American Red Cross Honors Volunteers at Celebration of Support Event

Corporate Benefactor: Festival Foods – Nick Arlt, Public Relations Director. Pictured: Jody Weyers, Regional Volunteer Director, Nick Arlt, Kathryn Bracho & Barbara Behling, Communications Officer

The American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter celebrated its volunteers June 12, 2012 with the Volunteer Recognition Banquet held at the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay. The event was sponsored by Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance. Two hundred and thirty-five volunteers attended the event. WBAY-TV anchor Action 2 News This Morning, Kathryn Bracho served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening.

The night began with welcoming words and an organizational update from Barbara Behling, Communications Officer. Following Behling was Greg Novinska, Region CEO, with an update on blood services.

One-a-Week Club Awards were presented to businesses and clubs who committed to at least 52 donations of blood per year, or one per week during the previous year, followed by dinner.

After dinner the Volunteer Recognition Awards were presented to individuals and groups for their exceptional volunteer work.

Jack Davies, Ed McHugh Worker of the Year award for front-line volunteers with exceptional reliability to the blood program.

Humana, Business, Group or Organization of the Year, given to a business or group of volunteers for years of commitment to the American Red Cross Blood Services program.

Ken Frosch, Hilary Lesperance Award for outstanding support in the Blood Services Program.

Bryan Barbeau, Kerrie Forester Emergency Services Award for commitment and dedication to Disaster Services and members of the Disaster Response Team.

Bill Craig, Andrew Janssen Transportation Award, for outstanding work in transportation services for the American Red Cross and providing transportation for the elderly population and those with disabilities to help them sustain an independent lifestyle.

State Farm, The Outreach Award, for a volunteer or business in Preparedness, Health and Safety, Services to Armed Forces, Community Disaster Education or other areas that involve education and outreach.

Festival Foods, the Corporate Benefactor Award, for a business with outstanding commitment and dedication to the American Red Cross.

Michael Gallagher, the Mrs. Crane (Mary) Murphy Award, presented to a member of the Board of Directors for exceptional contribution and advancement of the American Red Cross.

Clara Barton Award: Eric Witcak, Nicolet Bank with Kathryn Bracho, WBAY, Anchor

Dee Hansen, Behind-the-Scenes Award presented to a volunteer who assists with essential office work at one of our office locations in development, facilities, reception and other behind-the-scenes jobs.

Bea Wettstein and Sharon Bryfczynski, Rookies of the Year, presented to a volunteer for exceptional level of service and has started within the past year.

Mike Petrick, Volunteer of the Year Award, presented to the individual who has demonstrated long-term commitment to multiple programs of the American Red Cross.

Eric Witczak, Clara Barton Award, the highest award of the night, presented to an individual who exemplifies the qualities of American Red Cross pioneer Clara Barton.

Congratulations to all the award recipients and thank you to everyone for your time, blood and support of the American Red Cross.

Click HERE to see pictures of all the award recipients.

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 or join our blog at

We are Back…. Firefighter’s Bucket Brigade: July 13

The Firefighter’s Bucket Brigade is back! This is our 3rd year the American Red Cross Disaster Volunteers and local firefighters and emergency workers have teamed up to support the American Red Cross. The Bucket Brigade raises vital funds to support Red Cross disaster relief and preparedness activities in Northeast Wisconsin. Last year, more than $18,000 was collected in our red buckets.      

On Friday, July 13 from 4:00pm-7:00pm local firefighters and American Red Cross disaster volunteers will be collecting donations in their red buckets at various high-traffic, high-visibility locations such as grocery stores, gas stations and retail stores.

This fundraiser highlights our partnership with local fire departments and how both groups work together to provide help and hope to disaster victims. Red Cross disaster preparedness materials will be distributed to the public, and fire trucks and firefighting equipment will be on display at collection sites.

We have 14 participating locations in six Northeast Wisconsin counties. This year’s participants include:


Kwik Trip

871 Hansen Road


Festival Foods

2534 Steffens Court, Green Bay

Green Bay East:

Copps Food Center

1819 Main Street, Green Bay

Green Bay West:

Festival Foods

2250 West Mason Street


Festival Foods

2348 Lineville Road


Super Ron’s

960 County Road B


Abrams Shell Station

County D and Sampson Road

Abrams BP Station

2531 East Frontage Road


Festival Foods

1200 W. Northland Avenue

Grand Chute:

Copps Food Center

2400 W. Wisconsin Avenue


The Meat Block &

The Stone Yard

N1739 Lily of the Valley Drive


Pick N Save

850 East Maes Avenue


Festival Foods

595 S. Taylor Drive


                                                                    Piggly Wiggly

                                                              80 E. Park Avenue

Red Cross Mobile Apps

The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand.

Available for iPhone and Android devices, the official American Red Cross First Aid app gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid.


  • Simple step-by-step instructions guide you through everyday first aid scenarios.
  • Fully integrated with 911 so you can call EMS from the app at any time.
  • Videos and animations make learning first aid fun and easy.
  • Safety tips for everything, from severe winter weather to hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes help you prepare for emergencies.
  • Preloaded content means you have instant access to all safety information at anytime, even without reception or an Internet connection.
  • Interactive quizzes allow you to earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your lifesaving knowledge.

Staying Safe in Wisconsin Summer Heat

Today is Wisconsin Heat Awareness Day, a fitting title as temperatures climb into the mid-80s in the coming days. With heat and humidity comes high risk for weather-related deaths, especially among children and the elderly.

Wisconsin Emergency Management and the National Weather Service outline important steps to take to ensure your safety in the summer months. In 2011, five people in Wisconsin died of excessive heat and more than 100 were treated for heat-related symptoms.

As Northeast Wisconsin sweats it out for the coming months, here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe this summer:

  • Drink up—Staying hydrated is key to warding off heat-related health emergencies. Drink fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
  • Dress for the weather and wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Carry a hat or umbrella if possible.
  • Check up on friends and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning, especially if they are elderly. Find places to go during the day for relief such as schools, libraries or the mall if you don’t have air conditioning at home.
  • Avoid work outdoors if possible and take frequent breaks if you must be outside. Take a cool shower or bath when you come in from working outside or if you feel overheated.
  • Eat small meals more often to ensure you are getting proper nutrition along with hydration.  
  • Call 9-1-1 if someone is showing signs of heat stroke, which include hot, red skin, changes in consciousness, vomiting and high body temperature. Heat cramps are muscular pains that often signal the start of heat-related health problems. If someone has these symptoms, call 9-1-1 and move them into a cool place.

Wisconsin offers a multitude of options for fun this summer, and staying cool will help us all enjoy them safely. For more information on heat safety, please visit

World Blood Donor Day- Celebrating the Gift of Blood

Giving blood is timeless. With no substitute for human blood, those in need rely on the kindness of volunteer donors. To raise awareness and inspire action about this cause, Nexcare Bandages, in partnership with the Red Cross and supermodel Niki Taylor, announce the fourth annual Nexcare give program. This nationwide initiative shines a light on the World Health Organization’s World Blood Donor Day on June 14 by thanking those who give blood and encouraging others to get involved.

World Blood Donor Day is a day set aside to celebrate those who donate blood and help save lives without expecting anything in return. It is also a day to raise awareness about how a safe and stable supply of blood products is vital for hospitals and patients.

The theme this year is “Every blood donor is a hero” and focuses on the idea that every one of us can become a hero by giving life saving blood. While recognizing the silent and unsung heroes who help save lives every day through their blood donations, the theme also strongly encourages more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly.

For more information about World Blood Donor Day, visit

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Volunteers Needed: 4th of July!!!

Husbands, Fathers, Brothers, and Sons

Today we remember D-Day.  Tuesday June 6th of 1944, 160,000 Allied soldiers from fourteen countries ranging from 16 to 56 years of age landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily- fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy.  Husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons they were, knowing they had a difficult and worrisome duty to do this day, to begin the liberation of Europe and start the end of World War 2.  More than 9000 allied soldiers would be killed and wounded and in days ahead families at home waiting would learn the fate of their loved one.   

Most of us can only imagine what those men on the Liberty ships might have been thinking and the thoughts and emotions they had waiting for their turn to land on the beach, or anxiety their families at home were having when learning the invasion had started.  Today for most young Americans, this day 68 years ago is a brief mention in a school history book or a day on a calendar.  Our World War Two Veterans; the husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons, of this time are still with us but fewer each passing day. 

Take time for a moment of silence to remember the servicemen and their families who gave full measure this day for freedom and if you see a Veteran or know one, shake their hand and thank them for what they did.

 To learn more about D-Day visit or the work of American Red Cross who followed the soldiers ashore at

Baneck Inspires Others

I went from being a big sister to being a mom in under one day”  That’s the stark reality of families affected by tragic house fires. We were honored, Billi Jo Baneck, who lived through this experience, shared her personal story of tragedy and triumph at The Avenues Women’s Wellness & Inspiration Luncheon held on May 22, at the Grand Meridian in Appleton.

This remarkable young lady gives of her time and talent to help disaster victims through their darkest days as she knows the pain, sorrow and emptiness of losing her parents and little brother. Surrounded by her sister Katie, an extended family and friends, she shared her strength gained through the experience. We were all touched and inspired to give of ourselves to make a stronger community.

(l-r) Katie and Billi Jo Baneck. photo courtesy: 91.1 The Avenue

photo courtesy: 91.1 The Avenue

CPR – Know It When You Need It

If you were one of the 25 percent of Americans who have been in a situation where someone needed CPR, would you know what to do? During National CPR and AED Awareness Week (June 1-7) and throughout the year, the American Red Cross encourages people to take CPR/AED training to learn how to save a life.

The ability to perform CPR can make a lifesaving difference when someone suffers a cardiac or breathing emergency. Here are a few stories from people who now know how important that knowledge can be.

“Many years ago while I was in college, I volunteered as an assistant coach for the high school softball team,” Jane wrote. “I was watching a game on a hot and humid Iowa evening when suddenly there was a commotion in the dugout. The catcher had gone down. I had extensive Red Cross training so the coach asked me to help. The catcher was in trouble.

“Her breathing was very sporadic, so I started rescue breathing and asked for my head coach to call the fire rescue unit. Others helped cool her by providing shade. Her parents were standing over me, screaming and crying. I kept working until the rescue team took over ten minutes later. I had a sinking feeling that I was going to lose this little girl but thank God for miracles. She was able to make it to the hospital and survived. What would have happened without that Red Cross  training? Red Cross rocks!”

It was the opening day of the 2003 trout season in Pennsylvania when Rita used her Red Cross training to help save a life. She was at a lake with crowds of others fishing, when she heard a faint cry for help. “An older woman was sitting on a porch, the man next to her in obvious distress,” Rita said.

“I ran over and had two men help me get him to the ground. I didn’t know if there was any hope, but I unbuttoned his shirt and did three chest compressions. As I tilted his head back to give him a breath, he sucked air into his lungs and I saw life returning to his eyes and color come back into his skin. A few minutes later, responders arrived and he was in good hands. I have never needed my CPR training before that day or since, but will be forever grateful that I at least had the confidence to try.”

Teri used her training to save her grandson’s life. “Andrew was seven years old when he tried to catch a grape in his mouth. He caught it and we all clapped, but he didn’t reply,” Teri said. “He dropped to the ground and I jumped up and rolled him over. His lips were turning blue and he had the most terrifying look on his face. I was scared, but because of my training I didn’t panic.

“I checked his air way and there was no way to reach in and grab it, so I rolled him over and gave him two sharp blows between his shoulder blades. The grape didn’t budge so I gave him some abdominal thrusts and that grape shot out like a bullet. He gasped for air, grabbed me and held on so tightly, tears ran down both our faces. Thank you for teaching me all I know because it allowed me to hear my grandson say afterward ‘Grandma I couldn’t breathe. I love you grandma’. He is alive today because of the knowledge I learned in your CPR/First Aid training class. God Bless the American Red Cross.”


The Red Cross trains millions of people each year in CPR and AED and offers several training options, including a 30-minute Citizen CPR class which teaches Hands-Only CPR and full CPR training. All First Aid, full CPR and AED training carry a 2-year certification. You can find more information and register for a class by visiting the CPR and AED page on our web site.

In addition to training, the Red Cross can help you obtain an AED for your home, business or organization and offers AED program management, maintenance and service.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at