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Who’s your hero?

Jack Brockley | Aug 07, 2019

Robert Connelly Medal for Heroism

A man, driving his sons to school, watches another vehicle plummet down an embankment. Without concern for his own safety, he rushes to the vehicle and pulls a mother and her child from the burning SUV.  

Though wounded himself, a teacher disarms a student who had opened fire on his classmates. 

These are descriptions of two men who are both recent recipients of the Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism, one of Kiwanis International’s highest honors. The medal is available to clubs to honor their hometown heroes who meet the following criteria: 

  • The nominee must risk his or her own life by accepting self-imposed personal responsibility in the effort to save the life of another human being. The nominee need not be a member of Kiwanis. 
  • The nominee must perform the act of heroism outside his or her normal employment duties or hours. 
  • The nominee must have no official responsibility for the act. 
  • The nominee must not be closely related to the person involved in the rescue effort. 
  • The nomination must be made within one year of the incident. 

    Connelly, for whom the medal is named, was 34 years old and a member of the Kiwanis Club of Lisle, Illinois, when he lost his life on September 23, 1966, as he attempted to rescue a woman who had fallen into the path of a passenger train.
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