Officials from the Santa Fe Fire Department, Mayor Javier Gonzales and local community members gathered Monday at Fire Station No. 3 to unveil and dedicate R. Hero, a six-foot-tall Dalmatian sculpture.
The aluminum sculpture has black spots like the dog long associated with firefighters, but there’s a twist: It’s an eye-catching red rather than the traditional white. R. Hero honors first responders and is designed to inspire young people. The art display seeks to encourage conversation between children and their parents, caregivers and teachers about the traits of a hero — courage, respect, honor and compassion for others.
“The R. Hero public art display is a celebration of our local heroes. As families visit Fire Station No. 3, we hope this sculpture will serve as a reminder of these heroes and the contributions they make here in Santa Fe and across the globe,” said Bunni Benaron, founder of The Hero In You Foundation. “The foundation wants to encourage the next generation to become heroes and ‘earn their hero spots’ by doing heroic deeds for others in their daily lives.”
The Hero In You Foundation recently launched “R. Hero’s Rules for Safety,” an educational program, free to the community, that teaches children five safety steps to follow in case of an emergency, as well as an online curriculum. Rocket, an animated Dalmatian puppy, helps children find “the hero in you,” while learning more about the work of all first responders.