Heroes, Invest in the Positive, Support Local Programs & Services;Local Disaster Response Budgets Are Exhausted

Editorial note: With the majority of Heroes activities happening in the next several weeks, a number of interviews, photo and/or video opportunities exist. To facilitate media requests please call 920-642-0404 or your local Chapter contact.

Determined individuals and groups of local Heroes are working hard to help the local American Red Cross Chapters by participating in the April – June Heroes for the American Red Cross campaign.  

Heroes for the American Red Cross is a grassroots campaign that invites local business people, school and church groups, civic clubs and individuals to reach for a $1,000 fundraising goal for their local Red Cross chapter. Although each chapter sets a different fundraising goal, the need is unanimous: to support Red Cross disaster relief, assistance for fire victims, emergency military communications, local VA hospitals, provide first aid and CPR training, life-saving blood collections and research and disaster preparedness information. All money raised will stay within each Chapter to support your community.

The Red Cross is frequently in the news for their local disaster relief work. As a region, we are responding to local emergencies (mostly residential fires) at a record pace. In fact, in only seven months, the 12-month local budget was exhausted. The Red Cross will continue meeting the basic emergency needs of all disaster victims; the additional costs were not foreseen.

From now to the end of June, we are encouraging everyone to Invest in the Positive and indulge in helping others. “We thrive on gifts of time, money and blood to ensure our mission to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies is met everyday. We can’t touch every household in America without the broad base support,” stated the Regional Chapter Executive, Steve Hansen. He continued, “a national survey indicated that one of the main reasons people say they don’t give (of their time or money) is that they feel they were never asked. The Heroes campaign makes a concentrated effort to touch more people by taking a grassroots approach to highlighting our life-saving mission, the need for volunteers and financial support.”

The regional corporate sponsor for 2011 is Festival Foods. “This is one way Festival Foods associates can help the Red Cross make a difference when disaster affects our community members,’ said Mark Skogen, president of Festival Foods.  

One of the most refreshing elements of the Heroes campaign revolves around creative, home-town and grassroots community efforts, for instance:

  • April 1 – April 31, 2011. Barbers and beauty saloons in the Calumet, Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties are going “Head to Head” to raise awareness, engage in a local competition and raise funds for local programs and services.  


  • April 16, 2011. Wautoma’s Got Talent! This second annual event will showcase local talent from 5:00-8:00p.m. at the Wautoma Performing Arts Center. Red Cross volunteer and fire disaster survivor Billi Jo Baneck, leads this community event.


  • April 29, 2011. The Fond du Lac Fire Department brat fry will be from 10:00a.m.- 2:00p.m. at the 815 S. Main Street Fire Station with all funds supporting local disaster relief costs. Pre-orders can be made by calling 920-322-3800.


  • April 30, 2011.  John & Vicki Jenks from Wild Rose, WI will host their third annual musicale in their home. Last year’s event raised more than $17,000. As Disaster Action Team volunteers, they see first hand the need for Red Cross services. Their goal is to raise $20,000 which will not only support disaster relief but also expand community disaster education and prevention programs in Green Lake, Marquette, Waushara and Waupaca Counties.


  • May 16, 2011. Join the 23rd Annual Heroes Golf Classic. The Brown County Golf Course will host the days events to benefit programs and services in the Lakeland Chapter.


  • May 19, 2011. Dine for Disaster will be hosted by restaurants in the Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties. By simply eating out at participating restaurants, you will be making a gift! Society Insurance is the corporate sponsor for this one-day event. Nathan and Marcia Haupt of Schreiner’s Restaurant in Fond du Lac and Steve Davis of Ardy and Ed’s Drive-in in Oshkosh are spearheading the Dine for Disaster with their fellow restaurateurs. A complete listing of participating restaurants will be available at www.newredcross.org.


  • May 26, 2011. Nearly 30 Fire Departments are challenging each other in a Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade from 4:00 to 7:00p.m. Local fire departments will have displays at local retailers and also collect funds to support local disaster prevention and relief efforts.


  • June 24, 2011 . The Heroes campaign will wrap-up at the Heroes Recognition Event where all Heroes will be presented with an iconic “piggy bank” as our way of saying thank you. Details will be forthcoming.  

There are a variety of other ways for organizations, businesses and individuals to become Heroes for the Red Cross. Some examples that have been successful are:

  • Little Heroes in schools host “penny drives.” The goal is $500 and the kids experience the thrill of helping people right in their own backyard. Groups have already reached this goal for Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief.  We hope local support will be garnered as well.


  • Employers can host “Casual or Jeans Day” with a donation offered in exchange for the special dress code.  


  • A fundraiser banner, percentage of sales, round-ups and donation canisters are available at many businesses. Payroll and bill stuffers can promote employee giving. Several companies offer matching gifts; therefore, it’s suggested that donors inquire about their employers’ policies.


  • A web-based email system called TeamRaiser is also available in which you can solicit support and watch results grow on-line. Visit http://american .redcross.org/heroes to register.

To support the Heroes campaign, posters, donation canisters, fundraising banners, marquee signage examples and using social media sites can increase awareness of the Red Cross and will all support the Heroes effort. Please contact your local Red Cross office for more information.

The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of four chapters serving 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters throughout the East Central Wisconsin, Lakeland, Outagamie and Scenic Shores Chapters. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast region at 920-231-3590 or visit us at the website, blog, facebook or twitter by using NEWRedCross. 

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