Thursday April 14, 2011 | 10:27 PM

A crowd of close to 200 people gathered this evening in the Holiday Inn by the Bay's ballroom for the 6th annual Heroes with Heart awards dinner. Put on by Community Counseling Center, the event benefits the organization's Trauma Intervention Program, TIP for short, that provides trained volunteers to help people through the most difficult first few hours following unexpected deaths, traumatic injuries, car accidents and fires. The party is held to honor those volunteers along with the police, fire and medical professionals who work closely with the volunteers and victims of trauma.

Following a cocktail hour where guests bid on a wide selection of silent auction items, we all enjoyed dinner and then the awards program.


The evening's top award went to author and Maine Warden Service Chaplain Kate Braestrup. She was presented with the Heart of Gold Award by Major General John Libby of the Maine National Guard, who received the award last year.

The evening's Volunteer Choice Award went to Seth Seder, a registered nurse at Maine Medical Center for his strong support of the TIP program.

Backing up a bit, I must mention the fine start to the awards program provided by Commander Rob Simmons and the South Portland Professional Firefighters Honor Guard. They marched into the room to the sound of the bagpipes and placed the flags on the stage.

It was on this stage where WMTW-8's Shannon Moss and Community Counseling Center's Interim CEO Mary Jane Krebs presented the six Heroes with Heart awards. The first one went to Sgt. Robert Doherty of the Portland Police Department, pictured above. He was followed on stage by Sgt. Sean Lally of the Westbrook Police Department, Maine Medical Center emergency department nurse Kandy Lefebvre, Office Rocco Navarro of the South Portland Police Department, Lt. Aaron Osgood of the Portland Fire Department and Chaplain Howard Sterling of the South Portland Fire Department, each of whom received the Heroes with Heart award.

All are big proponents of the TIP program and all help make our community a better place.

The party ended on fun note, with Shannon and Community Counseling Center's board chair David Smith drawing the raffle winners.

I'll have additional details and more photos from the party in the April 17 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Until then, I hope to see you out and about.

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Avery Yale Kamila dishes about southern Maine's hottest parties.

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