Sauk Centre Girl Wins Award for Heroism
SAUK CENTRE - A Sauk Centre girl is being honored for saving a man who fell through the ice last December.
Seventeen-year-old Kali Jo Arnzen is getting a medal and a grant from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. It recognizes people who perform heroic acts in civilian life.
Kali Jo Arnzen saved Travis J. Ritter from drowning, Sauk Centre, Minnesota, December 29, 2011. While riding in his all-terrain vehicle, Ritter, 30, broke through an area of thin ice on Fairy Lake at a point about 700 feet from the bank. The vehicle sank, and Ritter was unable to climb from the open water. About 400 feet away, Kali, 17, high school student, was ice skating in the area between Ritter and the bank when she heard the ice break. Seeing Ritter in the open water, she immediately skated toward him, quickly, assuming a seated position as she approached. From about 10 feet away, Kali slid her skates to Ritter to use as ice picks, but he could not pull himself onto solid ice. Kali then removed her jacket and extended a sleeve to Ritter, but as they pulled on the jacket Kali was drawn closer to the open water. Ritter returned a skate to Kali, and she used it to anchor herself to the ice as she resumed pulling on the jacket. Thus aided, Ritter hoisted himself onto solid ice. He and Kali regained their footing and walked to the bank, where first responders were arriving. Ritter was taken to the hospital but other than bruising was uninjured.
Eighteen others from across the country are also being recognized.
Medalists or their heirs receive financial grants approved by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. More than $34 million has been awarded to nearly 10,000 honorees since the fund's inception in 1904. New recipients are announced four times a year.
Steel baron Andrew Carnegie started the fund after hearing rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.