Local Boy Commended As Hero

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It takes great strength and courage to be a hero and one local boy is awarded for just that. 10-year-old Eli Vradenburg received one of the most prestigious awards in Boy Scouts for his heroism. He risked his life to save his baby brother from drowning from this pond.

January 7th, it was a beautiful day for a picnic at Willow Springs Pond. 10 year-old Eli Vradenburg and his 18-month old brother, Brian, were feeding geese by the frozen pond. When Brian ventured onto the ice, life changed in the blink of an eye. "He ended up falling (in the pond) in face first, I had to jump in. I wasn't thinking about anything else," Eli said. Jumping in despite the freezing temperatures, Eli brought his brother to shore. "He was coughing and stuff, I tried to squeeze the water out of him."

At the annual Boy Scouts recognition dinner, Eli was given the heroism award for risking his life and the entire room gave a standing ovation. Eli's mom, Annette Bass, is a little emotional as she pinned the heroism medal onto her son's Boy Scout uniform. She believes he is a guardian angel of sorts. "He's done something amazing, a lot of people don't have chance to do that, thank god, but if they did, would they do what he did," Annette said.

But, Eli doesn't think he's a hero. He just believes he was being a big brother. "Anyone would've done it...if that happened to them."

Brian only suffered a minor skin rash from falling into the pond. Hospital nurses commended Eli for saving his brother. His parents plan to frame his award.