Heroes Among Us - June 2010

June 9, 2010 – Sam Kaplan

Real Salt Lake and American Express are proud to honor Sam Kaplan, whose efforts to swing for the fences in the name of breast cancer awareness makes him the tonight’s recipient of the “Heroes Among Us” award.

Kaplan, a baseball player at Murray’s Cottonwood High School, spearheaded an effort to have his Colts to incorporate pink into their uniforms in the name of breast cancer awareness before approaching local rival Brighton High School to do the same for their meeting on March 27th. The graduating senior’s efforts helped make that game the first high school baseball contest held in the State of Utah dedicated towards the promotion of the fight against breast cancer.

To further help the impact of the event spread, Kaplan also enlisted the help of Rowland Hall softball coach and breast cancer survivor Kelly Howa, who after beating the disease in 2002 formed Swing for Life, a nonprofit organization that has raised awareness via sporting events throughout the state, including the Cottonwood-Brighton contest. In addition, representatives from the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Image Reborn Foundation also participated to support and provide information on the fight against breast cancer.

More than $1,000 from concession proceeds that day were donated to Swing for Life, but for Kaplan the game was about much more than that, as he explained it was simply a good way to raise awareness in the community about a disease that affects those mothers, teachers, and friends that do so much for them. For his community involvement in cleats, Real Salt Lake and American Express congratulate Sam Kaplan for being a true “Hero Among Us.”

Dave Checketts, Sam Kaplan, Omar Castillo

June 25, 2010 - Coleman Family

Real Salt Lake and American Express are proud to present the latest “Heroes Among Us” award to Rachel, Aaron, Leah, and Lucy Coleman of Cottonwood Heights for their inspirational participation in this spring’s Salt Lake Half-Marathon.

Team Coleman, as they are known on the marathon circuit, completed the Salt Lake Half-Marathon this past April, a task that may not seem out of the ordinary until considering the team is comprised of parents Rachel and Aaron Coleman and their daughters, 13-year-old Leah, who is profoundly deaf; and 9-year-old Lucy, who suffers from Spina Bifida and Cerebral Palsy, forcing her to utilize a wheelchair.

Running a marathon as a family has always been a dream for “Team Coleman,” however, like all dreams, there have been some obstacles along the way, most notably a restriction most marathons have that prohibit runners from pushing strollers or wheelchairs. After the Colemans made several failed attempts to find a race with an exemption, it was the planners of the Salt Lake City Marathon that would relent and grant permission for Rachel and Aaron to push Lucy’s stroller along the race route.

With Leah setting the pace, they ran together and shared the experience while fans cheered and held signs of encouragement along the route and family and friends eagerly awaited at the end of the grueling 13.1 mile course. In the midst of the other competitors, three runners and a stroller crossed the line at the same time and the dream of a young girl — and a family — was realized. For their inspiration and perseverance, Real Salt Lake and American Express are honored to congratulate Team Coleman for being true “Heroes Among Us.”

Coleman Family

Dell Loy Hansen, Lucy Coleman, Aaron Coleman, Rachel Coleman, Leah Coleman, Laura Sowell, Mark Fawson