NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

December 10, 2012

Celtics' Heroes Among Us a fitting tribute for local teen

Salisbury Town Notebook
Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — Salisbury already knows Abby Bennett is a special kid, but after the Boston Celtics honored the teenager on Wednesday night at their Heroes Among Us ceremony, thousands more became aware of it.

In September, while having lunch in the Triton Middle School cafeteria, Abby’s quick thinking rescued her friend, Kendall Mitchell, from choking while the eighth-graders were eating together. Kendall got a piece of her meatball sandwich lodged in her windpipe, and Abby performed the Heimlich maneuver, allowing Kendall to breathe again.

Susan Mitchell was so grateful to her daughter’s friend, she alerted the Celtics organization’s Heroes Among Us program. According to Celtics public relations director Heather Walker, Mitchell sent in a copy of the story The Daily New published that described Abby’s ability to keep her head in a crisis and perform so well under pressure.

The Celtics’ event was tailor-made for Abby, the 5-foot-9 center on her basketball team. She and her family were taken to Boston by limo, Walker said, and got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Celtics operation. She also had a chance to meet and have her picture taken with Celtics players Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee.

Then, during a break between periods of Wednesday night’s game, the Celtics brought Abby and Kendall on the court to let everyone present know how special she is. After that, about 18,000 people stood up and cheered, Walker said.

“Individuals are selected as a Hero Among Us for going above and beyond to help those in the community,” Walker said. “Abby saved Kendall’s life and definitely deserved to be honored.”

---

This year’s Timmy Trot 5K road race raised more than $6,200 for a worthy charity, according to Salisbury fire Chief Rick Souliotis. More than 150 runners and a lot more walkers took part in the Nov. 24 event.

The run is organized by the family of late firefighter Tim Oliveira, who died in the line of duty in 2011. This year’s beneficiary was the Massachusetts Brain Injury Foundation.

This was the second year of what is hoped to be an annual event, which takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Mark your 2013 calendar; it’s a great community gathering.

---

Don’t forget that Santa Claus will be comin’ to town on Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. to have breakfast with local kids at the Hilton Center, located next to the Salisbury fire station at 43 Lafayette Road (Route 1).

Sponsored by the Salisbury Fireman’s Association, the morning includes a great breakfast, plus Sullivan Studio will be on hand to capture the event with photos of each child with Santa. Music will be provided by a disc jockey and every child will leave with a gift.

The cost is $7 per adult and $5 for child. All proceeds benefit the Salisbury Fireman’s Association.

---

News from the Salisbury Council on Aging:

The COA understands that during difficult economic times, some living on a fixed income could be finding it difficult to feed their pets. As a result, the council is collecting pet food to be used by those who are having a hard time feeding their dogs and cats.

Those who would like to contribute a can or two can drop them off at the Hilton Center Monday through Friday while it’s open. Those in need can come buy and pick up some food for a beloved pet. For more information, call the COA at 978-462-2412

The COA is hoping to build a patio at the Hilton Center. To raise money for the project, it is selling patio bricks that can be engraved as a memorial to a local resident or loved one or highlight a local business.

Each brick costs $25 and can contain up to three lines, with 21 characters per line. For more information, call Karen Parent at 978-465-7745.

On Wednesday, the town’s fire and police departments will host a holiday meal for the Council on Aging. COA director Liz Pettis said she has 120 reservations for what is always a popular event.

---

Angeljean Chiaramida covers Salisbury for The Daily News. She can be reached at achiaramida@newburyportnews.com or at 978-462-6666, ext. 3271.