2016 New Hampshire Hero Award Recipients

Red Cross Hero Raj Gupta

Raji Gupta

Raji Gupta was driving in Manchester around 1am one night in November 2015, when he came across a burning apartment building. Gupta quickly exited his car and began pounding on doors to alert the residents inside. When he reached the third floor, a parent handed him a 5-year-old child, whom Gupta ran down and handed off to safety. He ran back upstairs and took a 1-year-old from the parent and brought that child down too. Thanks to his willingness to help, no one was seriously hurt despite the building being badly damaged.

Red Cross Heroe Bruce Moran

Bruce Moran

Bruce Moran, a US Army veteran and recipient of two Purple Hearts, has been giving blood regularly since he was 16 years old. As of December of 2015, he has donated more than 83 gallons of blood and has made 442 platelet donations. By a conservative estimate, his donations have touched the lives of more than 700 people.

Red Cross Hero Nick Tolentino

Nicholas Tolentino

Nicholas Tolentino served 14 years in the United States Navy as an Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman with multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He speaks to groups and shares his experience with combat PTSD and TBI (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder & Traumatic Brain Injury) to inspire state-wide initiatives to take down the barriers, smooth the path, and open the doors for his brothers and sisters in arms to ask for and receive the care they need. Tolentino shares his story in the hopes that New Hampshire Veterans will feel encouraged to reach out and get the support they need.

Red Cross Hero Profile School

Class of 2015 at Profile Junior-Senior High School

After learning that their principal, Courtney Vashaw, had been diagnosed with a rare aggressive form of cancer, the Class of 2015 at Profile Junior-Senior High School decided to forgo their senior trip and instead, gave all of their funds to help support Ms. Vashaw’s medical expenses. After years of fundraising, the seniors were able to donate nearly $8,000 to her cause. Vashaw said she teaches the students that it’s important to do something bigger than yourself, and that this act of kindness is proof they are listening.

Red Cross Heroes Doug and Brighid Smith

Doug and Brighid Smith

In 2004, Jamie Kenney learned she needed a kidney transplant due to a disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis or FSGS. Doug Smith, the father of her longtime friend Brighid volunteered to be tested. He ended up being a match resulting in a successful surgery and transplant. After 10 years the disease returned and attacked the kidney Doug donated and Jamie was in need of another to replace it. Following in her father’s footsteps, Brighid got tested and surprised Jamie with the news that she was a match. They made the second transplant a success at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in 2015.