Plano teen wins American Red Cross award for lifesaving measures taken at 2023 gala

Adrian Ponce is awarded the Certificate of Merit. Photo courtesy of the American Red Cross.
At a CityHouse gala last September, Ponce used previous Red Cross training to apply life-sustaining measures to an injured woman.

Earlier this week, The American Red Cross North Texas Region awarded Plano Senior High student Adrian Ponce with the Certification of Merit for his actions at the City House Gala last September at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel.

Ponce was volunteering at the event when he heard someone call for help. He rushed into the women’s bathroom where he found Marcia Hansen on the floor with blood pooling around her. She’d fallen and hit her head. Ponce, a trained lifeguard, remembered his Red Cross training, applied pressure to the wound and kept her conscious until medical personnel arrived.

“Adrian relied on the skills he learned from his Red Cross training and acted quickly and decisively during a crisis,” Red Cross North Texas Region CEO Linda Braddy said. “He exemplifies the mission of the Red Cross to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. We commend him for his willingness to help others in distress.”

According to the Red Cross, the Certificate of Merit is the highest award the organization gives and is awarded to individuals who save or sustain a life using skills used in a Red Cross Training Services course. The certificates are signed by the President of the United States, who traditionally serves as the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross. Ponce was awarded the certificate on Monday, May 13 at a ceremony at the Plano Municipal Center with Mayor John Muns and Braddy.

“Adrian, we are so proud of you,” Mayor Muns said at the ceremony. “We thank [the American Red Cross] for presenting this honor, and we thank you [Adrian] for what you did that night, and for many more nights to come, I’m sure, because you have that heart — what we always consider to be that community heart of Plano.”

“It was an exciting experience getting that award and knowing how hard I worked to be a lifeguard,” Ponce said. “This award shows I’m able to show I can use my skills rather than just saying I can. I would like to thank Katherine Bell, my boss, for helping me with the process.”

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