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Kiwanis International Foundation awards Shun Gen a Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism

Aug 29, 2014
Kiwanis International Foundation President Lance Incitti with Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism recipient Shun Gen
In the Osaka Prefecture last September, Chinese exchange student Shun Gen was jogging along the Yodo River when he saw something terrible: a young boy had fallen into the water. Shun immediately jumped into the river to attempt a rescue, but the force of the current prevented him from reaching the 9-year-old child. Shun got out of the water and ran along the bank, following the boy as he was carried by the river. Another person handed a rope to Shun, who jumped back into the water—and finally pulled the boy safely to shore.

For his fearless and selfless act, Shun Gen was awarded a Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism during the 99th Annual Kiwanis International Convention. The Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism is awarded to an individual who has risked or given his or her life to save someone else. The medal has honored more than 600 individuals, each of whom has exemplified the supreme sacrifice given by Connelly—who lost his life while trying to save a woman who had fallen into the path of an oncoming commuter train.

“Shun Gen clearly demonstrated the spirit of the Connelly Medal,” said Kiwanis International Foundation President Lance Incitti. “He risked his own life, and as a result, saved a young boy’s life.” Shun Gen was nominated for this honor by Kiwanian Hiroshi Ishikawa, from the Senshu, Osaka, Kiwanis Club. Upon receiving his award, Shun Gen remarked, “In our society, a lot of people have also offered their help; some have also done good things, but without being known. And others have even sacrificed their lives. Those people should also never be forgotten.”

Watch Kiwanis International Foundation President Lance Incitti present the Robert P. Connelly Medal of Heroism to Shun Gen at the 2014 Kiwanis International convention.