C's Honor 2012 'Heroes Among Us' at State House
BOSTON – The Heroes Among Us program is arguably the most revered initiative across sports, as teams recognize individuals during their games who have made an overwhelming impact on their communities.
The Boston Celtics were the first to recognize such individuals and with the sponsorship of the Massachusetts State Lottery and support of Comcast SportsNet New England and WEEI-FM, the program has flourished and become an integral component to fans’ in-game experience. Now in it its 14th year, fans are still brought to their feet during the second timeout of the second quarter when they hear the amazing stories of the Heroes.
While a new Hero is honored at each game, it is important to the Celtics to bring each class together at the end of the season to meet one another and share their stories. This year was no different as the 2011-12 Hero Among Us class was honored at the Massachusetts State House on July 19, 2012.
Recipients ranged from founders of nonprofits that assist soldiers, to families affected by cancer and disabilities, to officers and firefighters who tragically lost their lives while saving others.
Celtics legend Tom “Satch” Sanders, Massachusetts State Treasurer Steven Grossman, Celtics Co-Owner Robert Epstein, along with emcee Boston Celtics Public Address Announcer Eddie Palladino and keynote speaker WCVB-TV Anchor Susan Wornick, were all on hand to recognize the honorees.
“Every story is an amazing testament of the courage and strength of the individuals that we honor at this ceremony each summer,” reflected Sanders, a former Hero. “From all of us in the Celtics organization, thank you for coming out today and congratulations to our 2011-12 Boston Celtics Heroes Among Us recipients.”
Each Hero was individually brought to the stage to receive their award and gift of a Celtics photo book with all the Heroes and their stories as Palladino read the amazing feats of the recipients.
Tim and Diane Henry were recognized for the commitment and dedication to foster children as they had provided a safe and loving home for more than 35 children, formally adopting six.
Jim Rice’s wife and children accepted the award on his behalf as the 11-year Peabody Fire Department veteran lost his life while rescuing tenants from a six-family unit that was ablaze.
Elizabeth Barreras was honored for founding Blue Kitabu, a non-profit that promotes education and literacy and her dedication to opening and running schools in Africa.
With tears flowing on several occasions, the emotional ceremony came to a close with a group photo followed by refreshments. During this time, recipients had the chance to meet each other. During the season, two couples were honored for their commitment to being foster parents and the duos met a struck up an immediate friendship. One Hero was recognized for sending care packages to soldiers overseas and happened to meet another Hero who had received one of his packages while on tour. The connections shared by these individuals will surely continue for years to come.
“These very special people have worked hard to better the lives of everyone in their community,” said Epstein. “There are so many amazing stories between them and I am thrilled to honor the contributions of these true heroes.”