Elaine Bertagnoli, left, of Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center and Iris Caroway of Banner Boswell Medical Center each received a Hero Award from United Blood Services for their efforts to coordinate blood drives.

Submitted photo

United Blood Services presented Hero Awards last month to Iris Caroway of Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City and Elaine Bertagnoli of Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West.

Of the 1,267 organizations that sponsored blood drives last year, 195 coordinators earned Valentines for Life awards for reaching significant milestones in recruiting blood donors.

Caroway and Bertagnoli represented two of the top 22 organizations that qualified for the Hero Award, presented to the top blood drive coordinators. Caroway and Bertagnoli reached the top 1 percent in coordinating blood drives.

The women received their awards at Valentines for Life, presented Feb. 18 at the JW Mariott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix.

Guests at the event heard the story of Owen, a 10-year-old Surprise resident who won his battle against bone cancer with the help of six blood donors.

Other Northwest Valley recipients of the Hero Award: Rachel Villa of Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale; Norma Bonaski of the City of Peoria; Staff Sgt. Jessica Barraza, Staff Sgt. Heather Dolar and Staff Sgt. Matt Kertesz, all of Luke Air Force Base.

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