Our Honorees

"Who kept the Faith and fought the fight, the glory theirs, the duty ours."

- Wallace Bruce

Our Selection Process

Every year when a new show begins being planned, usually 1 month following the previous, our board seeks out the next heroes to be honored at our show. While we intend on honoring every hero we can, our goal is also to ensure that heroes from Ohio, Indiana, & Kentucky are equally selected to be honored. We also seek to alternate each year between Law Enforcement, Fire/EMS & Military heroes each year.

Once our board has voted collectively on our honoree’s, we then have our honoree contact liason, Andrea, work to get into contact with said heroes’ families. We only move forward once we have their blessing to do so. 100% of event proceeds at our Annual Car Show where they are honored will be given to the families of these fallen heroes selected.

Anytime our selected honorees' families decline our invitations, we will choose a charity that also serves the very community the show's targeting to support and will be in the same region that we serve. That chosen charity will be granted funds raised at our car show.

All of Our Honorees

Dominic Francis, Bluffton OH PD

Ofc. Dominic Francis

Bluffton Ohio Police Department
2024 Honoree
Dominic M. “Dom” Francis, 42, was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, March 31, 2022 near Bluffton, Ohio. He was born in Bluffton on August 9, 1979 to Robert and Vicky (Bratcher) Francis and they survive. Dom graduated from Cory-Rawson High School in 1998 and then, the University of Findlay in 2002 where he played football.

He married Ricki Davis on June 21, 2010, and she survives along with a son, Blake Francis of Van Buren; daughter, Taylor (Matthew Hill) Born of Tiffin; sister, Chase (Brett) Eikenbary of Mt. Cory; paternal grandparents, Maryland (Ann) Francis of Bluffton; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Junior (LaDonna) Bratcher.

He served on the Findlay Police Department and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Bluffton Police Department where he served the community for 11 years. During those years, Officer Francis was awarded the Officer of the Year award twice, multiple Letters of Commendation, The Chief’s Leadership Award and a Bluffton Police Department Life Saving Award to name a few. Officer Francis also served as a Captain for the Southwestern Hancock Joint Fire District for several years. He was also honored by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers as Top Cop and earned the Ohio EMS Star of Life multiple times. Dom was very active with Cory-Rawson High School where he was a strength and conditioning coach, football coach, substitute teacher and bus driver. He also enjoyed spending time with family and friends at Indian Lake and driving his boat.
Dale Woods, Colerain OH PD

Ofc. Dale Woods

Colerain Ohio Police Department
2024 Honoree
Dale James Woods, age 46, passed away Monday, January 7, loving father of Trinity, Hallie & Collin Woods; also survived by his mother Ann Woods (Rex Corn); girlfriend Beckie Saylor; sister Dori Marcotte.

Dale served his community with passion as a Colerain Township Police Officer, where he was a member of the Honor Guard, Bike Patrol, Quick Response Team, Missing Person Team, SWAT Team, and served as a Detective. During his tenure there he received the Medal of Valor & Lifesaving Award. He was recognized by MADD as a "Top Cop". Prior to serving Colerain Township as an Officer, he was a firefighter with the Colerain Township Fire Department, and served as a Fire Investigator at North College Hill and as an Officer with North College Hill & Lincoln Heights Police. 

He has worked with Animal Control, and as a Firearms Instructor and was the owner of Details by Dale auto detailing shop. Dale loved playing the drums and was a member of the Cincinnati Tradition & Limited Addition Drum & Bugle Corps. He also has played drums at John Wesley United Methodist Church, and with the band at Colerain Middle & Colerain High Schools. Dale enjoyed bodybuilding and the game of golf. He was a member of the Clovernook Country Club and the community viewed him as a "Professional" Golfer. Dale will be missed greatly by his family, his fellow officers and the entire Colerain Township Community.

Selected Charity Honoree

Tristate F.A.C.E Team

Firefighters Attacking the Cancer Epidemic
2023 Charity
Our 2023 Targeted Charity for Support is the Tristate FACE Team, who serves firefighters of the Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana region by working to end the cancer epidemic among firefighters and also address other crucial physical ailments and mental health wellness in the fire/ems community. Their mission is stated below by their board directly:

"Our commitment is to focus on Firefighter Safety & Health by providing education, training, and sharing of best practices to minimize risks and exposure to our Firefighters".

HM3 Maxton Soviak

Naval Fleet Medical Corpsman
2022 Honoree
Maxton William Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, OH passed away August 26, 2021, while serving his country. He was born January 22, 1999, in Westerville, OH and lived in Berlin Heights until the time of his enlistment. Maxton attended Edison Local Schools, as well as EHOVE Career Center, graduating in 2017. After graduation, Maxton joined the United States Navy, proudly serving as a Navy Corpsman.

Maxton’s football career began at the age of seven, which continued through his senior year of high school. He was instrumental in helping lead the team to the final four playoff games during his junior year and as a captain his senior year. Maxton was part of the Edison wrestling team from Biddy through his senior year when the team won the state championship. Maxton was involved in the Boy Scouts, ultimately earning Life Scout, the second highest rank attainable. Maxton was a member of the Erie County Conservation Club Junior Rifle Team and competed in Air rifle, small bore, and AR15 events at Camp Perry. He also loved extreme sports, such as, rock climbing, skiing, scuba diving, Jiu Jitsu, and CrossFit.

Maxton made friends with people from all over the world. One of his proudest achievements was helping found a Biddy Wrestling/Jiu Jitsu program while stationed in Guam.

Maxton loved his family fiercely. He was loyal, strong, stubborn, and independent. Maxton was his family’s “King of the Wild Things”, he was always ready to “Let the Wild Rumpus Start!” At the end of the day, he wanted to be where he was loved the most, with his Family.

Maxton is survived by his parents, Kip and Rachel (Golas) Soviak; siblings, Kathleen Soviak, Bryan (Sasha) Kinney, Allison (Spenser) Spacek, Marilyn Soviak, Alexandria Soviak, Josepheen Soviak, Griffin Soviak, Andrew Soviak, Joseph Soviak, Emerson Soviak, Charles Soviak, and Finley Soviak; niece, Clover Kinney; nephew, Bowie Kinney; maternal grandparents, David and Judy Golas; paternal grandparents, Paul and Petal Soviak; uncles and aunts, David and Roxy Golas, Daniel Golas, Carolyn and Benjamin Burkam, and Jody and Shelley Soviak; and numerous cousins and friends.

Maxton was preceded in death by his sister, Nayla Banks-Soviak.

Cpl. Humberto Sanchez

U.S. Marines
2022 Honoree
Cpl. Humberto “Bert” A. Sanchez, 22 of Logansport passed away on August 26, 2021, while serving his country at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“Bert” was born on December 2, 1998, in Logansport, Indiana, and is the son of Coral Briseño and Humberto Sanchez.

Cpl. Sanchez was a 2017 graduate of Logansport High School where he excelled in academics and athletics. “Bert” was well liked by his soccer teammates, classmates, coaches, and teachers.

After graduating, “Bert” enlisted and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. He was then called to serve as an Embassy Guard in Jordan before being re assigned to the Kabul airport.

Cpl. Sanchez was honored to serve his country as a Marine and the example of his willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice has made him a hero to his family, community, and the United States of America.

Surviving “Bert” is his mother Coral Briseño (Alan Doolittle) of Logansport; his father, Humberto Sanchez; sister, Carol “Abi” (Giovanny) Sanchez of Logansport; brothers, Ariel Loran and Axel Loran, both of Logansport, niece, Dahlia G. Cardenas of Logansport, stepfather, Ariel N. Loran of Logansport; girlfriend, Taylor Duncan, of Hawaii; and a numerous amount of extended family members.

Officer Jason Ellis

Bardstown Kentucky Police Department
2021 Honoree
Jason Ellis was born September 22, 1979 in Cincinnati, OH, a police officer for the Bardstown Police Department, a K-9 officer, a 1998 graduate of Glen Este High in Cincinnati, where he was a first team all-city in 1998 and player of the year in the Queen City Conference, played baseball for what is now the University of Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY and in the minor league Billings Mustangs in Montana. He was active in youth sports in Nelson County as a coach. He is a member of the N.N.D.D.A. K-9 association, local Fraternal Order of Police # 43, Special Response Team, and attended Bloomfield Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his father, Charles D. Ellis; maternal grandfather, Eugene Heming; maternal grandmother, Grace Marie Heming; and paternal grandmother, Anna Lou Ellis.

He is survived by his wife, Amy Phillips Ellis; two sons, Hunter Ellis and Parker Ellis, all of Bloomfield, KY; mother, Pamela Sue Dearwester of Cincinnati; two sisters, Kelly (Andy) Ellis Eastman, and Lacey (Brandon) Ellis Young, all of Amelia, OH; three nieces; and four nephews.

Det. Jorge Del Rio

Dayton Ohio Police Department
2021 Honoree
Jorge Del Rio, age 55 was born on February 25, 1964 in Mexico City, Mexico and passed away on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at Grandview Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his mother, Beatriz Hernandez and daughter, Dana Shafeek.

He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Kathy Del Rio, daughters, Ariel Del Rio Busch (Steven), Erica Hampton (Devin), Veronica Del Rio and Naya Del Rio; granddaughters, Aliyah Shafeek, Luna Hampton and Santana Busch and a host of family, friends, and colleagues.

Officer Del Rio received seven written commendations, two letters of appreciation and one-unit citation during his 30-year career with the Dayton Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) taskforce.

FAO Daryl E. Gordon

Cincinnati Fire Department
2020 Honoree
When Mr. Gordon was a senior in high school, he joined the Woodlawn Fire Department as a volunteer. He remained a volunteer firefighter until he was accepted into the Cincinnati Fire Department in 1985. Upon the start of his career, Mr. Gordon was not content with sitting still. He volunteered to receive training as a bomb technician and attended the Red Stone Arsenal Hazardous Device School in Huntsville, Alabama.

Mr. Gordon served on Special Details that assisted in scanning areas for visits from the following: President Clinton, President Bush and President Barack Obama. Mr. Gordon served in this position for more than 25 years of his career and earned the title of Senior Bomb Technician.

Daryl Gordon was promoted to Fire Apparatus Operator and completed his final run on Heavy Rescue 14 on March 26, 2015.

Daryl E. Gordon is survived by his wife of 25 years, Angela Gordon; his children, Angelique and Chelsea Gordon; his sisters, Arlene Gordon and Dorothy Gordon Johnson (Stanley); parents-in-law Joseph and Ann Shives; brother-in-law Dale Shives; and special nephews, John Gordon Sr., Keli Gordon and Kerry Gordon. He also leaves a host of extended family and friends: Local 48, U.C. Mobile Care and his brothers in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

Spc. Joseph P. Collette

United States Army
2019 Honoree
Sgt. Joseph P. Collette, 29, was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion, 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group out of Fort Carson, Colorado.

Sergeant Collette, died on March 22 during a combat mission in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province from injuries resulting from enemy fire. He was posthumously promoted from specialist to sergeant and awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

He is survived by his wife, Caela; two children Blair and Cody; and two step-children, Lena and Aria Scott.
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