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Reader's Digest Hero of the Year

SALEM, Utah — A member of the Church has been honored by Reader's Digest for his efforts to memorialize his 12-year-old son who disappeared in 2004 in the Uinta Mountains. Kevin Bardsley of the Salem 8th Ward, Salem Utah Stake, received the magazine's Hero of the Year award this month in Salt Lake City by magazine representatives and by U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Garrett Bardsley disappeared during a camping trip for young men in his ward. A massive search failed to find him. According to the Deseret Morning News, which publishes the Church News, the Bardsley family, including mother, Heidi, was determined to preserve Garrett's memory. Within months of the disappearance, the Garrett Bardsley Foundation was organized. Six months later, a school bearing the boy's name was built in Ecuador. In addition, Kevin Bardsley formed a well-trained search team with the intention of saving other families from the same grief.

Reader's Digest did a story on Kevin Bardsley and his work with the foundation in 2006 for its monthly Hometown Heroes feature. In a readers' poll, readers voted Brother Bardsley as the Hero of the Year.