Heroes Among Us: November 2004

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

Here are the November 2004 Heroes Among Us:

Celtics team captain Paul Pierce and Philadelphia 76ers team captain Allen Iverson stand with the mother and sister of Sergeant Daniel Londono of Dorchester, MA.

November 3, 2004

On March 13th, Sergeant Londono was patrolling the outskirts of Baghdad with three other soldiers when insurgents struck their vehicle with an explosive device, fatally wounding all three. Sergeant Londono had enlisted in the US Army immediately following his graduation from high school in June of 2000 to help pay for his sister’s college education.

Celtics Captain Paul Pierce and Indiana Pacers forward Austin Croshere stand with Kimo Murphy and David Dorrity of Hillsboro, NH.

November 5, 2004

On Tuesday, September 28th, Chad Cook and his 2-year-old son were on their way to pick up his 9-year-old daughter from school. Sadly, Chad never made it to meet his daughter. His vehicle crashed when he crossed the center-line and hit a truck coming from the opposite direction.

Kimo Murphy and David Dorriety were a couple of cars behind when they noticed the crash and rushed to the scene. Although they were unable to rescue Chad, they were able to save 2-year-old Cody, by pulling him from his car seat out of the burning vehicle. They were also able to rescue Lawrence Curran, the driver of the truck that was involved in the accident.

When the police arrived at the scene, they confirmed that were it not for Kimo and David’s bravery, 2-year-old Cody and Lawrence would not have survived.

Celtics Captain Paul Pierce and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damon Stoudamire stand with the family of Benjamin Sammis of Rehoboth, MA.

November 10, 2004

Benjamin Sammis fell in love with helicopters, jets and the idea of flight as a young boy. His dream of becoming a Marine came true in May of 1996, when he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.

After being deployed in support of Iraqi Freedom last January, Captain Benjamin Sammis was killed when his attack helicopter crashed, presumably under enemy fire, during a combat mission 30 miles southeast of Baghdad.

As we prepare to acknowledge the men and women who have served our country in honor of Veterans’ Day, the Boston Celtics are pleased to recognize Captain Benjamin Sammis, and his family.

Celtics Captain Paul Pierce and Charlotte Bobcats guard Steve Smith stand with Sergeant Steve Roche of Worcester, MA.

November 12, 2004

Sergeant Roche has been an active member of the Worcester Police Department for the past 17 years. Throughout this time, he has worked in the gang unit and spearheaded multiple programs focusing on at-risk youth. He was instrumental in the creation of the Police Athletic League/Gang Unit Basketball League and has organized several fundraising events for the Worcester Boys & Girls Club.

Sergeant Roche has spoken to over 3,000 students from the Worcester area. He has been referred to as the single most important person in the fight against gang activity and drugs in the city of Worcester.

Celtics Captain Paul Pierce and San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker stand with Andrea Casanova of Boston, MA.

November 19, 2004

Alexandra Nicole Zapp was a unique, vibrant and lovable young woman with a promising life ahead of her. On July18th all that changed.

That night, on her way home, after stopping at a rest area in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Alexandra was attacked and brutally murdered by a sexual predator, who had twenty-four convictions including rape and kidnapping. One thing became obvious after Alexandra’s death: the act of violence was as heinous as it was preventable.

Alexandra’s Mother, Andrea Casanova, created the ALLEY Foundation, to drive legislative reform to help prevent such acts from occurring in the future, educate the public about sex offenders, and involve them in advocating for their own safety.

Celtics captain Paul Pierce and Seattle Supersonics guard Ray Allen stand with Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore of Chestnut Hill, MA.

November 21, 2004

In 1993, Dr. Kishore founded the National Library of Addictions, an intellectual gathering place for health care professionals and community members who are working to overcome the effects of addictions.

Dr. Kishore along with his “ambassadors,” who are recovering addicts, have gone to schools, camps, YMCA’s and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Massachusetts to speak on the harmful effects of drugs and addiction.

Dr. Kishore is often referred to as the “Doctor of Addiction Treatment” for his efforts in the development of treatment methodologies. He has worked with over 140,000 drug addicts throughout the past 15 years

Celtics captain Paul Pierce and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Eric Snow stand with Marisol Chalas of Lynn, MA.

November 26, 2004

At the age of 9, Marisol came over to the United States from the Dominican Republic. After seeing a need for more minority women in the US Armed Forces, she became a US Citizen and joined her High School ROTC Program. At Ft. Rucker Army Aviation School, she was a platoon leader and graduated at the top of her class.

Marisol, one of a few minority women that is certified to fly Black Hawk helicopters, has received numerous military awards, decorations, and badges. After being deployed to Iraq last year, she sustained an injury during combat. She is currently back home in the US to rehabilitate her injury. As a community leader, Marisol epitomizes the true meaning of a role model.