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‘Life savers’ are honorary grand marshals

Honorary Grand Marshals Allison Payne and Greg Harrow

by Larry S. Chonwing

The Urbanna Oyster Festival Foundation has named Allison Payne and Greg Harrow as the Honorary Urbanna Oyster Festival Grand Marshals for the 54th annual festival set for November 4-5.

The foundation is honoring Payne and Harrow for their efforts in saving the life of 5-year-old Sean West, son of Bonnie and Eugene West of Deltaville.

On August 5, Sean West jumped into the Deltaville Pool—at the wrong end where the water is more than five feet deep. He slipped under water unnoticed by his parents and grandparents, who had been keeping an eye on Sean and his sister Abigail.

When Sean was spotted in the pool, lifeguard Allison Payne, a 16-year-old Middlesex High School junior, jumped into the pool and pulled the boy to the surface. Sean was not breathing.

Harrow, a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B), assisted Payne by administering chest compressions, which brought the boy back to life.

Sean was flown by helicopter to VCU Medical Center in Richmond where he was kept in intensive care overnight for observation, and came home the next evening.

“We felt that these two young people did a wonderful thing in saving that young boy’s life,” said board member Charles Bristow. “We just felt that this was a way of honoring them for what they did.”

Harrow and Payne said they were honored to be selected as Honorary Grand Marshals, but felt what they did was what anyone would have done in a similar situation. “We do thank the foundation,” said Harrow.

Payne and Harrow will ride in the Fireman’s Parade at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 4, and in the festival parade at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 5. They also will participate in the dinners and events associated with the festival.

Payne has one brother, Avary, and is the daughter of Wendy and Anthony Payne of Saluda. She maintains above a 4.0 GPA, is president of her class, and editor-in-chief of the Middlesex High yearbook. 

Harrow, a former teacher, is the maintenance director of the Middlesex Public Schools and also serves as golf coach and assistant varsity baseball coach. He is a member of the Lower Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department of Deltaville. He is the son of Garland and Diane Harrow of Deltaville. He and his wife Jennifer have two children, Courtney and Andrew, and live in Hartfield.

posted 10.05.2011

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