Carol and Tony Leibelt – Red Cross Hometown Heroes
On Thanksgiving Day last year, when the University of Washington bus accident took place near George, Carol and Tony Leibelt wasted no time in helping. It became a day of giving in many unexpected ways, and it didn’t go unnoticed. The American Red Cross has named the Leibelts among its 2019 Hometown Heroes.
The Leibelts were instrumental on the unfortunate night in organizing transportation and shelter for the victims, most of them UW students and band members on their way to the Apple Cup football game.
Tony Leibelt, Grant County Fire District 3 deputy chief of operations, managed to arrange for vehicles to transfer people to medical facilities or to indoor venues, such as George Elementary School. His wife, Carol, the head custodian at George Elementary School, warmed up the building and stayed on for hours to ensure all was well.
According to Megan Snow, American Red Cross Regional Philanthropy Officer, the Leibelts were chosen from 16 nominees after input from many Quincy organizations and businesses. The selection committee consisted of seven Red Cross staff and volunteer members.
“March is national Red Cross month,” Snow said. “Choosing a Home Town Hero is one of the ways we bring recognition to our work.”
Tony Leibelt is rather a reluctant hero, in his own words. He said he found out about the Red Cross honor on March 4.
“It’s embarrassing, I don’t feel hero-worthy. There are so many others I can think of,” he said.
Carol Leibelt was just as surprised as her husband when she heard about the award.
“I’m honored and excited,” she said. “But I’m the kind of person who likes to be in the background. I was just glad I could help.”
What she remembers most of the accident night is how nice the students were during the ordeal and how quickly the community responded.
John Boyd, superintendent of Quincy School District, nominated the Leibelts for the award.
The Red Cross will honor the award winners at the 2019 Hometown Heroes Celebration on March 28 at the Wenatchee Convention Center. The public is invited; RSVP to 509-663-3907 or email@example.com.
By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register