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Red Cross to Honor Community Heroes September 14

Red Cross of Connecticut - Community Heroes
They represent the best in the human spirit

Honorees Come from across the State of Connecticut

The 18th Annual American Red Cross Connecticut Heroes Luncheon is set for September 14 in Hartford. The luncheon will be held at the Marriott Hartford Downtown, 200 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford. NBC Connecticut’s Morning Co-Anchors Heidi Voight and Ted Koppy will serve as Co-Emcees.

The honorees represent individuals and organizations that have made a life-saving or life-changing difference in their communities.

“We are looking forward to once again honoring Connecticut’s Heroes,” said Mario Bruno, CEO, American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region. “This year’s honorees are inspiring for their willingness to jump in and help and the impact they have made on the lives of others. The people and organizations we are honoring do extraordinary things. They represent the best in the human spirit and reflect the Red Cross ideal of helping others.”

This year’s honorees are:

Community Hero Award: Larry and Evelyn Pontbriant of Norwich for providing nearly 100 AEDs to community organizations in honor of their late son, Larry Pontbriant, who died of sudden cardiac arrest 10 years ago. The family raises funds to provide AEDs to community organizations and raises awareness about sudden cardiac arrest through the Larry Pontbriant Memorial 5K Run/Walk.

Emergency Services Hero Award: Eric Roode, a security guard at Connecticut College who performed CPR and used an AED on a co-worker, saving his life.

Life Saving Hero Award: Thomas Brown and Patrick Mainolfi of New Canaan High School for their quick thinking when they saw a student choking in the halls at school. Both Brown and Mainolfi utilized skills they were taught as former state employees to save the student’s life.

Services to the Armed Forces Hero Award: Robert Estrada of Granby for founding Endurance 4 Veterans which helps veterans experiencing PTSD through physical fitness.

Spirit of the Red Cross Hero Award: Ken Boudreau of Simsbury for donating more than 300 units of platelets/plasma to the Red Cross and for his volunteer spirit. In addition to donating platelets to help hospital patients in need, Ken is a volunteer firefighter for the Simsbury Fire Department and is an advocate for the work of the Red Cross.

Workplace Hero Award: Charter Communications for their support of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. Charter Communications is committed to connecting with communities through their primary philanthropic initiative, Spectrum Housing Assist. They partner with nonprofit organizations and engage employees and community volunteers to provide critical home repairs across the United States. Spectrum Housing Assist and the American Red Cross are partnering to improve 400 homes in eight cities nationwide through the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. The Campaign educates families about fire safety and installs free smoke alarms in homes. Already, hundreds of homeowners and community members have been helped in cities across the country including Columbia, SC; Lexington, KY and three towns in Michigan.

“The Red Cross mission, at its core, is about alleviating human suffering,” said Bruno. “These heroes have helped to improve lives of individuals and communities. Their work helping neighbors is heroic and they deserve recognition.”

The Statewide Leadership Sponsor is Wells Fargo. Registration and lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $100 each and must be purchased in advance. To purchase tickets online, visit For more information about the event, contact Libby Richardson at (860) 678-4310 or  

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.