Hero Awards

The 100 Club of Buffalo holds multiple annual events every year in order to support our local community support activities.

2003 HEROES AWARDS RECIPIENTS

William Harris / Civilian
Christopher Klinshaw / Civilian

On March 13, 2003 William Harris and Christopher Klinshaw were working at a steel hauling company when they heard an explosion from across the street. They arrived at 344 Katherine Street in Buffalo's Old First Ward to find the house engulfed in flames. They could hear a woman screaming for help from inside. They entered the home with no firefighting skills or equipment and located the woman. The woman was bound with duct tape and unable to move. The woman kept telling them that a man was trying to kill her. Harris and Klinshaw grabbed the severely burned woman and carried her outside to safety. The house at 344 Katherine St. was literally leveled by the explosion and ensuing fire. If not for the selfless actions of these two civilians the woman would surely have perished. The 100 Club of Buffalo & Western New York recognizes William Harris and Christopher Klinshaw for their heroic action of March 13, 2003.

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Captain Kevin Caffery / Erie County Sheriff's Office
Tactical Flight Officer Arthur Litzinger / Erie County Sheriff's Office
Sergeant Patrick Moriarty / State Park Police
Firefighter Gary Carella / Niagara Falls Fire Department

On March 19, 2003 a despondent 47 year old man waded into the waters at the brink of the falls in an attempt to end his life and became caught up on the rocks. Capt. Kevin Caffery and Officer Arthur Litzinger of the Erie County Sheriff's Office responded in the rescue helicopter while Sgt. Pat Moriarty of the State Park Police and Niagara Falls firefighter Gary Carellla waded into the icy waters in an attempt to reach the man. Capt. Caffery attempted to steady the helicopter against strong winds and blinding mist while Litzinger literally leaned over the side of the helicopter in an attempt to get a line in place. The first two helicopter attempts were thwarted by the wildly unpredictable updrafts from the falls and the helicopter had to pull away threatening to flip the helicopter at any moment. Moriarty and Carella were making their own attempts to reach the man fighting against the numbing water, slabs of ice and rushing currents. Moriarty made several attempts to throw the man a life ring only to have the wind whip it away. As the helicopter returned Moriarty and Carella kept a constant banter going with the man who was rapidly giving up hope. The man in the water was yelling "don't leave me" and Caffery responded with "we're coming back for you" the helicopter was again forced away. As a final attempt was being made to lower a life ring to the man he was dragged under by the current. The rescuers looked away in horror believing the man had been swept over the falls. Moments later the desperate man was crawling back over the edge of the falls. Realizing they were out of time Caffery and Litzinger took a one in a million shot and dropped the life ring in hopes that it would float within reach of the man. It worked and the man grabbed the ring only to be pulled under an ice ledge. Moriarty seeing what happened dove toward the man and began chopping at the ice with frozen fists until he was able to grab the man's hand. Gary Carella realized that Moriarty needed help and dove into the water swimming under the ice ledge to grab the mans coat. As Carella surfaced he was wrapped around the man and held onto him as the rescuers pulled the two of them to safety. If not for the heroic efforts of these four individuals the man surely would have died.

The 100 Club of Buffalo & Western New York recognizes Capt Kevin Caffery, Officer Arthur Litzinger, Sgt. Patrick Moriarty and Firefighter Gary Carella for their heroic actions of March 19, 2003.

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Lieutenant Phil Losi / Buffalo Fire Department

On March 23,2003 Lt. Phil Losi of the Buffalo Fire Department arrived at the scene of a fire at 715 Delaware Avenue. Dense smoke was emanating from the building and the doors were locked. A neighbor advised Lt. Losi that a woman was still inside. Without thought for his own safety he kicked in the door and entered the smoke filled building. No water lines were in place and he encountered high heat and impenetrable smoke. He found the semi-conscious woman with her hair in flames. Lt. Losi extinguished her burning hair and carried the woman to safety. As a result of his quick and selfless actions a woman's life was saved.

The 100 Club of Buffalo & Western New York recognize Lieutenant Phil Losi for his heroic actions of March 23, 2003.

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Lieutenant James Koch / Hamburg Police Department

Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on September 8, 2002 Lt. James Koch of the Hamburg Police Dept. responded the call of a strong arm robbery at the McKinley Mall. He encountered the suspect a short distance from the mall after he had dragged a security guard 100 feet and then struck another vehicle while fleeing the scene. The suspect jumped out of his vehicle and into another vehicle at the crash scene. Lt. Koch, seeing a young male still seated in the passenger seat of the second vehicle, dove into the vehicle through the open door giving the 14 year old passenger time to escape before the suspect took off the stolen vehicle. Lt. Koch repeatedly ordered the suspect to stop to no avail. With half of his body outside the vehicle's window and the other half trapped behind the suspect's back Koch struggled to gain control of the vehicle. At speeds of up to 85m.p.h. the suspect swerved into oncoming traffic and struck several vehicles. Lt. Koch finally managed to get free and pulled himself into the back seat and again ordered the suspect to stop. When the suspect refused Koch pulled out his service revolver and again ordered the suspect to stop. The suspect merely turned an smiled at the officer who was left with no other option than to shoot the suspect in order to stop the out of control vehicle.

The 100 Club of Buffalo & Western New York recognize Lieutenant James Koch for his heroic actions of September 8, 2003.

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