Lexington native honored for post-Harvey actions

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington native is being recognized by the five living former U.S. presidents for his actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Zachary Dearing | Photo: Unsung Hero Media

In June, Zachary Dearing moved from Lexington to Rockport, Texas to be with his father, who has cancer. Before Harvey hit in August, Dearing's father was evacuated to Houston, but Dearing stayed behind.

Dearing made headlines after Harvey hit Rockport for taking charge of the shelter where he took cover and caring for 150 people until the worst of the storm passed and officials arrived.

"We simply did what we felt was right and what needed to be done," Dearing said.

Dearing was honored Saturday night with the Daily Point of Light Award.

According to Points of Light, Dearing directed people to find supplies in the school where they took shelter, organized a group of volunteers to check on the frailest people around the shelter and ventured out into the storm to rescue people. He's also credited with working with law enforcement to get everyone evacuated to Austin.

"If you are ever in a position to help those who cannot help themselves, it is your duty to do so," he said. "I felt that we all recognized that we could make a change and we could help."

On Saturday, Dearing received the award during" Deep From The Heart: The One America Appeal" benefit concert at Reed Arena on the Texas A & M University campus. The concert benefited victims of the recent natural disasters.

Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter were onstage with Dearing and four others receiving the award.

"If nothing else, I kind of picture taking that stage as a way to also carry that recognition for all of those who didn't get recognized because in times of crisis like these, a lot of people step up," Dearing said.

It is enough to make any mother proud, but for Nancy Dearing she said as proud as she is, people must not forget to help those affected on the long road to recovery.

"They need a lot of help," she said. "I visited Rockport here in the last week and have seen that damage that has been done and the people's lives that have been turned upside down."

If you are interested in watching the concert, we are told it will play on the One America Appeal YouTube Channel. The concert is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time Oct. 21.

"There is inherent good in people," Zachary Dearing said. "People say, it may be unfortunate that you only see that during times of crisis, but when is a better time?"

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