POCATELLO — Bingham County residents Hero Shiosaki of Blackfoot and Jose Antonio Quezada, along with Idaho Governor Butch Otter, were among 11 medal recipients honored at the 3rd Annual “Idaho’s Hometown Hero” Medal Ceremony held at the Stephens Performing Arts Center in Pocatello on Friday.
Idaho’s Hometown Hero Medal awards are sponsored by the JRM Foundation for Humanity, a charity organization founded by Pocatello brothers Dr. Fahim Rahim and Dr. Naeem Rahim. The awards are given to those individuals (chosen by committee members) from the pool of nominees who “best embody the spirit of philanthropy while showing commitment in their personal and professional lives to improve communities throughout the state of Idaho.” In three years, the “Idaho’s Hometown Hero” Medals have grown to become some of the most coveted awards in the state, with the ceremony attracting hundreds of spectators from throughout the region.
Longtime Blackfoot resident and World War II Veteran, Shiosaki, served in the U.S. Army’s most decorated unit - the Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Now in his 90’s, he has lectured to more than 200 history and government classes about the evacuation and internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. In the past 40 years, he has conducted Memorial Day services at cemeteries throughout East Idaho for over 442 veterans. He continues to speak at Veteran’s Day ceremonies in the area each year.
Shiosaki seemed humble in accepting his Hometown Hero awards, saying, “I am grateful to receive this award. It is good of the Rahim Brothers to put this together.”
Self proclaimed cowboy and cattle rancher, Quezada, was honored for his selfless contributions to help advance the Latino community in Bingham County and throughout the state. His “Mexican cultured” inspired art work and photography adorns the walls of local businesses around the area. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Latino Economic and Development Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the Latino Community in economic development.
While an award recipient himself, Governor Otter offered the “keynote address” at the event, saying, “Idaho is unmatched in its heros. Our generations constantly answer the call. I find great pride in Idaho - a state unequalled by people who care.”
JRM Founders Naeem and Fahim [Rahim], expressed their pride and gratitude to the heros and the people of East Idaho throughout the evening saying “that the spirits of Idahoans shine brighter than all the lights in New York City.”
For a complete list of the “Idaho’s Hometown Hero” Recipients and complete bios on the winners, go to: www.idahohometownhero.org .