It is inspiring to know that there are heroes in our community, people who will rush to someone’s aid in times of crisis or devote their lives to addressing problems that can’t be solved in a day.
This is the 11th year that the Red Cross has held a Community Heroes Breakfast, to honor those who have acted in service to others.
The event allows us to show our admiration for these individuals. It also assures us that the best qualities of human nature are alive and well and come from every walk of life.
This year’s honorees are being celebrated today at the DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore in Danvers. Here’s a look at who they are and what they’ve done.
Don Kelley’s capacity for both hard work and having fun has made him a welcome member of local service organizations, such as Beverly Rotary Club, and on numerous community boards, from the Hospice of the North Shore and Beverly Bootstraps to St. Mary’s School. When he lived in Somerville, Kelley was president of the local Lions Club and received their most prestigious honor, the Melvin Jones award, while also actively supporting the Somerville chapter of the American Cancer Society. As president of the Beverly Rotary, Kelley spearheaded efforts to raise money to buy an emergency response vehicle for the Red Cross. He has also organized fundraising events for many local organizations, such as the Red Cross Golf Tournament and the Kaplan Family Hospice Gala. A resident of Beverly, Kelley’s quick wit and melodious voice have also put him in great demand as an emcee and auctioneer.
Alexandra Romano, an honors student at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, recently created a campaign called “Kill the Chill” to collect clothes and blankets for the homeless. She has also gone “Caroling for Cans” to collect groceries for Peabody’s Haven From Hunger food pantry and gathered donations to create toiletry bags for teens served by that agency. Romano believed these students should start the school year off with new personal items, just like the other kids, said her mother, Angela. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Alexandra Romano persuaded the school’s drama club, Stage One, to solicit donations from the audience at its fall play, raising $500 for the Red Cross relief fund.