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PRESS CONTACT INFO

ROBIN ERICKSON
Director of Communications

PHONE
(401) 831-7700 x101
E-MAIL
[email protected]

Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI and the American Red Cross of RI Honor Two Local Residents As Community Heroes

Providence, RI, January 21, 2003 -- The American Red Cross of Rhode Island (Red Cross) and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) are today announcing the first Community Heroes award winners. They are Travers deGroot of East Greenwich and Patricia Barrett of North Kingstown.

Travers deGroot, an East Greenwich High School Senior, rescued two teens from a burning car last October while on his way home from a friend's house. DeGroot, who has no formal rescue training, saw the accident happen, stopped, broke a window in the burning car and pulled a 13 year old girl and 15 year old boy to safety. The East Greenwich Police Department also formally recognized his efforts.

Patricia Barrett, a North Kingstown resident was nominated for more than 20 years of continuous service to the "Meals on Wheels" program.  Barrett, 82, delivers the meals with the help of her "co-pilot" and mother Barbara Damon, 103, to residents in the northern Narragansett route. Both winners will be publicized in an ad campaign in print and on television and honored at breakfasts to be held quarterly in different locations throughout the state.

The Community Heroes program is a collaborative effort between the Red Cross and BCBSRI.  It is designed to recognize Rhode Islanders who care enough to make a difference. Community Heroes can be everyday citizens, local firefighters, police, or emergency responders.  They can be honored for spontaneous acts of heroism (such as saving someone from drowning) or for an effort over time (such as reading to an elderly neighbor on a regular basis).

To nominate someone for a community hero award, call 459-1304, or go to www.riredcross.org or to www.bcbsri.org and click on "In the Community". Similar awards will be made each month

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been the state's leading health insurer for 64 years and now covers more than 600,000 customers. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

American Red Cross of Rhode Island volunteers provide emergency food, clothing and shelter each year to more than 1,000 Rhode Islanders who suffer a house fire or other disaster. All Red Cross assistance is provided free of charge. The American Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations to fund its work.

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