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Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts Announces 2015 Heroes

We are pleased to once again be able to honor these outstanding individuals for going above and beyond in their communities.

PEABODY, MA. — The American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts today announced the awardees of this year’s Heroes nominations, an annual initiative aimed at recognizing those in the community who have acted extraordinarily on behalf of others.

Each year the honorees are celebrated at the annual Community Heroes Breakfast. This year’s breakfast will take place on March 19 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore.

“We are pleased to once again be able to honor these outstanding individuals for going above and beyond in their communities,” said Frederica Doeringer, Executive Director of the Chapter. “The Red Cross mission was built on enabling ordinary people to do extraordinary things and these heroes could not be a better example of that pursuit.”

This year’s heroes are:

Enduring Hero: Sheree Zizik

  • Sheree Zizik is a modest but strong force that has inspired change in the hospitality industry while quietly demonstrating the importance of giving back to the community. Throughout her life she has given immensely to the community of Cape Ann and the rest of the area in a number of ways including sitting on the board of Addison Gilbert Hospital and as a long-time supporter of the Open Door Food Pantry in Gloucester. She has been an active contributor to Wellspring for Women, St. Vincent de Paul, Little Brothers of St Frances, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, ALS, the YMCA and Art Haven. If there is a person or a family who is in need of clothes, food or housing, she is there to help. Zizik’s strong economic development initiatives have helped to revitalize Cape Ann and through her own business employ hundreds of people in the area. Zizik has used her position in the community as a way to influence positive change.
  • Military Hero Award: Kristine Babcock

  • Kristine Babcock is a veteran of the United States Navy who has successfully translated her personal service to her country into a way to assist hundreds of student veteran’s transition to civilian life and chart new careers. These student veterans in turn go out into every corner of the North Shore region as contributing members of their families, workplaces and communities. Through the dedicated and empathetic work of Babcock the lives of countless North Shore residents have been forever changed for the better. Babcock, who serves as Veterans Services Coordinator at North Shore Community College (NSCC), has played a large part in NSCC being recognized as one of the best community colleges in Massachusetts for serving student veterans.
  • First Responder Awards:

    Charles Becker, David Donahue, Kerry Phelan

  • On the morning of July 13, 2014 a call came into the Marblehead Dispatch Center about a man who had collapsed while out jogging. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation had been started by three civilians on the scene, Charles Becker, David Donahue and Kerry Phelan, who had stopped to help. The first police unit arrived on the scene to find that emergency care had been provided. At the time of the incident, the victim had a very small chance for survival. Because of the fast action and excellent care provided by civilians, the victim has made a full recovery.
  • Captain Tyler McLaughlin

  • As a star of National Geographic Channel’s ‘Wicked Tuna’ Tyler McLaughlin spends a lot of time out at sea captaining the Pin Wheel fishing boat. But last October McLaughlin came to the rescue of fellow fishermen Dennis Bonazzoli and Dave Potter of the sinking tuna boat Miss Sambuca. The sinking boat had been hit by two ten foot waves and was sinking fast. Bonazzoli’s radio plea was heard by McLaughlin and first mate Stephen Field who raced to the scene as Sambuca went down and saved the two men who were about to drown.
  • Youth Award: Victoria Pierro

  • Six year-old Victoria Pierro woke her parents when she noticed the fan in her room was off, due to lost power and smoke detectors were ringing along with smoke billowing and flames roaring outside her bedroom. She bravely alerted her parents and her efforts saved her entire family of five.
  • Workplace Award: CSL Americas

  • From serving a meal for the less fortunate, to rolling up their sleeves to setting up a Mobile Market or providing Thanksgiving meals for North Shore families in need, employees of CSL Americas exemplify the true meaning of a Workplace Hero. CSL Americas not only provides funding for North Shore hunger relief agencies Beverly Bootstraps and The Open Door, but their staff donates time and talent at both organizations to ensure that no one goes hungry. Along with Beverly Bootstraps and The Open Door, CSL Americas supports many other non-profit organizations and continues to make a difference in our communities especially to those that need it the most.
  • Community Hero Awards

    Jim Crosby, Crosby Market

  • Jim Crosby is a community Grocer who continuously demonstrates philanthropic generosity and unwavering support to the community. Crosby’s organized a program at stores where nickel tokens are given for use of reusable bags and then Crosby’s makes a donation to charity in that amount. Crosby’s also supports the Abundant Food Pantry in Georgetown with a program aimed at encouraging customers to purchase bags of groceries that are then donated. Crosby’s encourages employee driven fundraising initiatives to support a variety of other organizations, including Manchester Council on Aging, Manchester Library, and Gloucester Animal Aid.
  • Beverly Hospital

  • Beverly Hospital teamed up with Xenith, makers of state-of-the-art football helmets, to address the seriousness of sports related injuries. The hospital donated 350 Xenith helmets to high school football teams in Beverly, Danvers, Gloucester and Ipswitch and this year added Georgetown High School to the list of recipients. These helmets are effective because they are said to decrease the chance of head injuries by providing extra cushioning. Players also undergo ImPACT testing a program at Beverly Hospital which provides trained clinicians with neurological assessment tools that are medically accepted for determining safe return to play.
  • Haiti Five-Year Anniversary: Mark Leff

  • Mark Leff, a Rowley resident since 1996, met Len and Cherylann Gengel of Rutland through his position heading up Salem Five’s construction lending department out of its Salem office. In January 2010, the Gengels’ 19-year-old daughter Britney was in Haiti with a group from Food for the Poor when she was a victim of the major earthquake. And so began the establishment of the Be Like Brit Foundation and the effort to build in Haiti a 19,000-square-foot orphanage, which is shaped like a large “B.” When Leff heard the news about his longtime customer and friend, he was driven to help. Leff used his vacation time to visit Grand Goave in February 2012 and assisted the electrical team in wiring the first floor of the orphanage. His visit brought the realization of how devastated the country was from the earthquake and just how difficult the living conditions were there. Subsequently, he planned a fundraiser, inviting local builders back home to attend “How does a Massachusetts banker build an earthquake proof orphanage in Haiti?” event. Nearly $50,000 was raised, and has since been put to use for, among other things, securing solar panels for the orphanage, which will help immensely in reducing the monthly $5,000 electric bill.
  • Sponsorships and tickets are still available for the breakfast.

    For further information contact the Red Cross office at 978-922-2224.

    The Northeast Massachusetts Chapter serves a population of over 1.2 million people in the counties of Essex and Middlesex and is part of the Massachusetts Region of the American Red Cross.

    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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.