Be inspired! 9 local people who made the Tri-State a better place to live in 2013

CINCINNATI - Some truly amazing people doing great things live here in the Tri-state. There are countless unsung heroes in our region, so here are 9 we want to recognize.

Dennis Harget: Falling for kids' futures

This lifelong Hamilton resident has taught hundreds, if not thousands of gymnastics and tumbling lessons for two generations. He offers lessons for the fee of $7 per session. He believes having something for kids to do after school will not only help keep them off the streets, but will give them a sense of belonging while also learning to respect others.

Monica Dunhoft Nelson: A beauty boost for teen girls

The hair stylist at The Fringe Hair Salon in Florence always wanted to use her trade to help those in need. After asking WCPO how she could do so, Dunhoft Nelson made her generous impluse a reality. On Dec. 15, she gave free hair cuts and styles to 12 adolescent girls at Talbert House, a residential care program in Cincinnati. 

Samuel Deeds: Once a hero...

This Independence man has earned his stripes, literally, serving as a Marine in Iraq, Japan, South Korea, and Haiti. His career was shortened by an improvised explosive device (IED) while Deeds was trying to warn his fellow Marines of the danger. He has undergone nearly 40 operations and procedures, and continues to save lives.

Thanks to a nomination by his wife and online votes from around the country Deeds won the right to have his name on NASCAR’s Brickyard 400. On May 27, he had the honor of throwing out the first ceremonial first pitch at a Reds game.

Charles McDonald: Accidental hero

The Western Hills man was on his way to work when he noticed a structure fire. Completely out of instinct, McDonald jumped out of his car, grabbed a ladder and rescued two men from the second floor of the burning house.

Brandon Groh: Caught in the act

This Mason man happened to be in the right place at the right time. While sitting with a friend outside the Covington Cock & Bull, he heard commotion about a purse being snatched followed by a man running past him. Without hesitation, Groh ran after the suspect and restrained him until police arrived to take the suspect into custody.

Ethan Kadish: One determined young man 

The Loveland teen continues to inspire. Ethan, 13, was struck by lightning June 29, while he was at a Jewish summer camp near Indianapolis. His recovery is a slow, difficult process, but one that will give hope to others many for years to come.

Alisha Waters: 'I will walk again'

The Florence woman was shot five times earlier in the year by her estranged husband, who then took his own life. Waters is now a quadriplegic, but vows to get back on her feet--already turning tragedy into inspiration.

Jonathon Boyle: A friend in deed

The Cincinnati teen and Princeton High School graduate led the chage to remember a friend lost to brain cancer. Along with friends Marc Ferguson, Justin Goodall, Jasmine Smith and Jessica Boggans, Boyle created #iWill: The Foundation, in honor of basketball standout William "Will" Cox II, who died in 2012.

"I will be great, I will beat cancer, I will beat the odds," Boyle  explained of the name. "We thought it was a good slogan. And just promoting it on social media is the fastest way to get it out there."

Nicole Stenger: A "scents-able" woman

The Bridgetown woman and her entire Scentsy team donated nearly 500 “Scentsy Buddies” to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital this past month, hoping to spread joy among children undergoing treatment. She and her team started collecting and accepting donations back in October. (Independent consultants like Stenger sell Scentsy home and fragrance products around the country).

More inspiring people, stories from 2013

Making a difference: Once a homeless teen, Cincinnati woman gives back by design

Rise and Rise Again  Foundation  (Ranee Hoover Hinton)

Dad and daughter move on in wake of mom's passing

Ryan Seacrest opens media studio at Cincinnati Children's Hospital

A march in April: Local teens join international event to commemorate Holocaust, celebrate Israel

Hip-hop Sholom: Urban youth arts center and suburban synagogue unite to make short documentary

#TeamHede: In Cincinnati, support is trending for Lakota West High School student battling cancer

Making a music video? Take a lesson from Lakota East High School students & their lip dub fundraiser

'A little hope to push through:' Fort Mitchell man embarks on five-day journey to help the homeless

Did we miss someone you'd like to salute? Tell us about him or her in our comments section below!

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