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Red Cross Announces 2016 Community Impact Award Recipient

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We all bleed red, and we are a human family.

Madison’s Colleen Kelly Alexander to receive award at annual Red White & YOU Ball June 11

The American Red Cross will honor Madison, Connecticut resident Colleen Kelly Alexander with the 2016 Community Impact Award. Colleen will be honored at the 11th annual Red White & YOU Ball on Saturday, June 11, 2016, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.  

The theme of this year’s event is “We all bleed red,” in honor of Colleen. The event will highlight the importance of blood donation, a cause near and dear to Colleen’s heart. 

Colleen’s Red Cross story began in her early twenties as an instructor for HIV/AIDS, First Aid, CPR and Defibrillator training. Colleen also did international travel with Red Cross Red Crescent to help set up women’s health clinics in Guyana to provide HIV/AIDS education and presentation training.  

Her work with the Red Cross took an even more personal turn after she experienced a trauma that forever changed her life. In 2011, while on a routine bike ride, Colleen was run over by a freight truck. During the fight for her life, she needed to be resuscitated twice, needed more than 78 blood products and was in a coma for five weeks. Miraculously, Colleen survived the trauma and has gone on to run more than 50 races and compete in 30 triathlons, including four half Ironman events.  

Since her experience, Colleen’s love for the Red Cross expanded significantly upon learning of the blood donations that saved her life. Colleen, a board member for the Connecticut Red Cross, continues to be a proud supporter of the Red Cross and works tirelessly to promote the need for blood and platelet donations. 

“Colleen is a living testament to the importance of blood donation and the impact blood donors can have,” said Mario Bruno, CEO, American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region. “Colleen’s work with the Red Cross knows no bounds. She supports our mission in every way possible, she is a true hero. We are thrilled to honor her with the 2016 Community Impact Award.” 

"I am a product of heroes as my heart beats the music of countless donors who allowed me to be brought back to live and continue to live this purpose driven life"  said Colleen. "We all bleed red, and we are a human family." 

This year’s Ball is being chaired by Cindy Russo, senior vice president for operations with Hartford Healthcare and the Honorary Chair is Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman. Resiliency Sponsor for the third year is Mohegan Sun. The Ball will be hosted by Emmy Award nominated News 8 Medical reporter, Jocelyn Maminta and promises to be an evening full of fun and inspiration. “The Ball will have something for everyone,” said Bruno. The event begins with a reception at 6:00 p.m., featuring silent auction items, interactive photo booths and live music.  

The 11th annual Red White & YOU Ball is set for Saturday, June 11, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Tickets and information are available at

About the American Red Cross: 

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @CTRedCross.