by Blake Herzog
Heroes make the world go around.
They put in the work to make it a better place for everyone else who lives here, often sacrificing large amounts of their own time, comfort and even safety.
Sometimes it happens through short, intense actions to pull someone from a burning vehicle or a raging wash. Many more times it’s the commitment to an ideal that pushes an individual to plug away at one or multiple goals day after day. They know those goals are worthwhile and achievable.
Heroes come through with solutions to seemingly intractable problems, then put in the effort to form partnerships and tap the resources necessary to put them into practice. Communities can’t exist without heroes.
Heroes recognize the value of neighbors working together to create a sense of place and a sense of trust that binds them together in the face of adversity.
The Greater Prescott community has its legions of heroes beginning with the ancient peoples who settled the area from approximately 300 to 1300 AD. Today known as the “Prescott Culture,” these Hohokam- and Yavapai-related tribes persevered against the rugged landscape, summer heat and winter cold to build intricate houses, forts and walls for protection and to house early forms of commerce.
The 1860s brought the United States’ first serious investment in the area as the Arizona Territory was carved out of New Mexico, gold was discovered in the Bradshaw Mountains, the Army built Fort Whipple and the town of Prescott was not only founded, but named the first territorial capital.
The miners who first discovered the Prescott area’s riches were followed by homesteading farmers and ranchers, all proving heroic as they built their town and put their land into production, persevering through devastating fires to five blocks of the downtown area. They created a frontier community that spawned the “World’s Oldest Rodeo” in 1888.
Present-day Greater Prescott has many more kinds of heroes. They’re found in firehouses and police stations, businesses small and large, our excellent schools, nonprofits and homes.
They save lives at accident scenes and in medical settings, create jobs that help keep our families fed and community stable, educate the children who will one day fill our leadership roles and improve the lives of disadvantaged people and homeless pets.
Their local acts of heroism are delivered through paid or volunteer service and reverberate many degrees further than those directly affected. Improved conditions lift all spirits within a community.
Join us here as we celebrate our local heroes and their contributions. Thank the ones you know for everything they’ve done, and maybe think about how you can help. Your contribution will be forever appreciated.
Prescott LIVING’s Heroes
While putting together our annual “heroes” issue, we reached out to readers through our Facebook page to nominate Greater Prescott residents who have performed local acts of heroism. They could select first responders, children, engaged citizens, teachers, nurses or volunteers, and they came through with worthy examples from all walks of life. We’d like to thank everyone who participated in helping us put these local heroes in the spotlight!