On March 29, 2018, the American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts, along with members of the community, will come together to honor local heroes who have exemplified the mission of the Red Cross over the past year. These heroes gave of themselves to better our communities and have given their time to benefit others. This breakfast is one of the largest events on the North Shore and we anticipate over 500 attendees from the business and non-profit communities alike.
Now accepting heroes nominations for 2018.
All heroes must either live or work in the communities served by the American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts or their heroic act occurred in the chapter's service area.
Enduring Hero: A person who has made a difference in the community by engaging in many different activities over a long period of time.
Community Hero: An individual, couple or family "good Samaritan" involved with an event, project, or on-going effort that directly benefits the community.
Youth Hero: A student (elementary, middle, high school or college) who demonstrates leadership qualities or is involved with an event, project, or an on-going effort that directly benefits the community.
Workplace Hero: An organization that has demonstrated unusual leadership and commitment to the community.
First Responder Hero: A Firefighter, Police Officer, EMT, or other first responder who has performed an act beyond the call of duty.
Military Hero: A member of the Armed Forces who acted above and beyond the call of duty.
Please fill out the nominations form for your hero.
All forms must be received by November 3, 2017
Enduring Hero – Jim Boland from Gloucester
For years, Jim Boland has quietly supported the North Shore community through his philanthropy. Jim leverages the four Fuddruckers restaurants he owns in order to support local charities and the good they do right here in Northeast Massachusetts.
Jim sums up his philanthropic ideals in an interview for BIDMC. “I think gratitude isn’t a feeling, it’s an action. Being of service and thinking about someone else is what’s important.” That’s what Jim’s friend taught him. We are proud to name James Boland our 2017 Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts Enduring Hero.
Humanitarian Hero – James and Karen Ansara from Essex
When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, among the devastation was the loss of the country’s largest hospital. Already noted Boston area philanthropists, James and Karen Ansara were volunteering their knowledge in the design of a new hospital facility when the earthquake struck.
James and Karen went on to found Build Health International, a nonprofit whose mission is to build for effective nonprofit clients in the most impoverished regions of the world. In its first few years, BHI has taken on nearly 40 major projects as either builder or consultant in Haiti, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. James and Karen through their charity work and personal endeavors embody what it means to do good work in this world, and is why we named them our Humanitarian Heroes.
Service to Armed Forces Hero – Gunnery Sergeant Brian Downing from Danvers
Danvers native Brian Downing was honored as 2016 Marine of the Year by the Military Times Media Group. Brian was nominated for Marine of the Year for his work in spearheading a barracks refurbishment project for his Marine personnel. While unfunded and un-mandated, Brian was able to acquire the necessary supplies and motivate his Marines to transform the barracks, a project that spurred the entire battalion to follow suit.
Proud of his service as a Marine and to his country, Gunnery Sergeant Brian Downing exemplifies what it is to be a Red Cross Service to Armed Forces hero.
Red Cross Volunteer of the Year – Charlie Vose from Ipswich
Independence Day this year will mark 34 years of service with the American Red Cross for volunteer Charlie Vose.
Charlie started his Red Cross affiliation at 16, when he went to a fire in Beverly, Mass., on the 4th of July. That would start him on a 22-year commitment to the Red Cross. After taking time off to concentrate on family, he returned to volunteer service with the Red Cross after witnessing the great need in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama following Hurricane Katrina. For all he does for the Red Cross and his community, the Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts names Charles Vose the 2017 Volunteer of the Year and a hero to us all.
Youth Hero – Taylor Goodman-Leong from Westford
At the age of six, Taylor Goodman-Leong had already made a lifelong friend with Erika. When Erika was diagnosed with cancer, Taylor would bring her gifts to help brighten the days while she was in the hospital. When cancer took Erika, Taylor found the courage to start For the Love of Erika, a nonprofit that brings joy to children, as a way to honor and keep the memory of her friend alive.
Taylor is a senior at Lawrence Academy where she maintains a full schedule of honors classes, but she still finds time to sort and wrap gifts for the children that help keep Erika’s memory alive. The Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts is happy to name Taylor Goodman-Leong a 2017 Youth Hero.
Youth Hero – Jaydon Dancy from Salem
At 10 years of age, Jaydon Dancy is by all definitions a hero. While fishing with a friend on an August afternoon in Salem, Jaydon would selflessly put himself at risk to a kayaker in distress.
In October, he was honored in front of his classmates at the Carlton Innovation School where he is in the fifth grade. It was there that Salem’s mayor and local Massachusetts state representatives recognized him for his actions. Through his selfless act, Jaydon inspires those that know him. He is truly a Red Cross Hero.
Community Hero – Phaedra Mehu from Lynn
Phaedra is an active and very dedicated member of her church. At a recent mass, a church member collapsed while speaking, going into cardiac arrest. While others panicked, Phaedra remembered her Red Cross CPR training, summoning for someone to call 9-1-1 and after determining the victim was unresponsive and not breathing, she began CPR until the EMS arrived on the scene. The victim was hospitalized, but has recovered and is doing well. Pheadra Mehu saved a life. And for that, we recognize her as a Community Hero.
Community Hero – Brian O’Conner from Woburn
A sense of community and helping others is what a community hero exemplifies. The willingness to take action and help others draws humans together in society. When Brian saw a man collapse one morning at a Woburn area gym, he took action to save a life.
The man later made a full recovery. Thanks to Brian’s quick action Charles was reunited with his family. The Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts is happy to honor Brian O’Connor as a Community Hero.
Community Hero – Kathy Pacitto from Swampscott
Every day teachers watch over thousands of children across the Commonwealth. They not only educate, they are there to provide compassion and assistance to their students when in need. Kathy saved a student who was choking at Stanley Elementary School where she is a physical education teacher.
Kathy displayed remarkable decision-making and we are proud to make her our Community Hero!
Community Hero – Peabody Firefighters
The sense of community is something the residents of Peabody don’t take for granted. Neighbors count on neighbors and enjoy life on the North Shore. When a gentleman was taken to the hospital, Peabody Fire Fighters Russell Lewis, Brian L’Italien and Joe Javery finished the yard work he was doing just before the emergency.
Going beyond their regular duties, assisting those in need is what makes the Peabody Fire Department an integral part of the community, and makes these Peabody firefighters Community Heroes.