, Salem, MA


March 15, 2012

Red Cross honors its annual heroes


Doucette also inspires the young to give back by directing the Gloucester Teen Leaders club, which involves them in programs such as the Open Door Food Pantry. The YMCA's Clean Team, which Doucette helped found, enlists teens in a cleanup program during the summer. He has also taken young volunteers to New Orleans to help build houses for flood victims.

In addition, as a member of the Gloucester Rotary, Doucette served as co-president of Gloucester's Pride Stride, a five-mile walk that raises funds for nonprofit organizations in the arts and civic affairs.

Youth Hero

Erin Pratt

Rockport High School junior Erin Pratt is an athletic 16-year-old who plays softball in the spring and does cheerleading in the winter. She also volunteers as a Sunday School teacher in her church and worked as a lifeguard at the YMCA and, last summer, at Bass Rocks Beach Club in Gloucester. It was in this position that Pratt demonstrated enormous courage.

On Friday, Sept. 2, with few people at the pool, Erin noticed a woman in distress at Good Harbor Beach, across the street from the club. The surf was rough, and the woman was clinging to a rock to resist the pull of a riptide, out of sight of the beach lifeguards. Pratt ran across the street, entered the water and pulled the woman — who was crying for help — back to shore. At that point, she noticed two children on a boogie board who were also struggling against the riptide. Pratt swam back out and pulled them to safety, as well.

Education Hero

Seith Bedard

The Peabody Learning Academy, the only mall-based school in New England, was at first just an empty space at the Northshore Mall. In 2010, however, it was transformed into an alternative school for struggling high school students. It has taken the tireless efforts of director Seith Bedard to turn the academy into a place where lives can be transformed.

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