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Director of Communications

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Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI and the American Red Cross of RI Honor February Community Heroes "Caring Enough To Make The Difference"

Providence, RI, February, 19, 2003 -- The American Red Cross of Rhode Island (Red Cross) and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) are today announcing the February winners of the Community Heroes awards. They are Patrick Harrington of Scituate and Debra Lamoureux of Pawtucket.

Patrick Harrington, a bartender at Twin Oaks restaurant in Cranston was on his way home from work, when he noticed a car accident. Harrington stopped at the scene and found an off-duty firefighter tending to one of the passengers. He ran to the burning debris to reach the other person in the vehicle, cut the driver's seatbelt, and both men were able to free the man - just before the vehicle burst into flames. His nomination for this award came from the off-duty firefighter.

Debra Lamoureux, a Pawtucket resident was nominated for her numerous volunteer activities worldwide. Lamoreux began by establishing The Friendship Club for girls' age 10 to13 interested in fun activities to benefit the community. The girls have produced craft bags for the local hospital emergency room, painted hats for chemotherapy patients at Hasbro Children's Hospital, visited with shut-ins, donated holiday gifts for children in local shelters and even decorated place mats to cheer up diners at local soup kitchens. In addition to the club, Lamoreux knits caps and mittens every evening of the year to benefit area shelters and crafts rosaries that are mailed to third-world nations. Both winners will be publicized in an ad campaign in print and on television and honored at quarterly awards breakfasts.

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 local firefighters, police, emergency responders, or everyday citizens.  They can be honored for spontaneous acts of heroism (such as saving someone from drowning) or someone who is chosen 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 or to 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 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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