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Ritzer, ‘Heroes’ Recognized at Red Cross breakfast

plaque(DANVERS, Massachusetts) – Recognizing those who give of themselves to support people within our communities the American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts this morning honored a number of individuals for their selfless efforts to better their communities, including Colleen Ritzer. 

The 12th Annual ‘Community of Heroes Breakfast’ held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Danvers was attended by hundreds of non-profit and business leaders from throughout the community.

Richard Weisman, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Northeast American Red Cross presented a plaque to Colleen’s Mom, Dad and sister, Laura inscribed with the words ‘A very special teacher with a deep commitment to education.’

In announcing the award, Sue Tabb, host shared,

For Colleen Ritzer: beloved daughter and sister, trusted friend and devoted teacher.

We are grateful for her dedication to our community and the education she provided to our children through the Danvers Public school system. She will be greatly missed.

According to the Red Cross, members of the community come together to recognize heroic individuals and organizations who have exemplified the mission of the Red Cross over the past year. These heroes give of themselves to support people within the communities served by the Northeast Massachusetts chapter. This annual fundraiser makes it possible for the local chapter to help their neighbors across 35 cities and towns when the services of the Red Cross are most needed.

Other individuals recognized at the Red Cross Heroes Breakfast include:

  • Enduring Hero: Neiland Douglas, Beverly resident; board member, Harborlight Community Partners, Inc.; community volunteer; civic activist.
  • Service to Armed Forces Hero: Dr. Douglas Peterson, Beverly resident; orthopedic surgeon, Afghanistan veteran; Navy Reservist.
  • Education Hero: Joanne Seaman, Manchester Memorial Elementary School.
  • Community Heroes: Brian Gonsalves, Atlantic Ambulance Service, Peabody; Jeanne Hennessey, Travel Consultant, Cruise Travel Outlet; Herman Ocasio, Ocasio’s Martial Arts, Haverhill.
  • Boston Marathon “North Shore Response” Heroes: Jonelle O’Connor, North Shore Medical Center, Lynn resident; Captain Dennis Levasseur, Salem Fire Department; Kathy LeClair, TD Bank; Bailee Militello, youth, Gloucester; Beverly Fire Department -team of “8” at finish line- Deputy Peter O’Connor, Lt. Eric Fowler, Lt. Ryan W. Laracy, Lt. Mathew J. Kowalski, Lt. Donald Philpot, Firefighter Michael Halloran, Firefighter Jonathan M. Palm, Firefighter Scott A. Perkins.
  • Workplace Hero: NxStage Medical, Inc., Lawrence.
  • Youth Hero: Lauren Healey, student, Newburyport High School.