By: Shaun Boutwell
Eight University of Rhode Island students were honored at the Second Annual Community Heroes Award Presentation, held at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet Banquet Facility in Cranston yesterday morning.
Kristin and Teresa Rodina, Emily Paul, Frank Breau, Shad Ahmed, Christopher Dupuis, Jeffery Tagen and Amy Swiencki were given group recognition for saving their friend's life by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and the American Red Cross Association.
Early last year, Katie Weiss, a nursing student, stopped breathing during an epileptic seizure. Her friends Paul, Kristin and Teresa Rodina, and Breau immediately called the URI Ambulance Corps. Shortly after, Ahmed, Dupuis, Tagen and Swiencki responded to the scene. Weiss was hospitalized and fully recovered.
"The whole point of the breakfast and award presentation is to try and acknowledge to the community that there are many kids doing good works for others," Megg Regner, Director of Public Relations for the BCBSRI, said.
Regner explained the process that went into choosing candidates for the award.
"All of our heroes are nominated by others," she said. "We then have a selection committee that picks the winners."
The eight URI students were featured as the Community Heroes for January 2004 and were featured in a television commercial broadcast on ABC Channel 6. They were also placed in ads in various Rhode Island newspapers.
"These are kids who care about their neighbors, simply for the sake of doing good works," Regner said. "They aren't doing it for the accolades. They want to continue doing these things, because that is the way they live their lives."
She added, "That is what the Community Heroes Award is all about."
Regner encouraged other URI students to nominate their fellow peers. She wants the community to know that "it isn't just always bad news out there. There is a lot of good too."
Students who wish to nominate someone for the Community Heroes Award, or who want to find out more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island can visit http://www.bcbsri.com.