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Catherine Marris wins presidential award

Kat Powers, Director of Communications, American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts,

Brookline’s Catherine Marris, a Red Cross youth volunteer leader, is a Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipient for her hours of service and commitment to the community. Based on the number of volunteer hours she performed last fall, she was sent the award on behalf of President Barack Obama.

Marris is not only the co-chair for the Youth Advisory Board but also the president of the Red Cross Club at Brookline High School. She was recently accepted into the University of Chicago, among other colleges.

Marris has completed nearly 200 hours of service to the Red Cross. She chairs the meetings for youth advisory board meetings, has organized fundraisers at schools, has volunteered for blood drives, run canned food drives, and rallied together volunteers to babysit at service centers during the Haitian earthquake.

Marris is a Prudential Spirit of Community honoree, a designation given to Massachusetts youth who are dedicated volunteers. Sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the program has considered 345,000 young people for its wards since 1995.

“She is a stellar volunteer, a smart young woman and has a lot of moxie” said Amelia Aubourg, director of Youth Programs at the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization,” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO of the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts. In fact, in 2011, the Red Cross headquartered in Cambridge engaged 750 youth volunteers alone who provided more than 13,803 hours of service.

To volunteer, contact the American Red Cross at (617)274-5325 or see our website at

About the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts:

The Eastern Massachusetts Regional Chapter operates a number of critical programs and services that are essential to improving the lives of women, men and children. It is one of the largest chapters in the National Red Cross network, providing services across 190 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts with a combined population of 4.9 million. The chapter trains and mobilizes nearly 3,000 volunteers a year who support the delivery of services to over 500,000 people each year. The Regional chapter is headquartered in Cambridge and oversees two community chapters in Beverly and Hyannis. The chapter also has locations in Boston, Brockton, Braintree, Fall River, Haverhill, New Bedford, Peabody, and Waltham that serve as local sites for community programs, volunteer recruitment, and disaster preparedness and response.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at