fire, said, "Even with all the stress, it makes it all the easierwith having had all this help." Gunderson said, "I did have someonesay it could be a blessing in disguise. We've met so many wonderful people. Youforget along life being so difficult that there are really caring people tohelp."

A help that Paula is thankful forreceiving. Gunderson said, "She's our hero, we were standing in thestreets, in our socks and this is who God sent to us."

Borner said, "It made me feellike all the work that I've put into the Red Cross, all the years that I'vebeen as a volunteer, what a nice reward to receive for that."

On Wednesday, March 26, Eau Claire's local Red Crosswill hold a breakfast honoring Borner and many other community heroes. Talkabout a feel good event.

To learn more about the heroesbreakfast and how you can get tickets, look under "Hometown Events" on ourwebpage.

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