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Editorial: Nomination period starts for 2019 Tri-Valley Heroes

Awards honor residents who 'make a better world'

This October we will name the eighth group of Tri-Valley Heroes.

When most people hear the word "hero," the image that immediately jumps to mind is a person pulling a stranger to safety or first responders putting their lives at risk to save others.

These courageous individuals who put their lives at risk for the sake of others are certainly heroes, but there are other descriptions that accurately depict a hero: Perseverance. Strength. Character. Kindness. Conscience. Selflessness.

Kenneth Behring, our 2013 Tri-Valley Heroes Lifetime Achievement award recipient, passed away just last week at the age of 91. The Blackhawk developer had a truly extraordinary business career, but said it wasn't until 2000 that he discovered "a life of purpose" after placing a young, disabled Vietnamese girl in her first wheelchair. This led him to create the Wheelchair Foundation and become one of America's most committed philanthropists.

Founded by Ken in 2000, the Wheelchair Foundation has delivered more than 1 million wheelchairs to people in need around the world, free of charge.

Ken's perspective on helping others as a purpose in life and his commitment to the Wheelchair Foundation are the reasons he was selected as a Tri-Valley Hero. We are glad we had an opportunity to acknowledge the work he did during his lifetime.

"All we're doing is doing the things that we think can help make a better world," Behring said in 2013. "And I'm not doing it for recognition or for anybody's satisfaction but my own satisfaction of thinking that what I'm doing will, in a small part, maybe make a better world."

This is why we launched this program. True heroes don't do what they do for the recognition, but these people are effecting change in our world and in our lives and they deserve to be acknowledged. Like Ken.

We are now accepting nominations online for the 2019 Tri-Valley Heroes awards in eight categories, open to all who live or work in the Tri-Valley communities: Arts and Culture, The Jeb Bing Community Spirit Award, Courage, Environmental Stewardship, Innovation, Rising Star, Role Model and Lifetime Achievement.

The deadline to submit your nominees is Sept. 16; go directly to the nomination form here.

We are also seeking sponsors; we cannot continue this important program without financial support. Sponsors already on board are Monterey Private Wealth, The Harrington Art Partnership and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pleasanton at the Club.

Be a hero and help us recognize those individuals and groups that are making a difference in the Tri-Valley and in the lives of the residents here.

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