1st National Bank “HERO” for local American Red Cross

By Vicki Jenks, American Red Cross Board Member and Volunteer

On Monday, April 29th, the local American Red Cross received a most generous $1,000 gift from 1st National Bank, presented by President, Tom Jensen.

Vicki Jenks, Joyce Petit, Thomas L. Jensen and Betsy

Pictured left to right along with Tom are:  Vicki P. Jenks, American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin Board Member, Joyce Petit, long-time Red Cross Disaster Action Team member, and Betsy Wandtke, Red Cross Major Gifts Officer.

Known well as a supportive community organization, 1st National Bank originally became involved with HEROES last year holding a Casual For a Cause Day with all donations assisting the local American Red Cross work in Green Lake and Waushara counties.  The expansion to official HERO ($1,000 donation) allows the Red Cross to further its work both in local disaster relief and also Service to the Armed Forces (SAF).

 “The community of Berlin is marvelously supportive in countless ways. As a relative newcomer to east central Wisconsin, every day holds a heartwarming story of the gigantic hearts of its altruistic, thoughtful citizens,” said Vicki P. Jenks, HEROES volunteer coordinator, Wild Rose.

Every 9 minutes in the US, an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team (D.A.T.) responds to some sort of disaster—the most common being RESIDENTIAL FIRES.  The local D.A.T. team springs immediately into action offering such things as temporary shelter, food, clothing, and bedding and linens.  Additionally, the Red Cross can replace prescription medications and vision wear lost in the fire.  Perhaps most importantly, however, is the INVALUABLE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT the team members provide.  Long after the initial disaster, the Red Cross continues its follow through.

Although Service to the Armed Forces (S.A.F.) has been an integral program to the Red Cross since 1905, it is new to HEROES this year.  The American Red Cross is the only entity in the world mandated by Congress to validate and relay emergency messages to military service member across the globe.  On average, 400 emergency messages are relayed daily.  Perhaps a service member is able to arrive home in time for a funeral of a family member due to the assistance of the Red Cross.   Additionally, Red Cross volunteers work in our two regional VA hospitals in Iron Mountain and Milwaukee.  Closer to home, volunteers assist distributing Holiday Mail for HEROES at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King.


National Nurses Week is May 6 – 12


National Nurses Week is May 6 – 12, a time set aside every year to recognize the many ways the nation’s nurses work to save lives and improve the health of millions. During National Nurses Week, the American Red Cross recognizes the more than 20,000 nurses and student nurses who serve the Red Cross today.

“Nurses have always been a cornerstone of the American Red Cross,” said Judy Gregory, Disaster Services Director. “Red Cross nurses have come to the aid of others during times of disaster and conflict since Jane Delano began the Red Cross Nursing Service in 1909. During National Nurses Week, we celebrate Red Cross nurses in Northeast Wisconsin and across the United States.”

Today nurses serve directly as part of Red Cross disaster response teams, at health fairs, volunteering in military clinics and hospitals, manning first aid stations and promoting blood donations.

Nurses also teach and help develop different courses like CPR and First Aid, Disaster Health Services, Nurse Assistant Training, Babysitting and Family Caregiving. They serve in management and supervisory roles in Red Cross chapters and blood regions and in leadership roles on local Red Cross boards and the national Board of Governors.

BECOME A RED CROSS NURSE If you are an RN or LPN/LVN, consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Student  nurses are also welcome.  Contact your local Red Cross to learn about volunteer openings in your community.


Dr. Joyce Keyes receives Heroes Award from WI First Lady Tonette Walker.

Dr. Joyce Keyes receives Heroes Award from WI First Lady Tonette Walker.

Dr. Joyce Keye’s has been a tremendous volunteer, leader, shoulder to cry on and American Red Cross partner.  We were able to completely surprise Joyce! (Which is extremely hard to do)! 

As the First Lady read portions of Joyce’s nomination, she started to tear-up. So did Joyce. A soft-compassion filled the room as we all understood the depths of her love for the American Red Cross and the people we serve. Even the First Lady received a hug in the middle of the presentation.  

– Barbara Behling, Communications Officer

Wisconsin’s first lady to surprise American Red Cross volunteer, Joyce Keyes, for her dedication to serving others

 Wisconsin’s first lady, Tonette Walker, will present a monthly award designed to recognize the heroic and voluntary efforts of Wisconsin residents to make the state a better place, to Joyce Keyes, American Red Cross volunteer, on Thursday, May 2, 2013.

Although professionally retired as a clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Joyce Keyes is anything but as she volunteers more than 40 hours per week to the American Red Cross. She has led the Fond du Lac County Disaster Action Teams since 2005. Throughout Eastern Wisconsin, she trains others to be disaster responders, and most recently has completed all the requirements to be a National Disaster Manager. Joyce has been such a strong force for local, regional, statewide and national disaster efforts, she was appointed as one of 15 people in the United States to serve on the National Disaster Advisory Council. She’s helped with multiple disasters from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricanes Katrina, Ike and Isaac, the Kansas ice storm and the Alabama tornadoes. When half of Wisconsin was under water in 2008, she was the disaster coordinator for Fond du Lac, one of the busiest counties, and they hosted the largest shelter in the state. For Keyes’ dedication to serving others through the Red Cross, she is presented with the April 2013 Wisconsin Heroes Award.

Recognition is given each month to one outstanding Wisconsin resident. The first lady visits and presents a Wisconsin Heroes Award to thank the recipient for his or her willingness, compassion, and commitment to the betterment of the state.

Here are additional links to the media coverage from the days event:

WFRV-TV – click HERE for video.

The Fond du Lac Reporter – Click HERE for story.

It’s Spring…. Finally! More Cookouts to Celebrate

By David and Jill Krizizke, Chapter C Directors 

Brat Fry from 2011

Each year the Goldwing Road Riders Association, Wisconsin Chapter C, holds a Brat Fry with the proceeds shared with a charity of the clubs choice.  Over the past couple of years, the Ability Resource Center ( ARC ) of Fond Du Lac and the Veterans Museum and Education Center of Oshkosh have benefitted from the Brat Fry. One of the goals of our Chapter is to “give Back” to our community.

This year, our Local Area Goldwing Riders had a tragic fire invade one of our members’ homes,  rendering the house a total loss.  One of the responding groups that was on the scene very quickly was the American Red Cross.

So it was proposed by our membership to hold this year’s two Brat Fry’s for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin.

We are dedicated to work on Friday, May 3 and Saturday May 4, at the Fond du Lac Pick and Save Store on Johnson Street, from 9am to 5pm, to earn funds to support the American Red Cross local disaster relief.   If you would like any information on our on this event or our chapter, please visit our website at www.gwrra-wi-c.com