GALLIPOLIS — In a joint effort to recognize community members who have supported the region through good will and volunteerism, the Gallipolis Daily Tribune and the American Red Cross will sponsor a breakfast ceremony beginning at 7:30 a.m. Friday, June 22, at the Gallia County Senior Center located on Ohio 160 — the fourth annual ceremony of its kind. The breakfast is being held in honor of the recently named recipients of the 2012 Everyday Hero awards.
One recipient of the Everyday Hero award for 2012 is Meigs County resident Gracie Hoffman. Hoffman was named this year’s Youth Hero.
Gracie Hoffman is 13, going on 14. She will be an eighth grader at Meigs Middle School in the fall. She is an archery state champion that placed second in her division last year. Among these remarkable accomplishments, however, probably the most notable is the $4,000 she has helped raise for cancer research. Hoffman is a true hero.
After losing her grandparents to cancer, Hoffman was determined to help end the disease.
“I didn’t want anyone else to go through what I went through,” she said.
After watching her father, David, participate in Pelotonia, a bicycle ride that raises money for cancer research, she was determined to ride, as well. Pelotonia is an annual event in Columbus that attracts riders from all over the country. The August ride has routes from 25 miles to 180 miles long, and has raised approximately $3.37 million this year alone. All race expenses are covered by corporate sponsors so that every cent earned by riders goes to cancer research.
Gracie has chosen the 50-mile route that starts in downtown Columbus and ends in New Albany. The entry fee for the route is $1,250, and after mulling over her most profitable talents, she realized, “I can bake cupcakes!” Hoffman began Cupcakes for a Cure, and hasn’t looked back since.
“There were many times when that’s all she did the entire weekend. She refused to turn down an order,” says mom, Kathie Hoffman.
Since Gracie is under 18, she’s required to have a chaperone for the ride, so Kathie Hoffman has now joined the cause, as well, and with two months to go, has already exceeded her $1,250 entry fee.
“I have been touched beyond belief by what Gracie is doing,” said her mom. “I have never learned so much from one child.”
Pelotonia has become a family event for the Hoffmans. Kathie, David and Gracie all train together for the August 11 ride. While Gracie’s younger brother, Cole, is too young to ride, he will be participating next year when he turns 13. The Hoffmans’ two older daughters, Lian and Marlee, who are away at college, are their biggest fans and enthusiastically cheer from the sidelines.
Gracie Hoffman is a huge heart, in a small package. Wise beyond her years, she is an inspiration to those several years her senior, and lives the Hoffman motto: “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
For those interested in sponsoring Gracie’s ride, log on to www.pelotonia.org and enter ID Number GH0014 into the search field.
Other recipients of the award for 2012 are Billy C. Campbell, Military Hero; Polly Wetherholt, Senior Hero; Cliff and Fran Richie, Community Heroes; Jim Eutsler, Fire Hero; Dot Neutzling, Blood Volunteer Hero; David Clay, Blood Donor Hero; Lisa Richie, Education Hero; Kody Lambert, Good Samaritan Hero; and Tommy Wright, Law Enforcement Hero.
Tickets for the breakfast are $10 and can be purchased by contacting the American Red Cross at (740) 446-8555 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets can also be picked up at the Gallipolis Red Cross office located at 417 Second Avenue. Those interested in attending are urged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible, as the event has sold out in past years.