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Dunkin' Donuts Honors 10 Local Area Heroes with Community Hero Award

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Dunkin' Donuts today recognized 10 Greater Baltimore area winners of the Community Hero Award for their outstanding work to make their communities a better place to live. The awards are part of the annual Dunkin' Donuts' Greater Baltimore area Community Hero Program.

"On behalf of Dunkin' Donuts, I'm honored to present these exceptional citizens with the Community Hero Award," said Colleen Krygiel, Field Marketing Manager for Dunkin' Donuts Greater Baltimore Area. "This award is very special to Dunkin' Donuts Greater Baltimore and its franchisees. It is a remarkable thing to see, year after year, our guests nominating their local peers who go above and beyond every day to keep the community running. More than 95 nominations were received and these 10 individuals deserved our highest recognition."

Each winner received the Dunkin' Donuts Community Hero Award, $500 and "Free Coffee and Donuts for a Year" vouchers.

"These heroes are truly model citizens for the Greater Baltimore area and we are proud to recognize them," said Parag Patel, a local Dunkin' Donuts franchise owner. "Their dedication to their fellow community members is sincere and inspiring. They are an example for all of us to follow."

Dunkin' Donuts received nominations online from guests and selected the winners based on their contributions to the residents of their local community, their community-driven activities and accomplishments, and the creativity and originality of the nomination submission.

The winners are as follows:

1. Kimberly Brown-Whale, Baltimore, MD:
Reverend Brown-Whale began a community "soup kitchen" concept in 2009 on the east side of Baltimore County which developed into the Table of Grace Program. Table of Grace offers full meals every Wednesday and serves more than 150 people each week.Reverend Brown-Whale has made a significant impact on the lives she serves, not only with the gift of food, but by providing people with a welcoming place full of care and fellowship.

2 Kevin Burke, Baltimore, Maryland:
Burke is a High School Social Studies Teacher as well as leads the Student Government Association at Northwestern High School. Kevin has up to 40 students in a class, many who face daily challenges such as hunger. Kevin often spends a large portion of his income on his students so they are able to afford lunch or snacks to stay alert during the day. Because of Kevin's leadership, there are more students who are well-rounded, healthy, and successful young adults who believe in themselves and in their community.

3. Robert Cradle, Odenton, Maryland:
Cradle is the founder and master barber of Rob's Barbershop Community Foundation, a full-service, non-profit barber and beauty salon that provides weekly no-charge grooming services to up to 70 clients of a local homeless shelter, Light House Shelter in Anne Arundel County. In addition, since 2000, RBCF has administered 18 projects within Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County that provided over 19,000 grooming services to more than 6,800 individuals.

4. Zachary Graf, Westminster, Maryland:
Graf is a Sargent in the United States Army and proudly serves with the Military Police in the 200th Maryland National Guard Military Police Unit. Graf was near the end of his six year commitment when his unit was given deployment orders for Afghanistan. Although his commitment ended prior to the deployment date, Graf felt an obligation to his brothers and sisters in arms and to his country to deploy and is currently serving in Afghanistan.

5. Tracy Hindle, Talbot, Maryland:
Hindle, a Respiratory Therapist, became a community activist after facing the threat of losing her job at Shore Health's Child Development Center in Easton, Maryland. Due to budget cuts, the hospital made a decision to close the Center in August 2012. Hindle wrote to county and hospital officials to convince them to find another solution and her dedication and consistent efforts paid off and a parent group was formed to save the Center.

6. Ron Kissel, Glen Burnie, Maryland:
Kissel has been a dedicated Blood Component Donor since 1982. Since then, he has donated lifesaving whole blood, red cells, platelets as well as plasma, spending 70 to 80 hours per year donating blood components as a form of community service to the American Red Cross. His donations total 495 units, which is equivalent to 61.875 gallons. Kissel's donation has saved an estimated 1,485 lives.

7. Preston Mitchum, Baltimore, Maryland:
Mitchum is the Executive Director of the Preston Mitchum Jr. Foundation, which offers the Career Awareness Project (CAP). CAP is an afterschool program that aims to help students identify their interests and create higher education and career goals at a young age. This year, CAP enrolled over 450 students at middle and elementary schools throughout Baltimore City and the surrounding counties. Over the past 11 years, Mitchum and the PMJF have been able to help over 24,000 disadvantaged individuals through CAP and other programs aimed at supporting at-risk youth.

8. Elizabeth Rabin, Baltimore, Maryland:
Rabin is the President of the Board of It's About The Kids Education Organization, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides four literacy programs at no cost to children in low-income Baltimore County communities. Rabin is an integral part of this organization when it comes to serving their mission of conveying messages of financial and reading literacy, childhood obesity prevention, and environmental education.

9. Tatum Singleton, Baltimore, Maryland:
Singleton is the Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder of Changing Turn, a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program. When it comes to operating this type of program, it's more than opening up an agency that assists with stabilizing mental health according to Singleton; it's about making sure that an individual's dreams are not destroyed by the stereotyped shadowing illnesses. Singleton has helped many children and adults fulfill their dreams.

10. Charles "Choo" Smith, Baltimore, Maryland:
Smith, a former high-profile member of the Harlem Globetrotters, founded Choo Smith Youth Empowerment, a non-profit organization that focuses on his "4L" philosophy (Love it, Learn it, Live it, Lead it) and Choo Smith Enterprise. From these organizations, the Choo Smith Summer Basketball camp was born. This camp became the platform for many humanitarian efforts under Choo Smith Youth Empowerment, Inc. Smith was recently appointed as the Education and Player Development Coordinator for the Maryland District Amateur Athletic Union Program and has received many honors due to his continuous community efforts.

To see past recipients go to dunkinheroes.com.

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