Tom Brooks
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Richardson, TX - Richardson Real Heroes has chosen three volunteers to recognize this year for their unselfish and unheralded work to improve the lives of Richardson residents. The volunteers will be recognized at 7 p.m. April 11 with a ceremony and reception at the Richardson Civic Center.

The honorees and the organizations for which they volunteer:

  • Dick Caplinger, Richardson Police Department
  • Penny Carter, NETWORK of Community Ministries
  • Stuart Rampy, Robotics Club at J.J. Pearce High School


This group was chosen from nominations made by residents and nonprofit organizations of all types serving the community. “We had a strong pool of nominees this year and any of them would have been worthy,” said Laurie Garvie, chair of the Real Heroes committee. “We chose this group for their extraordinary and longstanding service.”

Friends and coworkers of the Real Heroes are encouraged to leave personal comments and anecdotes about the Real Heroes here. Selections from the comments will be used for a keepsake memory book compiled for each Real Hero.

The 2019 Richardson Real Heroes


Dick Caplinger – Dick stands out in a group of extremely committed volunteers helping Richardson Police. Since joining Richardson Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), he has averaged more than 1,100 volunteer hours annually. In 2016, he set a record for the most hours volunteered by VIPS in one year – 1,377 hours. In 2017, he beat his own record with 1,433 hours. He volunteers as a uniformed Field Operations Volunteer(FOV) three full days each week, installing key lockboxes for the elderly and homebound, performing house checks for residents on vacation, assisting officers with auto accidents, clearing abandoned vehicles and supporting the police. He was born in Dallas, raised in Bellaire, and has lived in Richardson since 1989. After earning a degree in Business Administration from Sam Houston State University, he spent four years in the U.S. Army as a helicopter pilot with the 1st Air Cavalry. After that, he worked in insurance until retiring in 2010 to allow for more time with family, hunting and volunteering.


Penny Carter - Penny has volunteered at the Network of Community Ministries for four years, donating 4,020 hours to help the senior population in Richardson. Most of Network’s volunteers commit to working three hours a week, but Penny regularly commits to six hours a day, four days a week, with most of her effort devoted to the Seniors Net Program. Seniors 

Net volunteers work to provide basic needs, such as food and clothing. Penny once owned a Montessori school and credits that experience with preparing her for work with our senior population. Like the children in her school, seniors seek kindness and respect in life’s interactions. She also credits the staff and coordinators at Network for their patience in helping her learn the ropes. She believes she receives as much from the clients as they receive from Network. “Each day is a new and different experience,” Penny says, “and seeing, listening to, and helping Network’s senior clients is a joy and a privilege.”

Stuart Rampy - Stuart has volunteered more than 500 hours annually since 2008 as a mentor for the J.J. Pearce High School Robotics Club, sharing his knowledge of programming, electronics, design, fundraising, and leadership with more than 100 students.  His efforts inspired many of them to excel in high school, furthering their education in STEM fields in college, and beyond. As lead mentor for the club, he established and leads a nonprofit that raises funds to support the club. The Pearce team has advanced to the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship four times. To reach more students, Stuart recently started an initiative to bring competition robotics to the Pearce feeder schools. In its first year, North Junior High is fielding two teams in the FIRST Tech Challenge program, with plans to expand to Parkhill Junior High in the 2019-2020 school year. Stuart never asks for recognition. His reward is seeing the students he works with succeed. His passion is to help the robotics club succeed and reflect well on the City of Richardson, Pearce High School, and the Richardson Independent School District.


The April 11 event honoring the Real Heroes will have video highlights of each Real Hero and a program honoring volunteerism in the community. The keynote speaker will be Bruce MacPherson, managing director of the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations.

The event is open to the public and we invite you to join us in honoring the 2019 Richardson Real Heroes. Please RSVP by April 5 to More information about the Richardson Real Heroes Program can be found at

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