Taken from Waterloo Courier March 26, 2015

CEDAR FALLS | The people honored at this year's "Heroes Among Us" awards have vastly different stories.

Whether they stepped between a gunman and colleagues, saved a child from getting sucked into a storm sewer, helped a diabetic traveler find food and shelter for the night, helped fund cancer research and saved animals and more, they all stop short of describing themselves as heroes.

The 17 people honored at the 10th annual "Heroes Among Us" said they were either doing their duty or what anyone else would do.

Larry "Buck" Koos tackled a gunman in the Jackson County Board of Supervisors chambers Sept. 9 last year. The man, apparently disgruntled about property taxes, fired a shot at the County Assessor. Koos pushed a security alert button, rushed and tackled the man.

"I know right from wrong," he said after the event. "I knew I was capable of doing something."

Koos said his plan of action came into his head immediately and never considered the danger to him until after the incident. Koos said he didn't realize the gunman had pointed the gun at him until a fellow county supervisor told him after the incident.

That Koos couldn't imagine acting otherwise was a common sentiment among the other people honored.

Sgt. Melissa Ludwig, of the Waterloo Police Department called the deeds she was recognized for "part of our duty" as a police officer.

Ludwig helped an Ohio woman find food and shelter after she arrived in Waterloo by boarding the wrong bus.

The woman had a diabetic episode and was treated and released at a Allen Hospital but had no place to go overnight. After a relative called police concerned about the woman, Ludwig located her, brought her to the Burger King restaurant on Jefferson Street, where the manager paid for her meal. Ludwig then took the woman to the Ramada Inn and paid for a room for the night.

"That's what we're there for," Ludwig said. "To protect and to serve and that's what I did."

A group of four young people were also honored for helping save an 8-year-old boy from drowning. Caly Cizek, Katelyn Ryan, Kurtis Stabenow and Dylan Glawe held onto Charlie Cizek who was stuck in a storm water culvert in Bontrager Park until rescuers arrived on scene to pull him out of the water.

Caly Cizek is Charlie Cizek's older sister. She said she never considered not helping her brother but later added she would have done the same thing for anyone.

"I would help anyone because I'm a nice person," she said.

"I figured anyone would help someone in that situation," said Dylan Glawe.

However, not anyone did. Witnesses say others had walked by and not assisted the 8-year-old. That not anyone else did what the people honored did was another theme that ran through the morning event.

Scott Cherne of Guttenberg and Jeff Lincoln of Greeley, were honored for rescuing a woman from freezing water when her truck went off the road in Clayton County in November.

"It's small town Iowa," Cherne said in a video interview. "You help people; it's something you do."

Ann Schott of La Porte City, a retired Covenant Medical Center Air Care nurse, was awarded for immediately performing CPR on a friend in a hospital waiting room and resuscitating her.

The Animal Welfare Foundation of Iowa of Marion, was recognized for rescuing multiple dogs from a foreclosed farmhouse near Worthington.

Members of the West High School Air Force ROTC Cadets of Waterloo were awarded for their work in raising donations to the Iowa's Bravest project and other community work.

Candy Nardini was honored for her volunteer work raising money for cancer research but also raised funds and supplies for Hope Lodge in Iowa City, a place where family members of cancer patients who are being treated in Iowa City can stay.

"In some little way, I want to make difference and help make things easier (for families)," Nardini said.

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