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  • Maggie Blackwell, CIvitan Newsletter Editor

Salisbury Club Recognizes Local Heroes

Salisbury, NC, September 7, 2017: The Civitan Club of Salisbury has named recipients of its annual Hero Award. The four, three youths and an adult, saved the life of a young woman caught in the riptide on the coast of Mexico while on a mission trip there.

The youths are Roarke Burton, Keegan Dillon and Blaine Shellhorn. The adult, a mission trip advisor, is Allen Cook. The group traveled to Mexico for the annual TWAM “Teens With a Mission” trip for First Presbyterian Church. One of the youths, Haley Chour, got caught in the strong current and was unable to move toward shore. Two of the boys, Burton and Dillon, attempted the rescue but the riptide proved too strong. Cook joined in the rescue and then Shellhorn.

The four men were successful in bringing her safely to shore, stopping twice on the way in to administer breaths and compressions. Once on shore, Ms. Chour went into shock.

Other members of the group had already called for professional medical help. Ms. Chour was transported to a medical facility, treated and released. All three of the young men are certified lifeguards.

The group was nominated by John and Kyna Grubb, also advisors on the trip. Mr. Grubb’s letter stated, “There is no way that Haley Chour would have been able to make it to the shore on her own, had her friends not stayed with her and kept her afloat. She would not have survived until another more rested swimmer was able to come to his friends’ aid and help get Haley in. Had Allen, Roarke, Keegan and Blaine not put others above self this day would have ended tragically.”

Ernest Curtis, a longtime Salisbury Civitan Club member, was inspired to establish the Hero Award by the many heroic deeds of rescue workers and private citizens following the horrific events of September 11, 2001. The award is intended to recognize ordinary people for extraordinary actions in service to others.

(pictured: Mom Amy Shellhorn, Hero Blaine Shellhorn, mom Nanette Dillon, Hero Keegan Dillon, Haley Chour, who was saved from drowning by our heroes, Hero Roark Burton, mom Melanie Burton, Hero Allen Cook, wife Michelle Cook, mom Sara Cook.)

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