Go all in for a good cause!

The Casino Night Fundraiser by the Young Professionals of Fond Du Lac is scheduled for Friday, September 16 at South Hills Golf & Country Club. South Hills will be transformed into a Las Vegas style casino; attendees will be playing for many wonderful raffle prizes that have been donated by area businesses. Roulette, craps, blackjack and poker tables will be set up giving attendees an opportunity to win big! This is a great opportunity for people in Fond du Lac to give back to the community.

 WHAT:         A Great Deal for a Great Cause

DATE:          Friday, September 16

TIME:           6 p.m. Registration; 7 p.m. Games Begin

LOCATION:  South Hills Golf & Country Club

COST:          $35 for YPF Members; $45 for Non-Members 

Proceeds from the event go directly to the American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter

American Red Cross Responds Across the Country to Wildfires, Floods and Tornadoes

Dozens of shelters open to support affected residents

WASHINGTON, September 6, 2011 — The American Red Cross provided food and shelter for more than 1,000 people around the country Monday night from multiple disasters, including residents impacted by wildfires in Texas and Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, which left severe weather in its wake over the Labor Day weekend.

In Texas, more than 450 residents spent Monday night in 10 Red Cross shelters as wildfires burned hundreds of homes and forced residents to evacuate. The Red Cross disaster response in Texas now joins multiple other Red Cross operations underway across the U.S. in response to floods, other wildfires and tornadoes.

Tornadoes spawned by remnants of Lee damaged homes and caused evacuations in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee on Monday, leading the Red Cross to open shelters in all three states. Red Cross shelters were also opened in Louisiana and Mississippi as Lee dumped torrential rain on the Gulf Coast. Heavy rains and extensive flooding are expected to continue as Lee’s remnants expand northeast into the Tennessee Valley and central Appalachian mountains through Tuesday.    

The Red Cross is also continuing to help people impacted by Hurricane Irene. To date, the Red Cross has served more than 1.6 million meals and snacks and provided approximately 58,000 overnight shelter stays since the storm made landfall on August 27. The Red Cross is also distributing supplies to help residents who are cleaning up homes damaged by Irene’s wind, rain and floods. So far, the Red Cross has given out more than 516,000 relief items such as hygiene kits, mops, brooms, tarps, work gloves and coolers.

“Right now our focus is making sure people forced from their homes by floods and wildfires have a safe place to stay and a good meal,” said Charley Shimanski, Red Cross senior vice president of disaster services. “The Red Cross works year-round to be prepared to help people affected by emergencies, and that’s why we’re able to respond to so many disasters at one time.”

The Red Cross currently has disaster relief operations active in more than a dozen states, and current estimates for Red Cross relief for Hurricane Irene alone are from $10 million to $15 million.

Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS; you can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box 37243,Washington,DC20013.

 About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Ground Zero volunteer from Sheboygan recalls days after 9/11 attacks

Written by Hannah O’Brien Green Bay Press-Gazette

Speaking at Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, Tony Rajer says he helped distribute food

Tony Rajer of Sheboygan talks Saturday at the Neville Public Museum of Brown County in Green Bay about his experiences in New York during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. / Hannah O’Brien/Press-Gazette

Nearly 10 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Tony Rajer still gets choked up when he relives his experiences at Ground Zero.

“It’s been 10 years now, and I can’t believe how much has changed and how rapidly things have changed,” Rajer said.

Rajer, of Sheboygan, spoke Saturday about volunteering at Ground Zero to about 40 people at the Neville Public Museum of Brown County in Green Bay.

Rajer had been in Manhattan in September 2001 before the attacks doing art restoration for the American Folk Art Museum.

“My experience with 9/11 is only in New York, and it was only by chance,” he said.

A few days after the terrorist attacks, Rajer signed up with the American Red Cross to volunteer at Ground Zero. He stayed for two weeks.

“There was such a sense of community there. … This (was) the right thing to do — the Christian thing to do,” he said.

Audience members were eager to hear Rajer’s account of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I’m interested in his experience really, because I think we’ve all seen a lot of films and movies, but I don’t know a lot of people with firsthand experience,” said Olive Conley of Green Bay.

Rajer described the anxiety that he experienced in the days after the attacks.

“Our sense of security can be so quickly and easily distorted,” he said.

He explained the history of the World Trade Center towers and outlined details of the attacks. He also showed photos from Sept. 11, 2001, and of the cleanup and rescue efforts in the days following.

“Everything was covered in a fine layer of dust,” he said. “I remember it was surreal. It was like looking at snow.”

He said he couldn’t reach his wife for three to four days after the attacks because the main cellphone tower, which was located on top of the north World Trade Center tower, and some landlines were destroyed.

“It truly was like a war zone in my mind. It was like being on another planet,” he said about rescue crews working under high-intensity lights that illuminated the dust in the air. “I still remember the odor.”

As a Red Cross volunteer, Rajer helped distribute food to crews and people around Ground Zero. Food distribution took from 7 a.m. to about 11 p.m., and then he would deliver donuts and coffee to cops and FEMA personnel.

“As my wife knows, I’m not much of a cook,” he said. “I thought it was ironic that I would be the food distributor at the World Trade Center.”

Rajer said he continues to give talks about 9/11 to schools and interested groups because it’s important that people understand what happened.

“I just hope that young people, and the people that might not remember, that they truly appreciate the history and what happened … and how it so dramatically changed our lives,” he said.

He also showed pictures from a recent trip to New York of the construction of the new Freedom Tower at Ground Zero.

“I see it as a memorial, not only to the strength of our communities, but our need to overcome adversities. … We can only overcome them if we work together,” he said.

The Neville Public Museum and the Green Bay and De Pere Antiquarian Society sponsored the event.

Red Cross opens service center for storm victims in Appleton

APPLETON Saturday, 03 Sep 2011, 9:39 PM CDT Fox 11

Due to the power outage, the American Red Cross said it now has a service center open at Appleton West High School at 610 N. Badger Avenue, Appleton.

The Red Cross is staffing the facility until 11:00p.m.

Red Cross officials say people affected by the outages are invited to recharge their electronic devices, take showers (please bring towel/toiletries), they will be given snacks, water, hot coffee and overall information.

If the need for overnight accommodations exists, the Red Cross asks you arrive by 11:00p.m. and/or call 920-231-3590.

The agency will provide a cot, blankets, pillow and breakfast if the need exists. Individuals should bring their medications, personal comfort items, etc.

The Red Cross has provided the following FAQ for storm victims:

Q. I have no power. Is there anything I should do if I’m using a generator?

A. Make sure you set the generator up outside, not in your house, basement or garage. Place the unit away from doors, windows and vents. You don’t want the carbon monoxide to come indoors. When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to your home’s electrical system.

Q. My power has been out. What should I do about my food?

A. Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out! Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food ¬borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking. If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it. If you are not sure food is cold enough, take its temperature with the food thermometer. Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch.

Q. How can the American people help?

A. The best way to help is to make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief, which supports our work in response to disasters like hurricanes and floods, as well as countless crises at home and around the world. People can donate to Red Cross disaster relief by going to redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). They can also text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation with their mobile phone. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Red Cross Response to Northeast Wisconsin Storms

Appleton storm damage. Photo by Craig Siegmann

By working with community partners, the American Red Cross is opening a shelter at 7:00p.m. this evening for individuals in need of electricity, food, water and health services.

 WHERE:          Kaukauna High School

ADDRESS:       1701 County Trunk CE, Kaukauna,WI

If no one needs services by 11:00p.m., we will close the shelter for the evening.

 The same facility will be open Saturday morning from 7:00-11:00a.m.

 ** Disclaimer: all information is subject to change based on emergency management reports and the return of power.

Do you know what to do in a power outage? Click HERE for a Red Cross Checklist!

Apartment fire on Green Bay’s west side at 1402 S. Oakland Ave. displaces 11 people

— Hannah O’Brien/Press-Gazette

Twelve people were displaced Thursday after a fire in an eight-unit apartment on the west side.

Green Bay Fire Department crews were called about 4:30 p.m. to 1402 S. Oakland Ave. to heavy black smoke from a fire that started in the bedroom, said Battalion Chief Robert Wiegert.

There were no injuries, and the cause of the fire is unknown.

Three other apartments on the same side of the unit were damaged when firefighters forced open doors to make sure no one was inside.

Tenants of the other four units also are displaced because fire crews turned off some utilities.

The American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Region is assisting those displaced.

Damage is estimated at $40,000.