Randy Brewer awarded posthumous Carnegie Medal


July 08, 2009
PITTSBURG, Penn. — Randall Scott Brewer of Lancaster was named by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission on Wednesday as one 22 individuals to receive a Carnegie Medal in the second round of 2009 awards. Mr. Brewer drowned on April 19, 2008, after saving the life of an elementary schoolboy at the start of unusually warm April vacation week.

The medal is awarded throughout the U. S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving — or attempting to save — the lives of others.

The Carnegie citation reads: "Randall Scott Brewer died helping to save a boy from drowning, Lancaster, N. H., April 19, 2008. An 11-year-old boy jumped into the swift, cold water of the Israel River and had difficulty staying afloat. After a teenage girl in his party entered the river for him and also experienced difficulty, Brewer, 27, another member of the party, removed his shoes and outer attire and entered the 38-degree water. Brewer made his way to the boy and pushed him toward safety. Then, caught by the current, Brewer was carried downstream and submerged. The boy was not injured. Brewer's body was found the next day; he had died of accidental drowning."

Randy's mother, Della Bishop of Lancaster, accepted a statewide Hero Award plaque at a moving ceremony on May 7 from Citizens Bank-New Hampshire president and CEO Cathy Schmidt in a ceremony jointly sponsored by the "Union Leader" along with a individually signed citation from Gov. John Lynch on the lawn in front of State House in Concord. Her husband — and Randy's step-dad — Mike Bishop was on hand to support her in this highly emotional moment.

The 22 heroes just named Carnegie Medal recipients bring to 9,284 the total number of awards since the Fund was started in 1904. Commission President Mark Laskow is quoted on Carnegie website that all awardees or their next of kin will also receive a financial grant. In the 105 years since industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie set up the Fund, $31.5 million has been awarded in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.

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