Heroes Among Us - January 2012

January 29, 2012 - Elizabeth Barreras

Heroes Among Us

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

Elizabeth Barreras knew at a very young age she wanted to help the world’s most underserved youth. At 23, her dream came true when she founded Blue Kitabu [Kit-aah-bu], a non-profit organization that promotes education and literacy.

Elizabeth has dedicated the last four years of her life to opening and running schools in Africa, the entire time refusing to take a salary! Students have access to books, supplies and incredible teachers who want them to succeed! Since founding Blue Kitabu, Elizabeth has amazingly raised over $150,000 for projects in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda!

For her selfless commitment to educating youth, please join us in welcoming Elizabeth Barreras as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

January 27, 2012 - The Family of Jim Rice

Heroes Among Us

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

Jim Rice, an eleven year veteran of the Peabody Fire Department, was known as a compassionate and devoted man who dedicated his life to the safety of others.

Last month, Jim responded to a 9-1-1 call of a fire nearby. He immediately rushed into the burning building to rescue the tenants in a six-family unit. Thanks to the efforts of Jim and his fellow firefighters, all of the residents successfully made it out alive but tragically Jim made the ultimate sacrifice and lost his life in the blaze.

For his bravery and commitment to our community, please join us in welcoming Jim’s wife, Amy, and their three children, who are accepting tonight’s Hero Among Us award on his behalf.

January 23, 2012 - Congressman Ed Markey

Heroes Among Us

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

Congressman Ed Markey has dedicated over 35 years to steadfastly fighting for the rights of Americans who are blind and deafblind.

A proud supporter of Perkins School for the Blind, Representative Markey has led the charge in the progression of rights for people with disabilities. From mandating TV programs use closed captioning for deaf viewers to creating a bill requiring smart phone technology be more accessible for the blind, Representative Markey has passed landmark laws that connect people with disabilities to the world!

For his lifetime commitment to make all media accessible for all Americans, please join us in welcoming Congressman Ed Markey as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

January 20, 2012 - Christine Lewis

Heroes Among Us

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

Christine Lewis has selflessly worked to ensure people with special needs have an active, social life. A mother of a special needs child herself, Christine has witnessed first-hand the lack of activities that are available as the kids grow to adults.

In an effort to facilitate more programs and events, Christine founded Basketball Buddies two years ago, which hosts basketball tournaments for special needs athletes and their peers. The program offers people a chance to be active, socialize and most importantly, feel a sense of belonging. Amazingly, Basketball Buddies has more than doubled in its second year as members have fostered life-long relationships!

For her continued dedication to helping adults with special needs, please join us in welcoming Christine Lewis as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

January 18, 2012 - Lance Corporal William Donovan, Jr.

Heroes Among Us

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

In honor of Seats for Soldiers night, the Celtics would like to recognize Lance Corporal William Donovan, Jr., a Marine Corps who has dedicated his life to protecting our country.

While on combat duty in Afghanistan, William’s tank was hit by an IED. Despite suffering mild traumatic brain injury, William recovered and continued his deployment but was tragically hit by another IED two months after the first explosion. His resolve never wavered and he amazingly completed his tour of duty with his unit. For his courageous efforts, William was awarded two Purple Hearts!

For his commitment to our country, please join us in welcoming Lance Corporal William Donovan, Jr. as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

January 16, 2012 - Reverend Dr. Michael Haynes

Heroes Among Us

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

As the Celtics celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther, King Jr. tonight we are honored to recognize Rev. Dr. Michael Haynes, a pillar of the civil rights movement who has dedicated his life to ensuring equal rights for all citizens.

A close friend and major supporter of MLK, the two began their historical journeys together as apprentice preachers at the Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston. The duo would go on to fight for the rights of African Americans across the nation. 40 years later, Haynes dreams have been realized through his tireless work in the Massachusetts State Legislator and the community!

For his unforgettable legacy of service, please join us in welcoming Reverend Dr. Michael Haynes as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

January 13, 2012 - Frank McLaughlin, Eileen Conway, and Stephen Cogswell

Heroes Among Us

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

Jerry Paine will forever be grateful to three bystanders who saved his life last December. While out on the lake fishing, Jerry lost control of his canoe and fell into the freezing water.

Frank McLaughlin and Eileen Conway witnessed the scene as Jerry was struggling to stay afloat and hypothermia was setting in. Frank called 9-1-1 and immediately dashed into the water to help him. Eileen dove in seconds later to bring life jackets to the pair. Officer Stephen Cogswell responded to the 9-1-1 call and arrived in time to help bring the group ashore. Jerry made a full recovery thanks to the quick actions of Frank, Eileen and Stephen!

For their life-saving actions, please join us in welcoming Frank McLaughlin, Eileen Conway, and Stephen Cogswell as tonight’s Heroes Among Us.

January 11, 2012 - Frank Geary

Heroes Among Us

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

Vietnam War veteran Frank Geary has dedicated his life to serving our country and knows first-hand the emotional and physical toll it takes on a soldier.

Remembering the kindness of citizens who donated care packages to him during his darkest days of the Vietnam War, Frank wanted to give back to this generation’s war heroes. Frank co-founded Helping Our Troops and has led efforts to ship over 12,000 care packages to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan since November of 2006. Frank is determined to let U.S. soldiers know that we appreciate their sacrifice for our country!

For his continued support of our troops, please join us in welcoming Frank Geary as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

January 6, 2012 - Erin Pratt

Heroes Among Us

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

Erin Pratt, a sixteen year old life guard at Bass Rocks Beach Club knew it was her duty to keep the beach safe for everyone. What she didn’t know was that she would amazingly be saving three lives within a five minute span!

Upon hearing screams, Erin leapt into the water to help a woman caught on a rock. Moments after rescuing the stranded woman, she saw two children struggling against a strong riptide. Erin immediately dove back into the water, raced to the children and safely helped them to shore!

For her quick and life-saving actions, please join us in welcoming Erin Pratt as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

January 4, 2012 - Joe Andruzzi

Heroes Among Us

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

Whether it was his commitment to serving victims of 9/11 or visiting patients in local hospitals, former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi was always active in the community.

In early 2007, Joe was diagnosed with cancer and immediately underwent aggressive treatment. Fortunate to be cancer free by the end of that year, Joe and his wife founded the Joe Andruzzi Foundation in order to help others in similar circumstances.

To date, their foundation has raised over $120,000 to help families pay their mortgage, rent and utility bills and most recently donated an additional $275,000 to Children’s Hospital Boston!

For his tireless and selfless work, please join us in welcoming Joe Andruzzi as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

January 2, 2012 - Roberto Russell

Heroes Among Us

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

MBTA inspector Roberto Russell works everyday to ensure the safety of Red Line commuters. However, he never thought he would single-handedly be responsible for saving a man’s life.

Last September, Russell witnessed a man fall onto the tracks as an oncoming train approached. Without a moment’s hesitation, he rushed to the scene and successfully alerted the driver to stop the train. After advising central control to turn off the power so that the man wouldn’t be electrocuted, Russell pulled the man to safety and prevented what could have been a terrible tragedy!

For his courageous and life-saving actions, please join us in welcoming Roberto Russell as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

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