Photos courtesy of Justin Rudd from past Long Beach Hero Awards dinners.
Every neighborhood has their “unsung heroes,” those outstanding members of the community who push far beyond expectations, who make an impact and a lasting impression on all those they meet. Often, the last thing on their mind is recognition.
The sixth annual Long Beach Hero Awards, hosted by Justin Rudd’s Community Action Team (CAT), will take place on Sunday, January 15 at Bayshore Church in Belmont Shore.
CAT is still accepting nominations up until Wednesday, January 11, and are expecting to give out $6,000 to those awarded.
“We'll be honoring ordinary, unsung citizens who exemplify the spirit of Long Beach caring and giving,” said Rudd in a statement.
Based on the CNN Heroes program, the Long Beach Hero Awards are funded through CAT’s Long Beach Turkey Trot. Heroes will receive $500, with the Hero of the Year to receive $1,000.
“We want to know about people you think should be recognized,” the release stated. “We want to recognize the unsung heroes and help them to financially continue doing what they are doing.”
Kenny Bumpers, named the Long Beach Hero of the Year for the fifth annual awards, was homeless and living in a tent with 18 dogs. He brought them into the free spay neuter clinic, and continued to show up every day to help care for the orphaned dogs, according to Bumpers’ nominator.
Bumpers hasn’t missed a day in three years, and now runs the back kennel, caring for nearly 65 dogs. He also takes them to local parks sporting “adopt me” vests in an effort to find them forever homes.
Other semi-finalists in past years have included an art museum docent, a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS, a campus security guard, a high school teacher and a Navy veteran.
The program does not allow repeat finalists. CAT highly encourages nominators to make sure who they nominate can attend the awards dinner at 6:00PM on Sunday, January 15 at Bayshore Church. If selected as semi-finalists, both the nominees and nominators must be able to attend.
For more information, please visit the Long Beach Heroes Facebook page here.
Bayshore Church is located at 5200 The Toledo.