Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Director of Communications
(401) 831-7700 x101
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI and the American
Red Cross of RI Announce June Community Heroes
North Providence and Portsmouth Citizens Are Selected
Providence, R.I., June 10, 2003 – The American Red
Cross of Rhode Island and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced that Edwin A. Boger, Ph.D. of North Providence and Claire Witkos of
Portsmouth are the June recipients of the Community Heroes Award. The award recognizes the good works of "everyday people" who have made significant,
positive impacts on individuals, families, organizations or entire communities in Rhode Island.
For the past 18 years, Dr. Boger has selflessly volunteered his time with the
homeless and international seamen. As the head chef at the Epiphany Meal Site on Hawthorne Street in Providence, he has served countless meals every Saturday to
homeless clients and families. He also sits on multiple boards, including the Seaman's International Maritime Ministry. As the Vice President of the Steering
Committee, he cares for traveling seafarers visiting New England ports offering help ranging from transportation to spiritual needs.
Ms. Witkos brings alive the sounds of music each Monday morning at Newport
Hospital's Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center. For the past two years, she has warmly coaxed patients to leave their rooms to participate in weekly sing-a-longs that
promote socialization, aid recovery and de-emphasize illness. Her gentle manner demonstrates a respect and dignity that brings joy to a difficult environment.
Both winners will be recognized during the month of June in an advertising campaign in print and on WLNE-TV, Channel 6. An awards breakfast will take place in
The Community Heroes program is a collaborative effort between the American Red
Cross of Rhode Island and BCBSRI. It's 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 www.bcbsri.org and click on "In the Community".
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, has been the state's leading health insurer
for 64 years and now covers more than 650,000 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.