POMEROY — AAA and Ford Motor Company honored Riverside Auto & Towing with the Ford Real Heroes Award during a ceremony held on Thursday.
The Real Heroes Award is presented annually to one recipient selected from hundreds of submissions nationwide.
Lee Richards, owner of Riverside Auto & Towing, was selected from the submissions for his actions on Christmas Eve 2019.
According to a news release provided by AAA, “Late on Christmas Eve, Riverside came to the rescue of a young woman on her way home to Florida to surprise her family with a Christmas Day visit. When she popped a tire and was stranded at the roadside, Lee Richards, owner of Riverside Towing, passed by. He found her cold, tired, and scared. He and his wife, Tina, welcomed her into their home to warm up and stay safe while he went to work on her tire. He gave her two new tires for free, and after installing them, sent her on her way with snacks and advice for where to stop along the way.”
As part of the award, Riverside was presented with a trophy and $30,000 toward the purchase of a brand-new Ford tow truck.
AAA representatives Dave Hill, Jeff Blake, Mike Hoshaw and Jim Garrity were on hand for the award presentation in the Farmers Bank Community Room on Thursday, with additional AAA and Ford Motor Company representatives taking part by Zoom.
In a video, Vice President of Automotive Services for AAA National thanked Richards for what he did on Christmas eve, as well as the work he and others in the field do every day to take care of AAA members across the country.
Dennis Coval, Vice President of Contact Center Operations for AAA East Central, stated that it is good “knowing we have an excellent partner for the past 17 years in Riverside.” He added that he knows AAA members are in good hands with Riverside serving the area.
Ford Motor Company Director of Global Business Development Bryon Gopigian said that stories such as this one “reinvigorates faith in the human spirit”, adding that this is a “great Christmas story.”
AAA and Ford Motor Company will award Riverside Auto & Towing LLC with the Ford Real Heroes Award, and $30,000 towards a brand-new tow truck, in celebration of a recent act of heroism performed by the towing operator.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.