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First Church's Duda to Receive Humanitarian Award

Rev. Mike Duda of the First Church in Wenham is slated to review the Red Cross Humanitarian Award at its Annual Community Heroes Breakfast in March.

Rev. Mike Duda of First Church in Wenham has been named one of American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts' two major award winners at its upcoming 2013 Heroes Breakfast.

Duda, who lives in Rockport, has been awarded the 2013 Humanitarian of the Year award.

Donald E. Kelley was also awarded the Enduring Hero Award for his work with Beverly Rotary Club, Beverly Bootstraps, Walk for Hospice of the North Shore and Greater Boston and North Shore Music Theatre. Both men will be honored in March at the Red Cross's Heroes Breakfast.

Duda, the pastor at the First Church in Wenham, has always accepted everyone regardless of religion or politics, Red Cross said in its announcement on Wednesday.

"As the longtime executive director of the Anchorage in Beverly, he shepherded hundreds of troubled teens through the maze of foster care and watched proudly as they graduated high school and made their way as adults," the announcement said. "As Endicott College’s Chaplain he helped young adults find their way on campus, and in the world; He sees the world as the global community that it is and works to heal it, one smile, one hug and one compassionate moment at a time." 

Duda exemplifies everything the American Red Cross stands for, said Frederica Doeringer, Executive Director of the Northeast Massachusetts chapter.

“(Duda and Kelly) are both incredibly dedicated to their communities and stop at nothing to better the lives of others,” Doeringer said.

The annual “Heroes Breakfast” recognizes and honors community members who have shown courage, dedication and character through extraordinary acts of heroism and kindness.

The 11th Annual Community Heroes Breakfast will be held on Thursday, March 21 at DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore hotel in Danvers.

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