WYSO Percussion Extravaganza featuring World Renowned Snare Drum Artist, Jeff Queen

The Event Will Benefit the Badger Chapter of the American Red Cross

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Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will present the 12th annual Percussion Extravaganza on Saturday, March 2, at 1:30pm in UW-Madison’s Mills Concert Hall. This year’s Extravaganza, “Heart Beats,” will celebrate the life-saving skills taught by the American Red Cross and the “beats” that energize all percussion music. The Percussion Ensemble received training in Hands Only CPR during their rehearsals, and will help the event’s audience learn the correct compression tempo for this important skill when they perform an arrangement of the BeeGees’ “Stayin’ Alive.”

The Percussion Extravaganza will also feature world renowned snare drum artist Jeff Queen, who has appeared in Broadway’s  Blast!, on The Late Show with David Lettermen, and at the 2001 NBA All-Star Game. In addition to performing solo repertoire, he will present a morning clinic for the WYSO Percussion Ensemble and perform “Cuban Concerto” with the young musicians at the concert.   

The Percussion Ensemble will perform audience-engaging, diverse repertoire by Antonin Dvořák, Andrew Stout, Bela Fleck, the Bee Gees, and recently departed jazz legend Dave Brubeck.  The UW World Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Professor Anthony DiSanza will also perform. 

The 12th Annual Percussion Extravaganza will be held on Saturday, March 2 at 1:30pm in Mills Concert Hall at the UW Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St., Madison. Tickets are $10/adults and $5/youth, available at the door or online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/307902.

At the event, the Red Cross will have numerous Health and Safety, Disaster Action Team, and Service to the Armed Forces materials on display.  Donation baskets will also be available. 

Parking is available at State Street Campus Ramp, Helen C. White, and Grainger Hall parking facilities.  For further directions and information, please contact the WYSO office, (608)263-3320, x 11 or visit http://wyso.music.wisc.edu/

Neenah Volunteer Answers the Call for the Second Time for “Sandy”

Harvey Lorenz and Nick Cluppert 2

Harvey Lorenz, Disaster Volunteer, from Neenah,  is leaving on Thursday for New Jersey to assist on his second National Deployment for Hurricane Sandy.

Harvey deployed to New York back in November. He will be assisting as a supervisor in the area of Financial & Statistical Information. When asked  what motivates him to go out on deployments:

 “It is just a calling I feel comfortable answering.  I know there are people that have it a lot worse than I do.  I’m just happy I have the time to devote to this.”

(L-R) Harvey Lorenz completing his paper work with Nick Cluppert, Disaster Services, Regional Manager, Training & Development

Dancing with Our Stars 2013 Fundraiser Sets Event Record

Raises Awareness for Local Services and $370,000!

The 5th Annual Dancing with Our Stars for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin exceeded expectations, with record fundraising and increased awareness to programs and services. Together, with the amazing efforts of our nine celebrity dancers, our sponsors, and with the support of the community, we raised $370,000 in net revenue to support Red Cross programs and services in our community. This year’s event was held on Saturday, February 23 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay.

“Here at the American Red Cross, we are truly humbled by the outpouring of community support received through the “Dancing with Our Stars” event,” said Steve Hansen, Regional COO and Chapter Executive. “Saturday night, the entire event concluded with the entertainment and demonstration of dancing skills by our nine stars, but the real event started more than four months ago, when our dancers made the commitment to raise funds to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross.”

Hansen also said, “Along with the outstanding support from our sponsors and community, the dancers poured everything they had into this event by generously volunteering their time and talent to make this event a huge success. On behalf of the American Red Cross, thank you for bringing compassion and hope to those in need!”

Thank you to our sponsors including: Oneida Nation of Wisconsin; Kimberly-Clark; Festival Foods; Schneider National Foundation; Jack’s Maintenance; Broadway Automotive; The Green Bay Packers; MillerCoors and Masters Gallery Foods. We also thank our media partners of WBAY-TV2, WIXX and the Green Bay Press-Gazette for their promotional support.

Our dancers definitely put their best foot forward to entertain and dazzle a sold-out crowd of 770 guests. The evening began with dinner and followed with our all-star dance program where each celebrity performed two dances. The night concluded with the awards ceremony.

Emcee, Chris Roth, WBAY, interviewing Betina Driver, along with her husband, Donald Driver after the announcment of her taking home the fundraising mirrorball trophy!

Taking away the top honors for the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy was Betina Driver. The wife of former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver raised $155,000 to support the local Red Cross.

The People’s Choice award for showcase one went to Pat Warpinski and Taryn Oleson for their Quickstep to “Rolling in the Deep.” People’s Choice award for showcase two went to Mary Gronnert and Michael Witte for their Jive to “Girls Gone Wild.”

The Judges’ Choice award went to Betina and Donald Driver for their two performances: A Tango to ‘Too Close” and a Rumba to “Endless Love.”

Special thanks to Cami Rapson and Chris Roth of WBAY-TV 2 for serving as masters of ceremonies and to Jesse Baumgart, Kimberly Larsen and Christopher Mangless for their professional and colorful judging commentary.

Thank you to all our star dancers for their time, commitment, energy and passion: Todd Bierowski, President/Owner, Décor Lighting Sales, Asst. Football Coach, St. Norbert College; Rick Bondowski, Senior Vice President, Regional Retail Director, Associated Bank; Betina Driver, Co-host, “The Better Half”; Mary Gronnert, Foundation Coordinator, Schneider National Foundation, Inc.; Emily Matesic, Reporter, WBAY-TV 2; Sean Sanders, Grocery/Frozen/Dairy Director, Festival Foods; Amy Sehring, Community Supporter; Erica VanBoxel, Green Bay Press-Gazette Magazine Editor; Pat Warpinski, Owner/Veterinarian of The Animal House;  and Rane Cegelski and Taryn Oleson from DanceSport of Green Bay; Jamie Keyzer, Jay Morth, Taylor Watry, Michael Witte and Alyssa Zellner from Simply Ballroom of Green Bay; and Terry Irwin from TC Dance Club International of Appleton.

Thank you to our committee, volunteers and most of all the community for supporting your local American Red Cross of Northeast WI.

To view additional photo from the event check out our Northeast Wisconsin Facebook page. To view event video of all our dancers got to our special Dancing with Our Stars Blog!


Manitowoc Chamber

The Chamber Manitowoc County 2012 Non-Profit of the year award accepted by Sherry Rezba, center. The placque was presented by the award sponsors, Bill Fricke and Amy Fricke-Weigel of Fricke Printing Service, Inc.

Thank you to The Chamber Manitowoc County for selecting the American Red Cross of Northeast WI as this years recipient for the Non-Profit of the Year Award presented at the annual dinner and meeting at Fox Hills in Mishicot on Tuesday, February 12, 2013! We are very honored to be chosen for this award.

Red Cross seeks donations to help fire victims

Written by Charles Davis  Press-Gazette Media: cedavis@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @pgcharlesdavis.

Fire safety in Green Bay: Feb. 11, 2013: Red Cross volunteer Jerry Prellwitz talks about responding to a local disaster scene, and Green Bay Fire Department Lt. Nick Craig gives tips on how to prevent home fires.

The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin helped two families put their lives back together this month after an apartment building fire on Green Bay’s east side.

Firefighters called volunteers to the scene the morning of Feb. 3 to help eight people, including four children, with debit cards for clothing, food or shelter after a child playing with a lighter caused a fire at the four-unit building at 511 Hartung St. No one was injured in the fire.

Helping people in a moment of crisis is what the organization does best, said Barbara Behling, spokeswoman for the Oshkosh-based Red Cross chapter.

“We wrap a warm blanket around them while they watch their home go up in smoke and flames. At that point, we want them to know they’re safe. Then we help them figure out the next couple of hours, the next couple of days, and the next couple of weeks,” she said.

Behling said the local Red Cross has seen an increase since July in the number of people across the region who had been displaced from local disasters, most due to fires. The nonprofit now has a greater need for donations to help families in need, but she added that services aren’t in danger of being cut.

“When you have a business in the private sector and you have more clients, your business grows, your revenue grows and your profit grows. When we have more clients in the Red Cross, our expenses grow and we need to cover those additional costs,” she said.

Volunteers always are needed, too, she added.

The local Red Cross serves 20 counties across the region, including Dickinson and Menominee counties in Michigan. Volunteers have responded to at least 107 incidents from July 2012 to Feb. 4, Behling said. That’s on track to top the 171 incidents reported from July 2011 to June 2012, she said.

Since July in Brown County, volunteers have responded to 26 incidents and assisted 157 people, which matches the total number of people the nonprofit helped during the previous fiscal year, despite volunteers responding to eight more incidents during that period. More than 75 percent of Brown County’s local disasters have happened in Green Bay, which makes up 42 percent of the county’s population of roughly 251,000.

Behling said more people are being impacted by local disasters because a large number of fires have occurred at multi-family homes and apartment buildings, like this month’s fire on Hartung Street. Volunteers also respond to carbon monoxide leaks, home collapses and other accidents, she said.

During fiscal 2012, the chapter operated on a $4.5 million budget, with close to 15 percent of those funds going toward local disaster services, which includes volunteer training and providing clients with food, shelter and even medications, Behling said. If local disasters continue at the this rate, it is likely that a greater percentage of this year’s budget will go toward helping disaster victims, she said.

Lt. Nick Craig ofthe Green Bay Fire Deptartment installs new smoke detectors Tuesday inside Dick and Florence Mulloy’s home in Green Bay. / Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media

Green Bay fire Lt. Nick Craig acknowledged that apartment fires tend to impact more people and that oftentimes it’s those who don’t have renter’s insurance, which means they have a very hard time replacing items destroyed in a fire or other mishap.Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Craig said most of those fires can easily be prevented if people didn’t leave the kitchen while cooking.“Fires start when your attention stops. That sums up the majority of the fires we have,” Craig said.

In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 fires at homes, which includes apartments and other structures where more than one family lives, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

Craig said residents can prevent fires by checking smoke detectors monthly, paying attention while cooking, remembering not to put flammable items near heat sources and making sure not to overload extension cords.

Waushara County Tavern League HEROES for Local American Red Cross

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On Thursday, January 24th, Denise Blader, President, of the Waushara County Tavern League, presented a $1,000 donation for the local American Red Cross to Vicki P. Jenks, American Red Cross Board Member and Disaster Action Team volunteer.   (pictured above)

This most generous donation will be used right here in Waushara County for disaster relief.  The most prevalent local disasters are RESIDENTIAL FIRES.  Winter, unfortunately, is the busiest fire season for Red Cross responses, but even more brutal for the clients who have just lost everything.  When the Red Cross is called in for support, trained volunteers provide immediate needs ranging from personal hygiene items, a place to stay, financial assistance for basic needs, quilts, stuffed toys, medications, and a shoulder to lean on.  The Red Cross also supports first responders with hydration and food.  The AMERICAN RED CROSS—96% volunteers—arrives with hearts filled with compassion and a plan to support families in a very emotional, difficult time.

Members of the Waushara County Red Cross Disaster Action Team are Vic and Edith Fousek, Coloma, Chuck and Jo Patzer, and John and Vicki Jenks, Wild Rose.  They work closely with fellow Red Cross D.A.T. members in Green Lake, Marquette and Waupaca counties.  If you’re interested in volunteering for your local Red Cross, please contact Vicki at 920-622-3152 or email vickipjenks@gmail.com.

MLK National Day of Service 2013

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One of our teams in the Fond du Lac area.

American Red Cross staff and volunteers, fire department, Girl Scouts, Fresh Start representatives honored the service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by canvassing neighborhoods to provide tips on fire safety and prevention, and to remind residents that home fires are one disaster that can be prevented.

During the MLK National Day of Service volunteers talked with people at home about ways to heat and cook safely, the value of smoke alarms and the need to create and practice a household fire escape plan. Fire safety and prevention door hangers in English and in Spanish were provided to all homes volunteers visited, and left for neighbors who were not at home.

We distributed 12,500 door hangers to 12,500 houses in 11 different communities across Northeast Wisconsin. Those communities included: Appleton, Fond du Lac, Grand Chute, Green Bay, Iron Mountain, Manitowoc, Menasha, North Fond du Lac , Oshkosh, Sheboygan, and Waupaca

We want to thank our volunteers, participating fire departments, girl scouts, Fresh Start representatives, and the schools for helping distribute these very important safety tips, that could save lives!

Distributing in Sheboygan!

Distributing in Sheboygan!