CI Hero: Cuba woman helps combat COVID-19 in county nursing home, starts fundraiser for the area rescue squad

CI Heroes

CUBA, Ill. (WMBD) — It’s not uncommon in Cuba, IL to see a community willing to lend a helping hand. Like any other locality, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges and obstacles for nursing homes, first responders, and small businesses.

“As a volunteer, we’re a first responder,” said the Cass Putnam Rescue Squad Chief Robert Schnarr. “Sometimes us first responders rescued also and Tammie stepped up to the plate and she’s done that.”

When the Cass Putnam Rescue Team could barely afford fuel, Tammie Denning, this week’s CI Hero, launched a fundraiser.

“She spearheaded a fundraiser than raised over $10,000 for us” said Schnarr.

Not only is she said to be an asset to the community at the beginning of 2020, but Denning also took on the role of administrator at the county-owned Clayberg Nursing Facility.

“She is like the best person they could have ever got at the time that they did, for sure, because she has done what she can to keep the spirits up, the staff motivated, plus the residents and the family members,” said Mindy Kruzan, a Certified CNA with Clayberg Nursing Facility.

Denning said she didn’t realize her impact was monumental.

“I don’t feel like a hero because this is what I do every day, so my first priority here is my residents, to make them happy is the biggest thing,” said Denning.

Fulton County’s small city celebrates her philanthropic nature, calling her a CI Hero.

“Residents love her,” said Laura Heppkessel, Board Member for Fulton County. “The staff loves her. The [county] board loves her. We’re so glad that she’s here.”

Nominate someone you know to be our next CI Hero!

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