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Red Cross names recipients of Humanitarian Awards

The late Tom DeBlois, left, and 18-year-old Lacey Koughan of Charlottetown will receive the 2017 Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Awards for Prince Edward Island.
The late Tom DeBlois, left, and 18-year-old Lacey Koughan of Charlottetown will receive the 2017 Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Awards for Prince Edward Island.

For the first time, one of the Canadian Red Cross’ Humanitarian Awards will be presented posthumously to a P.E.I. man.

The organization will present the award to the family of Tom DeBlois, who was a widely respected leader in the Island’s food industry and a dedicated volunteer with a number of charitable organizations and causes.

Among others, he was the founding chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation and the Queens Region Health and Community Services Board, as well as a board member and chairman of Camp Gencheff.

Deblois worked in the food industry for more than 35 years, including the family owned DeBlois Brothers, and then with TRA Atlantic from 1986 to 2005.

DeBlois unexpectedly died in August 2016, at the age of 69.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross will also present the Young Humanitarian Award to 18-year-old Lacey Koughan of Charlottetown.

Koughan developed a brand, program and website called 24STRONG on which girls and young women can safely share experiences, discuss life challenges, seek inspiration from female role models and support each other.  

Koughan has already expanded 24STRONG to Toronto and hopes to eventually expand to more Canadian cities and other countries. 

At age 16, she opened her own dance school, has participated in fundraising events to support Syrian newcomer families to P.E.I. and is among the youth entrepreneurs who participate in The Hive, an arts-business incubator.  

The awards will be presented to the DeBlois family and to Koughan next month at the Power of Humanity dinner, a fundraising event held Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the P.E.I. Convention Centre in Charlottetown.

Proceeds from the event support Canadian Red Cross services throughout Prince Edward Island.  

More details about the recipients, event and tickets are online at http://www.redcross.ca/HumanitarianPEI.  

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