Heroes Among Us - April 2006

New England is home to many individuals who have made an overwhelming impact on our community, positively affecting the lives of others. For the seventh season, the Boston Celtics will recognize an individual or individuals at each home game who have made a special contribution.

Here are the April 2006 Heroes Among Us:

The Heroes Among Us award is a program of the Boston Celtics, presented by the Mass State Lottery, represented here by Tim Cahill.

April 5, 2006
Denise Carriere

When she was just five days old, Denise came down with meningitis. Doctors told Denise's mother that she would never be able to walk, talk, see, hear, or even think. Today, Denise is capable of all those things and much more.

With hard work and dedication, Denise now competes for Special Olympics Massachusetts in track and field, soccer, basketball, swimming and hockey. She was recently nominated to be inducted in the Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall of Fame.

Denise is also a part of Special Olympics Global Messenger program, which allows her to share her story of survival with others. She feels Special Olympics has allowed her to show what she can do as opposed to what she cannot.





The Heroes Among Us award is a program of the Boston Celtics, presented by the Mass State Lottery, represented here by Beth O'Brien.

April 9, 2006
Mark Mitchell

As part of our recognition of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, please welcome today's Hero Among Us, Mark Mitchell!

While their daughter was in the hospital battling cancer, Mark and his wife noticed many children who had few or no visitors. Sadly, they lost their three-year-old daughter to this dreaded illness.

Mark has since devoted his life to helping children in need. He and his wife contacted Holyoke DSS to begin fostering. Today, the Mitchell family consists of eight children…six of whom have been adopted. In his spare time, Mark can be found mentoring teens from some of Springfield's toughest neighborhoods.





The Heroes Among Us award is a program of the Boston Celtics, presented by the Mass State Lottery, represented here by Scott Campbell.

April 14, 2006
Donna Tardif

Donna was selected as the 2006 Maine Teacher of the Year out of a pool of 12 finalists from all grade levels throughout the state. With 13 years of teaching experience, Donna is currently a kindergarten teacher at Montello Elementary School

Donna's approach to teaching is quite unique for a kindergarten teacher. She uses an assessment tool to guide her instruction, allowing her to fully understand the learning needs of each child. A previous nominee in the state of Virginia, Donna has the rare distinction of being nominated for Teacher of the Year in two separate states.

For her dedication to her profession and her students, please welcome Maine's Teacher of the Year, Donna Tardif!





The Heroes Among Us award is a program of the Boston Celtics, presented by the Mass State Lottery, represented here by Jerry Cedrone.

April 17, 2006
Lt. Jim Meeks

Jim graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2002. Like his father and grandfather, he had no desire to do anything other than enlist in the military. After completing his officer and armored training, he was shipped out to Iraq in February of 2004.

In May that same year, Lt. Meeks was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in Falluja. After extensive surgery and rehab, Lt. Meeks volunteered to return to Iraq to complete his unfinished commitment. In March of 2005, Lt. Meeks and his platoon were involved with small arms fire while on a mission to an insurgency hideaway. After neutralizing the enemy, Lt. Meeks was able to enter a burning house and rescue a mother and her five children. For this, he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in combat.





The Heroes Among Us award is a program of the Boston Celtics, presented by the Mass State Lottery, represented here by Brian Kelly.

April 19, 2006
Donna Fournier Cuomo

In October of 1974, high-schooler Joey Fournier was murdered while working part-time at a gas station in Lawrence, MA. In memory of her brother, Donna established the Joey Fournier Services, a non-profit violence prevention and victim services organization. Joey Fournier Services is responsible for providing CORI registrations, a victim's hotline to assist with restraining orders, and funds violence prevention programs in over 250 Massachusetts schools.

In recognition of her efforts, Donna received the Stop Handgun Violence Leadership Award in 1998. She is often referred to as the single biggest advocate for victims of crime in MA.

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