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Home Run Community Heroes

The Tri-City ValleyCats and the E. Stewart Jones Law Firm teamed up once again in 2014 to recognize community heroes from across the Capital Region, known as the Home Run Community Heroes Starting Nine.

In the second year of the Home Run Community Heroes program, the ValleyCats and E. Stewart Jones Law firm honor heroes from all walks of life who have made a difference in their communities.

Below are the 2014 honorees, who are being recognized on the field as part of a special ceremony prior to the ValleyCats game on Thursday, July 31st. Each member of the "Starting Nine" received four tickets to enjoy the game, food, and drinks as guests of the E. Stewart Jones Law Firm in the Diamond Club on suite level at "The Joe."


2014 Honorees


Shay Kerwin: Shay is an incredible 10 year old from Wynantskill that has been volunteering in his community since age 7. He currently volunteers at the Troy Damien Center helping to prepare meals, and is the three-year running American Heart Association Annual Heart Walk fundraiser, raising more than $18,000 for the American Heart Association.


Casey Predilitto: Casey has been a nurse for more than 40 years, and is known for her tremendous dedication to her patients. She constantly goes above and beyond her required duties by personally fixing up patient's homes to ensure they are comfortable, and advocates for them in the community.


James Dorward, Jr.: JD is an 18 year old firefighter with the South Schodack Fire Department and also a member of the Castleton Volunteer Ambulance Squad. Since joining the fire department at age 16, JD has dedicated his life to helping others, even being named EMS Youth Provider of the Year and creating a program for local youth interested in joining local emergency services organizations.


Brian Ragule & Brian Reith: Both 22-year veterans of the Albany Fire Department, Mr. Ragule and Mr. Reith responded to a fire in March where there were reports of someone trapped inside. They bravely entered the burning home, crawling through heavy fire to remove an unconscious woman from the fire.


Bakary Janneh: Bakary is a volunteer EMT at Mohawk Ambulance Corp., and also works in the New York State Assembly. In June, Assemblywoman Annette Robinson began choking at her desk, and Bakary jumped into action to perform the Heimlich. He is credited with saving her life.


Roman Goddeau: Wounded Warrior, Roman Goddeau is a retired United State Marine Corps Corporal who was injured while serving his country in Iraq. Upon returning home, he began volunteering at STRIDE Adaptive Sports, an organization that enables those with special needs to participate in sports. Despite his own injuries, Roman dedicates his time to maintaining STRIDE's campgrounds and is a summer camp counselor.


Tara Hulett: After Tara's father suffered a traumatic brain injury, she personally created Fishing for Hope, an organization that promotes awareness and fundraising for traumatic brain injuries. Following her father's passing from Leukemia, Tara expanded Fishing for Hope to fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, all while maintaining social media pages to help those dealing with grief from their losses.


Bailey Wind: Bailey was seriously injured in a tragic car accident that claimed the lives of both her boyfriend and her close friend. Since the accident, Bailey has volunteered her time to speaking at local high schools about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and texting while driving.


Decky Lawson: Decky is a dedicated member of the Albany City School District. As the head coach of the high school's girls varsity basketball team, he led the team to their first Section II championship in more than 10 years. Decky works with special needs students in the district, and is a respected member of the staff that has positively impacted the lives of countless students.