JULY 2005


Leonard Long
Providence, Rhode Island
Leonard (Lenny) Long is the founder and president of the Board of Directors at the Mt. Hope Learning Center in Providence, which provides services to fight illiteracy and crime in the Mt. Hope neighborhood. Lenny started the center with his own money and continues to work tirelessly to keep the center funded and staffed with volunteers. This has proven to be a constant struggle, but it is a challenge that Lenny refuses to give up. This community hero believes in the people served by the center, and he will not let them down.
Megan Clement
Providence, Rhode Island

Megan Clement is a high school student who single-handedly organized a fundraiser to help a student at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf who has cerebral palsy. The $940 Megan raised was used to purchase special computer software that will help the student communicate and do schoolwork more easily, since the cerebral palsy makes traditional sign language very difficult. Although Megan is busy with her schoolwork and many extracurricular activities, she always finds time to help others through community service projects. According to her friends and family, she is a true community hero.
JUNE 2005


Richard Gladney
Barrington, Rhode Island
Richard Gladney is described as having a heart of gold. Volunteering is a mainstay in his life, and includes weekly time at a Providence soup kitchen and work with the Make A Wish Foundation helping children with cancer. While he's always the first to offer help, he never expects anything in return. He is a hero in the eyes of his family, friends, and neighbors.
MAY 2005


Kristy Olivet
North Providence, Rhode Island

In July 2004, Kristy Olivet gave a piece of herself to save the life of a complete stranger. She became the fifth person in Rhode Island to donate one of her kidneys to someone she didn't know. After successful surgery, she met the man whose life she helped save and found that he was already feeling better, after a 20-month struggle with kidney disease. To the recipient of her healthy kidney, Ms. Olivet is an angel; to others she is a community hero.
Serge Wechseler
Warwick, Rhode Island

Professionally, Serge Wechseler is the Executive Chef at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. But when he's not creating exquisite dishes for the hotel, he can be found teaching in the Community Kitchen culinary job training program at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Chef Wechseler helps students of the program overcome barriers and learn culinary skills that can lead them to self-sufficiency. His passion for his work is contagious. This Community Hero's enthusiasm and patience has led many people into successful employment.
APRIL 2005


Robert (Bobby) Botelho
East Providence, Rhode Island

Bobby Botelho was home sick from school one day when, looking out the window, he noticed his neighbor lying in the back of his mini-van, not moving. Knowing that his neighbor was prone to epileptic seizures, Bobby quickly crossed a busy intersection to investigate. He found his neighbor unconscious and immediately called 911, then waited with his neighbor until the ambulance arrived. It turns out his neighbor had been unconscious for almost an hour, but Bobby's bravery brought him the help he needed.
Anthony Hall
Westerly, Rhode Island

Anthony Hall is an all-around volunteer. He helped serve food to the first responders at Ground Zero after 9/11, and continues to volunteer for the American Red Cross and the Providence Emergency Management Agency. He also helps out at Amos House and mentors those who have recently been released from prison. Mr. Hall is the kind of person who is willing to help whenever he is asked, and it is this dependability that makes him a community hero.
MARCH 2005


Robert McCann
East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Back in 1993, Robert McCann heard that hundreds of families would be without a Thanksgiving dinner because food donations were low that year. He and his wife, Ann, immediately donated a turkey and convinced several friends to do the same. Within three days, more than 40 turkeys were donated. Mr. and Mrs. McCann kept going, founding the Make-a-Difference Foundation, which collected food for more than 200 families the next year. Between 1995 and 2003, more than 19,000 families throughout Rhode Island received donations. In addition, Mr. and Mrs. McCann hold an annual party to which guests are encouraged to bring a toy. The toys are donated to the Providence Rescue Mission. Within a decade, Mr. and Mrs. McCann became heroes to thousands of people in our community.


Deborah Geremia
Johnston, Rhode Island

Since Deborah Geremia was 17 years old, she has cared for several members of her family who have been ill. In addition, she helps out at the Johnston Senior Center and the Johnston Police Community Center. She has also been a volunteer for Trinity Repertory Company for 18 years, and for the Providence veterans' hospital for 15 years. When praised for the good deeds she performs in spite of her own health problems, Ms. Geremia brushes it off, saying, "Many people are worse off than I am."
Mary Healy
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

The residents of Weeden Manor in Pawtucket have found their own community hero in the form of Mary Healy. Actually, Ms. Healy found them when she introduced herself five years ago to staff at the home for elderly residents and asked to volunteer, even though they did not have a formal volunteer program. Since then, she has visited weekly with her dog, Jack, and has also recruited a neighbor to help her with landscaping improvements at the Manor, including a new rose garden with a fountain. She has touched the hearts of all the residents and made a difference in their lives.


Dawn Corey
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

With her husband on military duty in Iraq, Dawn Corey has a lot of responsibility on her hands caring for their 4-year-old son by herself. But she doesn't let that stop her from doing everything she can for her husband and the entire 103rd field artillery unit. She has held car washes, bazaars, and craft shows, sold magnetic ribbons and pins, and much more to raise money and support for these military heroes. Ms. Corey's dedication has made her a hero in her own right.
Patricia (Pam) Donnelly
Providence, Rhode Island

One Sunday last October, Patricia (Pam) Donnelly was driving on Route 95 in Warwick when she noticed an injured man crawling in the breakdown lane. She stopped to help and found that he had an abdominal wound. She was able to comfort him, in spite of a language barrier, until an ambulance arrived. Ms. Donnelly is a visiting nurse who has served her community for many years, but she is a hero to the man she assisted on Route 95 that day. 

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