Hundreds attend ‘Y Heroes’ luncheon to honor 6 people


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Convention Center was packed as the YMCA of Greater Providence honored six people for their impact on the community.

Hundreds of people attended the “Y Heroes Luncheon,” including Gov. Gina Raimondo, Sen. Jack Reed and New England Patriots player James Develin.

Among the honorees were Finn Pansa and Abby Butlin. The two middle schoolers were the first to receive the “Y Hero” award.

The award is given to people who have had a positive and inspirational impact on the community.

Both Pansa and Butlin took part in the “Race for Chase,” a triathlon created in honor of Chase Kowalski, a 6-year-old triathlete who was killed when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

“At the actual race, after I finished, I went back and ran with one of my teammates,” Butlin said. “So I thought I would help her get the extra drive to finish.

As for Pansa, he helped his sister finish the race.

“It’s fun, but it’s also kind of challenging, but you can still do it,” he said.

Peter Marino of Neighborhood Health, Edward Medeiros of East Commerce Solutions and longtime YMCA member Stephen Palmer were also honored at the event.

Eyewitness News Anchor Mike Montecalvo emceed the event.


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