Heroes Among Us - November 2006

November 3, 2006 - Sgt. Ayman Kafel

Heroes Among Us

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

As part of the Massachusetts National Guard, Sergeant Kafel arrived in Iraq on December 31, 2004. During the year he spent in Iraq, Sgt. Kafel served for the Military Police Headquarters' Task Force and then later for the Protective Service Security Squad.

As an Arab-American who spoke fluent Arabic, Ayman was able to bridge a cultural gap to create a unity that could not have existed without him. Ayman's command leader, Lieutenant Colonel McElroy, stated that Sergeant Kafel's presence instantly changed the demeanor of Iraqis with whom his squad interacted, leading to many successful missions that might have otherwise failed.

In recognition of Sgt Kafel's dedication and service to this country, would you please join us in recognizing tonight's Hero Among Us, Sgt. Ayman Kafel.

November 8, 2006 - David Youngerman

Heroes Among Us

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

When David was six year old, his mother, Michelle, noticed David exhibiting some odd symptoms on their way home from a soccer practice. His arm felt numb and he had trouble walking without stumbling.

After extensive tests, doctors at Children's Hospital Boston discovered that David has Moyamoya Disease, which means that the arteries at the base of the brain are blocked, resulting in strokes that can cause permanent damage if left untreated. There are only two doctors in the country who perform surgery for this disease, and luckily for David one of them, Dr. Michael Scott, is at Children's Hospital Boston. David had this life-saving surgery. He is now a happy and healthy nine-year-old who enjoys soccer, skiing, and also giving back to others in need of medical care.

David has been participating in the Miles for Miracles Walk for the past three years and was chosen as the Child Ambassador for this year's event. David gave the welcome speech to 3,000 participants from the stage of the Hatch Shell. He also personally raised more than $1,500, and recruited a team of classmates to walk with him who were able to raise almost $4,000. He understands the importance of giving back to a community that did so much for him, and truly is a role model for others.

November 10, 2006 - Catherine Pisacane

Heroes Among Us

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

Catherine is the founder and executive director of Project Smile, a non-profit organization. Project Smile donates stuffed animals to police officers, fire-fighters and paramedics to give at first response to children involved in traumatic situations. Many of these children were involved in car accidents, witnessed domestic abuse, or were victims of child abuse.

The connection kids form with these stuffed animals is truly amazing. Many times, kids have simply refused to let go of their new toy, clinging tightly to this small sense of comfort. Within days of Hurricane Katrina, Project Smile sent 3,700 stuffed animals directly to the Houston Astrodome for the many children who had lost everything. To date, Project Smile has donated over 15,800 stuffed animals assisting over 100 police and fire departments throughout New England.

In recognition of Catherine's initiative and her dedication to youth in need, would you please join us in recognizing tonight's Hero Among Us, Catherine Pisacane.

November 13, 2006 - Helen Ford

Heroes Among Us

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

Helen Ford worked 28 years in security for the Cambridge School Department. She may well be the most loved Security Guard a school has ever seen. Her mere presence stopped fights before they began. She has received numerous Community Service Awards on the local and state level.

Hundreds of youth throughout Cambridge consider her their mother away from home. What sets Helen apart is her dedication to youth without a home to call their own. In addition to her five biological children, Helen has sheltered over 15 foster children, treating every one of them as her own. As Helen put it, "If I had a castle, I would've had a 100 children."

For her dedication and shelter for those most in need, please welcome tonight's Hero Among Us, Helen Ford.

November 15, 2006 - Eric Christopher

Heroes Among Us

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

Eric has been on the Gloucester Fire Department for eight years and has responded to countless civic service and emergency situations.

One day back in January, Eric and his partner were on their way on the firehouse when they spotted a house fully engulfed in flames. An occupant who had escaped the blaze was yelling that another individual was still trapped inside. Without taking time to don his protective gear, Eric ran into the burning house and spotted an unconscious woman slumped on the floor. Eric carried her from the burning home in time to save her life.

For his amazing bravery under pressure, please welcome tonight's Hero Among Us, Eric Christopher!

November 17, 2006 - Lawanda Myric

Heroes Among Us

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

Lawanda has been a committed parent, employee and advocate for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. MSPCC, is dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights and well-being of children and families.

Three weeks ago, Lawanda's daughter and younger sister, ages 7 and 11 were unfortunate victims of a drive-by-shooting in Dorchester. Miraculously, both girls have recovered quickly. Lawanda's struggle however, continues on. Despite facing constant adversity, she has worked professionally and personally to make our community a better place.

x Lawanda remains committed to the success of her daughter, younger sister & all those around her. Tonight, Lawanda is joined at center court by her sister and daughter, because as she puts it "they are the strong ones".

Please welcome tonight's Hero Among Us, Lawanda Myrick!

November 24, 2006 - Lynn Dadekian

Heroes Among Us

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

Lynn's father, David, was given only a couple of months to live as a result of a chronic liver disease. He was in need of a living donor transplant, and his survival window was closing quickly.

Without hesitation, Lynn volunteered to donate her liver for a chance for her father to live. Lynn and David went in simultaneously for the ten-hour operation. Father and daughter were released from the hospital one week later after successful surgery. David's words best describe Lynn's gift, "I feel like Lynn gave me a second chance at life."

For her amazing gift to her father and dedication to teaching others about the importance of organ donation, would you please join us in recognizing tonight's Hero Among Us, Lynn Dadekian.

November 29, 2006 - Brittany and Robbie Bergquist

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.

Two years ago, at ages 12 and 13, Brittany and Robbie heard a depressing report about exorbitant phone bills of US soldiers trying to call home. Armed with $14 from their piggy bank and a dream to make a difference, Robbie and Brittany started the "Cell Phones for Soldiers" campaign.

Donations started pouring in the form of money, prepaid phone cards, and used cell phones. Astonishingly, Brittany and Robbie's ongoing campaign has collected over $1,000,000 and has sent more than 80,000 calling cards to troops in the Middle East.

For their amazing initiative, and dedication to our troops, would you please join us in recognizing tonight's Heroes Among Us, Robbie and Brittany Bergquist.

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