Christa S. : March Hero of the Month

christa s march 2016Christa is one of many that give the real definition of a hero. She has been a nurse for many years and works in pediatrics. Her unique story starts with social media. Christa turned a curse into a blessing, not only for herself but for a young lady too. After a falling through with the first attempt at donating , She was searching for a new kidney . Due to illness, the young lady was taken off the list.

Ironically, Christa was not just a perfect match, but in fact the only match in the country. Christa had recently survived a house fire and car wreck. She decided to become an altruistic donor in hopes that the donation chain would save more lives. Since Christa was a match, she chose to donate her kidney.

Beyond a remarkable story, Christa is a mother of two, and grandma (also known as “Ya Ya”) of a seven-year-old. Christa knows American Sign Language, learning Spanish, and teaching both to her granddaughter.



Elisa Pitoniak – Hero of the Month: February 2016

Elisa is a very dedicated educator. Friends say she values the importance of reading with students, but it doesn’t stop there. Elisa also helps other teachers on how to make literacy a part of their daily work to help engagement with their class.

She is a problem solver and sees the positive in every situation. She focuses on everyone getting a powerful education, along with her family. Elisa cares about all of her students and wants each one to develop a love of reading and writing.



Donnell M. Hero of the Month: September 2015


Donnell started as a history teacher with his current school district, and within the year he became the assistant principal. He has been an extraordinary leader in the school’s restorative justice program, also mentioned in the NY Times, as well as introduced a new program called the Senior Capstone Project.

He led a team of teachers and tutors to complete over 70 senior projects all in a continuation high school where the students were not expected to succeed.  He has the led teachers to perform very high and to work with the students one on one for months, including two students that were recognized at the district level for outstanding projects.

Robert Stephens : Hero of the Month August 2015


Robert is not only a firefighter and CPR Instructor, but also active within his community. He coaches softball, encouraging values such as commitment, teamwork, and hard work. He volunteers every year at the local school district teaching classes for Career Day, Literacy Day, Fire Prevention Day and more.  He also teaches classes about safety during storms and natural disasters.

Since helping and working in his community, he takes pride in reaching out and letting others know of upcoming firefighter exams in the community. He shares awareness and helps everyone he can, even if it means inviting others to use his home desk to complete the application for the firefighter exam.  Close ones say if he isn’t fighting fires or saving lives, he is a mentor, teacher, friend, coach, or nurse to a young person.

Vickie Wilson Hero of the Month: July 2015

NAH July Vickie Wilson

Vickie is a dedicated nurse, and has a big humanitarian heart. Vickie has been involved in many aspects of local and global humanitarian services most of her life.  One reason Vickie is an above average nurse is because she goes beyond the call of duty. Rarely does she say no to an opportunity to promote the service of the organization in which she is a part. She has participated in many works in East Africa; whereas, she has organized: health care to villagers and orphans, built (with help of supporters) a primary school, built latrines, facilitated the building of wells in rural villages of Kenya and taught infection prevention principles.  She also worked in Haiti after the 2010, 7.0 magnitude earthquake located 15 miles from Port-Au-Prince. Her responsibilities included helping the populace to find shelter and provided healthcare screening to injured victims.

Vickie actively supports and leads the annual February,  “Wear Red Day” activities in her community to educate women about heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US. She is also involved in helping foster care youth of the county in which she lives, to acquire life skills and plan for a good future. Friends and colleagues say she is very easy to talk to, compassionate, and an excellent leader. She is well respected by colleagues, superiors, and her community.  In 2014, her community awarded her the Outstanding  Women of Silicon Award. Vickie is married and has two sons.


Who is Your Hero?


She’s pretty, still dresses up as a princess but can also handle the stress of a lifesaving rescue or fire. Meet Katelin L., captain of a Tennessee volunteer fire company and substitute teacher. She also portrays Disney princess Elsa for children’s birthday parties and community events. Katelin finds time to “do it all” because she always gives 110 percent. Katelin makes such a positive impact in her community that she was named the February Hero of the Month in California Casualty’s Nominate A Hero program.

California Casualty continues to be heartened by the remarkable men and women who have been honored in the Nominate A Hero program. Each month, a well deserving person receives a $250 gift card and their place on the “Wall of Heroes.” They remind us that heroes come from many different professions and towns across the United States. Instead of masks and capes they wear street clothes and the uniforms of their trade. They are people who put helping others ahead of themselves and their dedication and caring inspires others.

Who are these heroes?

Joe B. is a Southern California firefighter. He volunteered for years before going full-time with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. He worked with San Diego firefighters saving numerous homes and lives during one of the area’s worst wildfire seasons. He sustained injuries during the valiant effort and is now a fire inspector. He was the Hero of the Month for June.

Thomas K. finds new ways to reach students at the Georgia middle school where he teaches. Thomas has taken it upon himself to mentor a special group of 7th graders, giving them life-skills that will help them in the future. Thomas takes them to dinner to teach etiquette techniques, helps the students learn how to correctly put on a tie and has purchased suits for students who have to attend formal functions. “I just do it as my contribution to make our society a better place,” he said. Thomas was May’s Hero of the Month.

April’s Hero was Kentucky State Trooper Todd H., honored for the many ways he gives back to his community. He’s been a judo coach and helped a friend after his house was robbed. Todd not only advised the homeowner on how to preserve the crime scene, but spent over 70 hours of his personal time to investigate and solve the case.

Leslyn W. is a healer. She is known as the person who will stop and give care to a person or a small animal in need. She’s a nurse at an Arizona hospital. She heard a two year old crying during her shift at the intensive care unit. The child had been burned after pulling a pot of coffee from the stove. Even though he wasn’t her patient, she held and rocked him to sleep. Away from the hospital, Leslyn is known for her Wednesday potlucks for friends and family and for keeping track of everyone’s birthday. She also finds time to volunteer at the ARC as a yoga teacher for adults with Down syndrome and autism. She also volunteers at Camp Courage for kids who have survived burns.  Leslyn was the March Hero of the Month.

California Casualty’s Social Media Manager Scott Randolph said, “We felt compelled to pass these stories of heroism along and honor the men and women who do extraordinary things every day. We hope more people will show their appreciation for those who are giving so much with the Nominate A Hero program.”

As we paused to celebrate the 4th of July, California Casualty hopes to honor more heroes. If you know a deserving firefighter, nurse, educator, law enforcement officer or first responder working hard to make their community better, share their story at, and show the world good men and women do exist.

Your hero could be named the Hero of the Month and receive a $250 gift card and their place on the Wall of Heroes.

It’s just another way California Casualty lives up to the promise that “We protect American heroes.”

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