Bryan Shupe announced the honorees from inside the Red, White, & Brew Beer Garden around 6 p.m. as the stage had already been packed away for the day.
“We can’t really help mother nature but thank you for volunteering and helping out. It means a lot,” Mr. Shupe told a crowd.
With a plaque in hand, he called up the first recipient — Senior Corporal Theresa Bloodsworth with the Milford Police Department.
Of her 23 years as a police officer, she has been worked in Milford for 19 years and currently serves as a school resource officer.
Mr. Shupe said school resource officers like Sr. Cpl. Bloodsworth play an important role in connecting schools with the police departments.
The honor of Hometown Hero was a surprise to the officer who was rescheduled by the department to ensure she would be around during the presentation.
“He had to grab me out of my car. I was on duty and he said, ‘Come with me. It’s for something good,’” she said. “I was surprised to be given this honor.”
As a school resource officer, she can frequently be seen around the elementary schools and school functions, as well as performing other police duties as needed.
“The kids are phenomenal to work with. It gives me an opportunity to work with the little ones and help shape their view of police officers. And if anything is going on, they know they can grab ahold of me,” she said.
“We’ve had very serious incidents in the past, and the kids are just waving at me from the porch. It makes me feel good.”
Sr. Cpl. Bloodworth was just one of two Hometown Heroes to be announced Saturday evening. The next honoree is someone Mr. Shupe said he was fortunate enough to know for a number of years.
Fred Duffy, an educator 42 years, continues to serve the community in his retirement with his family helping out along with him.
“This gentleman always reached out through the community,” Mr. Shupe said. “He does amazing stuff with the community.”
In his years as an educator, Mr. Duffy taught elementary classes and high school special education. He was a high school assistant principal, then the principal.
He served as a district supervisor of special programs and returned to the school level as a principal for Lake Forest North Elementary in Felton and later Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown. He also taught graduate studies at Wilmington University.
He now sits on the Milford Middle School (Lakeview Property) Committee with the Milford School District and boards for the Boys & Girls Club and Kent-Sussex Industries, both in Milford. He is also a deacon at Mt. Enon Baptist Church and works with the Special Olympics of Delaware through his masonic order.
“This is a surprise, but when I started seeing different people, I said something’s not right with this,” he laughed after accepting the award. “This is [about] a lot of people working with the community.”
As he reached retirement Mr. Duffy said he made a commitment to return to Milford and continue making an impact in his community.
“And all of that, I do with my wife [Delema Duffy]. She may not be on the boards with me, but she’s on my board,” he said.
“I want to do as much as I can, for as long as I can, for as many as I can. And then, when it’s over, it’s over.”