Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is Lurking Around the Corner

Picture Courtesy of Filevector

Red Cross tips help make it safe and less scary.

As ghosts and vampires get ready to roam the streets, the American Red Cross has tips to make this a frightfully safe Halloween.

Costume Safety

Whether a child wants to be a princess, a monster or a superhero for Halloween, parents can help keep it safe by:

  • Adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Using flame-resistant costumes.
  • Using face makeup instead of masks, which can cover your eyes and make it hard to see.

Navigating the Neighborhood

To maximize safety, plan a route ahead of time. Make sure adults know where children are going. If the children are young, a parent or responsible adult should accompany them as they walk through the neighborhood.

Here are more safety tips to follow as children go from house to house:

  • Make sure trick-or-treaters have a flashlight.
  • Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door—never go inside.
  • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner.
  • Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  • Be cautious around strange animals, especially dogs.

Trick or Treat!

For those who expect to greet trick-or-treaters at their door, they can make sure it’s fun for everyone by following a few tips:

  • Make sure the outdoor lights are on.
  • Sweep leaves from sidewalks and steps.
  • Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.
  • Restrain pets.
  • Use a glow stick instead of a candle in jack-o-lanterns to avoid a fire hazard.

Visit redcross.org for more advice on having a safe and fun Halloween.

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.

Humanity in the Midst of Conflict

American Red Cross Offering International Humanitarian Law Course

International Humanitarian Law, which includes the Geneva Conventions, is at the core of the global Red Cross network. It is critical to preserving a minimum of humanity in the worst of circumstances. The American Red Cross will be offering a four-hour course on the role of the Red Cross in times of armed conflict. The course is free to the public and addresses the humanitarian aspect of the American Red Cross. 

Instructor, Kerri Hah, brings over 10 years of experience educating the public and has trained hundreds of school children on the subject matter of Humanitarian Law.

The Red Cross actively promotes tolerance and humanitarian values.  In times of national crisis or war, all segments of the public must feel confident that they can turn to the Red Cross for help, or to volunteer their time, talents and resources.

 International Humanitarian Law:

Thursday, November 17, 2011          

5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Lower Level Classroom

American Red Cross,1302 E. Wisconsin Ave,Appleton,WI54911

 The chapter will provide drinks and snacks. To sign up please call Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director at 920-227-4287 or email weyersj@arclakeland.org   

 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.

Disaster Update: Earthquake in Turkey

Rescue workers try to save people trapped under debris after an earthquake in Tabanli village near the eastern Turkish city of Van on Oct. 23, 2011. (Photo: Reuters/Abdurrahman Antakyali/Anadolu Agency)

The Turkish Red Crescent Society, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has determined that external assistance is not required at this time. As such, the American Red Cross is not accepting donations designated to this response operation.

Turkey – A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the eastern province of Van, Turkey on Sunday at 1:41 pm local time. The quake’s epicenter was below the village of Tabanli. Turkey is located on an active seismic zone and this is the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in over a decade. Dozens of buildings collapsed leaving many people injured, trapped, or homeless. Temperatures are close to freezing at night and aftershocks continue to strike the region.

Turkish Red Crescent is one of the largest disaster response organizations in Europe and has prepared extensively for large earthquakes.The Turkish Red Crescent headquarters in Ankara has sent more than 100 disaster specialists and thousands of relief supplies to the region. The Turkish government is leading the response effort and has mobilized vehicles, personnel, supplies and ambulances.Turkish Red Crescent volunteers and staff are working diligently to reach people trapped in the rubble. They have distributed more than 12,000 tents and 25,000 blankets, as well as food and clean water. The Turkish Red Crescent has set up feeding centers for those who have lost their homes or are unwilling to re-enter them, fearing aftershocks. A tent city is being set up in the stadium in the city of Ercis and blood products are being set to hospitals in the region.

The American Red Cross is in communication with partners in the region and is monitoring the situation closely. After the devastating 1999 earthquake in Turkey that left over half a million people homeless, the American Red Cross developed a strong partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent to help increase their response capacity. We have provided support following major earthquakes as well as supporting initiatives to strengthen disaster preparedness.

Red Cross Offers Real Life Experience for for UWGB Student

Hello! My name is Sara Bruesewitz. I am a fourth year student at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay majoring in both Political Science and Public Administration with an emphasis in Non-profit Management. I also minor in Environmental Policy and Planning.

Currently, I work for the City of Green Bay in the Mayor’s Office administering a $1,000,000.00 federal grant the City received to make energy efficient improvements throughoutGreen Bay.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and my boyfriend. I also enjoy being outside, playing soccer, going on adventures and trying new things.

Developing and marketing for a nonprofit organization is something I wish to do with my degree so I am very grateful to be partaking in the Development Internship with the American Red Cross. Through this internship I am excited to learn what is all involved in the development, marketing and fundraising for the largest fundraising event of the region, Dancing with the Stars! I can’t wait to start working with all of the wonderful staff, volunteers and of course the “Stars” that make this event possible!

Thanks Expressed from Family Helped by the Red Cross

Letter to the Editor: Door County Advocate

We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all those who helped us through our barn fire on Aug. 8.

To the multiple fire departments, we are forever grateful for the wonderful and heroic jobs you did protecting our family’s farm. Based on your quick response and skilled actions, the damage from the fire was minimized and our farm is on its way to a full recovery.

To the Red Cross Service members, thank you for your dedication and please know that your actions will never be forgotten.

To all the neighbors, friends and family who were there for us in more ways than we can count, giving an extra hand during a time when we needed it the most, you will always have a special place in our hearts — thank you all so much.

Dale and Norma Uecker

Jeremy and Tracy LaCrosse

Kevin and Krissy Phillips



A special thank you to sponsors of the 2011 YPF Casino Night as representatives come together for a great cause. From left, Jim Westergaard, Jackson Kahl Insurance Services; Marcel Birò, South Hills Golf and Country Club; Andrea Westergaard, YPF President; Dr. David Hammes, Family Focus Eye Care; Jenny Drake, Grande Cheese Company; Dr. Andrew Judkins, Judkins Chiropractic; Sam McClone, McClone Insurance. Table sponsors not pictured include: Huberty & Associates, Kottke Kustom Floors, Marian University, Moraine Park Technical College & Natural Stone Veneers.

Gathered at South Hills Golf & Country Club, members of the Young Professionals of Fond du Lac (YPF) and a representative from presenting sponsor South Hills present a check to the American Red Cross for $3,500, proceeds from the annual Casino Night Fundraiser. From left, Sam McClone (YPF past president), Marcel Birò of South Hills, Shanon Holmes (American Red Cross director of development), Andrea Westergaard (YPF president) and Anna Kottke (YPF president elect).

South Hills Golf & Country Club was transformed into a swank casino on September 16 for the Young Professionals of Fond du Lac’s fourth annual Casino Night fundraiser. Enjoying a game of craps are Jessica Suprenand, Tiffany Boyke and Brad Nielsen.

Record-breaking attendance and incredible generosity helped to make the 2011 YPF Casino Night fundraiser bigger and better than ever before! Through the generosity of sponsors, donors and attendees the Young Professionals of Fond du Lac (YPF) were able to present a $3,500 check donation to the American Red Cross.

On Friday, September 16, South Hills Golf & Country Club was enveloped in a Casino Night atmosphere where the Young Professionals of Fond du Lac (YPF) raised $3,500 for the American Red Cross! Betting money on poker, blackjack, roulette and craps, attendees were able to ‘go all in for a great cause’!

“The American Red Cross is so appreciative of this outstanding show of support,” said Sharon Homes, Director of Development for the American Red Cross.  “The dedication, ingenuity and energy that the YPF community brought forward was outstanding and our unending thanks goes out to the leadership and membership of YPF, as well as to the entire Fond du Lac community for supporting this special event.”

“The annual YPF Casino Night fundraiser is all about giving back to the community,” explained Andrea Westergarrd, YPF President.  “Having the opportunity to give back in this way is extremely important and reinforces YPF’s mission and commitment to serving our members and the community we live and work in.”

A special thank you to the many businesses and individuals who contributed to the 2011 YPF Casino Night fundraiser, including: Agnesian HealthCare, American Legion, Backyard Bar and Grill, CommonWealth Companies, Cousins Subs, Cujak’s Wine Market, Family Focus Eye Care, Flohr’s Photography, Fond du Lac Seafood, Fond du Lac YMCA, Fox Valley Savings Bank, Fratello’s, Gilles Custard, Grande Cheese Company, Green Bay Packers Organization, Hawgeye’s Guide Service, Huberty & Associates, Jackson Kahl Insurance Services, Jet Stream Car Wash, Judkins Chiropractic, Kottke Kustom Floors, Ledgeview Lanes, M&I Bank, Mancino’s, Marian University, McClone Insurance, Milwaukee Bucks, Model Cleaners, Moraine Park Technical College, Natural Stone Veneers, O’Connor Oil, Quick & Smart Photo, South Hills Golf and Country Club, Radio Plus, Ramada Plaza Hotel, Renaissance Salon and Day Spa, Road America, Scotts Discount Printing, Set in Ink, Silica Appliances, Wine Maniacs Wine Bar and Bistro, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

YPF is a division of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce and is designed for professionals living or working in the Fond du Lac area who are 21 – 40 or those that are young at heart.  “Through our mission, our members can expect to build a diverse professional and social network,” stated Westergaard.  “The programs and events that we offer enable members to learn more about the Fond du Lac area and grow with and through community leadership.”

Since its inception in 2004, Young Professionals of Fond du Lac has grown to nearly 200 members. For more information or to learn about becoming a member, contact Katie Leist at (920) 921-9500 or katie@fdlac.com or visit www.ypfdl.org.

Good Bye and Best Wishes!

Steve Maricque and Jan Crawford, volunteer, on his last day at the Red Cross.

It’s amazing how quickly nine years can pass.  I can still remember that first week as Executive Director and asking myself, “what did I get myself into?”  But, it improved as time went on and I hope that in some way I left my mark with the organization.

I will always cherish my time with the American Red Cross. I looked at my experience as a blessing and a chance to grow as a person.  I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to get to know many outstanding people that I will forever be grateful. 

Thank you so very much for providing me the chance to serve as your leader.  It was an honor.  You truly do extraordinary things to help others in need.  You make this community a great place to live because of your caring attitude.  Always keep that and continue to help others.  That’s what’s important in this life.

I hope I will continue to see many of you.  I wish you all my very best as you continue your journey.

Take care,

Steve Maricque

To read about Steve’s new role with Bellin Health, click HERE.

Donut Sale to Benefit Local Disaster Services

Donuts for Red Cross Sale Begins. Promoting the donut sale to Fond du Lac Firefighters Don Salvaggio (l) and Scott Warren (r) are Bonnie and Bob Badura of Bob and Bonnie's Donuts and MarJean Buck, DAT volunteer and coordinator of the donut sale. The sale will continue through Tuesday, November 1, with donuts available for pickup from the South Main Street Fire Station on Friday, November 11.

This year’s donut sale to benefit local Red Cross disaster services is expanded to include $10 cake gift certificates to be applied toward any Bob and Bonnie’s delicious custom cakes. Orders for donuts and cake gift certificates can be made online, from a Disaster Action Team member or calling the Fond du Lac office.  Ordering donuts and cake gift certificates for the holiday season and deer hunting is convenient for everyone. Orders are being taken until Tuesday, November 1st.

For nine years the Fond du Lac Disaster Action Team (DAT) of the American Red Cross has teamed up with Bob and Bonnie Badura, owners of Bob and Bonnie’s Donuts, to generate needed funds to support the services delivered when disasters strike.  This partnership over the years has helped provide necessary funding for DAT volunteers to assist families in the Fond du Lac area with the critical needs of food, shelter, and clothing at a time of need after a disaster.

Back by popular demand are a dozen donuts in three variety combinations and the ever-popular 12 glazed yeast-raised donuts (Option #4).  The three variety boxed combinations are:  Option #1 with 4 each of cherry, blueberry, and double chocolate; Option #2 contains vanilla, chocolate and sprinkles; and the Option #3 is a combination of peanut, toasted coconut, and Dutch crumb. Each box is $8. The cake donuts may be frozen after purchase and served later, retaining the same great taste and freshness.

New this year as a response to customer demand, are cake gift certificates to be used on a custom ordered cake. A custom cake from Bob and Bonnie’s makes any occasion special. A variety of cakes are available from the famous brown-eyed Susan cake to chocolate with butter cream frosting in sizes to accommodate individual needs.  A complete list of offerings from Bob and Bonnie’s is available at http://www.bobandbonniesdonuts.com/.

Place orders prior to Tuesday, November 1, by phone or order online at www.newredcross.org  and check out Upcoming Events. Phone orders to the Fond du Lac Red Cross office may be made by calling 922-3450 during business hours, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, or 922-3146 after hours. All orders must be prepaid prior to November 1.

Donut and cake gift certificate pre-orders will be available for pick-up at the South Main Street Fire Station (815 South Main Street, Fond du Lac), 6:30 am until 11 am on Friday, November 11.

The Red Vest: A Sign of Hope

Written by: Andy Duchow, Red Cross Volunteer

Hope Koestner, Green Bay, was recently deployed to Richmond VA to serve as part of a Red Cross condolence team in response to Hurricane Irene.  Some of her duties included providing emotional support to families who have lost loved ones, and delivering financial assistance for memorial services.  Hope describes it best:

“The positive impact the American Red Cross Disaster Response Teams have on our clients during deployment is endless.  Providing shelter and a bed to someone who would otherwise sleep on the floor of their destroyed home or giving a meal to someone who hasn’t eaten in three days because their power is out and all of the food has spoiled are just the tip of the iceberg.  People affected by disasters look for the Emergency Response Vehicles, the volunteers in their red vests, and I have been told by clients that as soon as they see these things they are instantly relieved, knowing help has arrived and they will be OK.”

Her primary responsibilities lie with the Health Service Staff who try to anticipate and prepare for the immediate medical needs of disaster victims by providing basic first aid, medication, medical equipment, and even eyeglass replacement.  They interact with local community organizations to arrange for the medical needs of their clients, and to make arrangements with doctors and pharmacies to find replacements for necessary medicines and equipment.

They also work with families who have lost loved ones during the disaster.  They remain with the families through the end of the funeral service, providing help and support.

“While being part of a the Red Cross Disaster Response Team is both an honor and a privilege, it also comes with a lot of responsibility.”  Disaster volunteers are always ready to go where they are needed.  When disaster strikes they are on their way within 24 hours of receiving their call to action.

Often the teams work 8-12 hour shifts every day, going to neighborhood shelters, and even door to door, offering assistance in whatever way they can.

The Red Cross emergency response teams are a close group, united by their commitment to serve the needs of those in crisis.  “Although you may travel there alone, once you get there you are surrounded by other volunteers from all over the country and it’s like you have an instant family.”

Hope began volunteering with the American Red Cross in 1991 when her husband was deployed to Saudi Arabia.  He had worked in a military hospital, and his deployment left them shorthanded.  So Hope volunteered to help.

She spent 40 hours a week at the hospital for 8 months until the regular hospital staff returned.

In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, Hope began going on Red Cross deployments.

“At that time we were not in a position to help financially and I wanted to give something.  So I gave myself.”