Some Heroes Wear Plaid and Carry Clubs

By Becky Bergin, Director of Special Events 

On Monday, May 19th, twenty-six teams (OUR HEROES) came out to golf the beautiful fairways at Oneida Golf and Country Club for the 26th Annual Heroes Golf Tournament.

firetruck

Thank you to the Green Bay Fire Department for giving of your time.

The event featured 18 holes of golf with a four-person scramble format. Golfers began the tournament at the sound of a fire truck siren from Green Bay Fire Department.

There was never a dull moment on the course that day. Throughout game-play, Red Cross volunteers and signs communicated safety tips to players and information about the programs and services provided by the American Red Cross. Participants were also challenged at various holes to see who could sink the longest putt or hit the longest drive. Golfers were even given the opportunity to win a brand new Cadillac CTS sponsored by Bergstrom Cadillac of Green Bay if they made a 150 yard hole-in-one. Unfortunately, no one walked away with the keys, but the vision of Cadillacs still dance in their heads.

An exciting “betting hole” was also featured on the course. Los Banditos, Titletown Brewing Co. and 1951 West generously donated gift certificates that the players could double the value of if they landed their ball on the green. A booze basket raffle and bucket raffle were also highlighted on the course.

Team Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C.
Team Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C.

Schreiber Foods sponsored a cook-out style lunch with brats and hamburgers and M3 Insurance sponsored the golf carts for the day.

Raindrops began to fall as the teams finished their last hole, but that didn’t dampen their spirits.

Inside the clubhouse, they feasted on a gourmet dinner prepared by the country club and raised a record amount of dollars bidding on one-of-a-kind live auction packages from Big Tomatoes, Triple J Wing and Clay, The Green Bay Packers, Robinson Metal and Chef Bob Bouthilet of new Home Chef.

All told, our golfing heroes raised $42,000 for the American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter.

All proceeds from the Heroes Golf Tournament support the programs and services provided by the American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serving a 20-county area in Northeast Wisconsin and the Michigan-Wisconsin Border communities. Those services include assistance to local families impacted by fire and other disasters, assistance to military personnel and families, health and safety education and blood collection. This event also supports a transportation program in Green Bay, administered by the Red Cross, to seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Click HERE to see additional pictures from the event.

Thank you to our amazing volunteer team!

Thank you to our amazing volunteer team!

Volunteer Spotlight: Brenna Schobert

Monday, May 5th was the 8th Annual Celebration of Student Leadership event to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of UW Oshkosh Student leadership and organizations.

We are very proud of our UWO Red Cross Club in taking home honors of New/Emerging Organization of the Year and club member Brenna Schobert was awarded Emerging Volunteer of the Year.

Let us share with you a little more about Brenna, and why she deserved this award.

By Angie Dusenberry, UWO Red Cross Club President 

IMAG3371Brenna’s leadership style can be defined simply as “get up and go for it”. At the first Red Cross Club meeting, Brenna reached out to me right after with the hopes that she could get involved at a deeper level within the organization. Being fully aware of the challenge that this club was brand new to UWO, Brenna was ready to hit the ground running with passion and excitement to get this club going. She has kept that same mindset and drive throughout the course of the year.

As president of the club, I have looked to Brenna to fulfill many different aspects of the club and she does each of them whole heartedly. She is extremely versatile, and is always willing to step in wherever she is needed. At the beginning of the year, she willingly volunteered to become the Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) representative. That job quickly escalated to taking over the blood services portion of
the club, where she works directly with the American Red Cross to organize blood drives on campus and in the community. As if that wasn’t enough, Brenna has fallen into the role of becoming the spokesperson for the club members. I always look to her in terms of helping me with figuring out what the club members are looking to do next, and how they feel about various volunteer ideas and Red Cross courses. I can say with full confidence that Brenna is the main reason we have had such great club member
retention. On top of all of that, Brenna has established a new relationship with a campus fraternity (Delta Sigma Phi) that has allowed us to recruit more than 15 new volunteers for the club. With Brenna’s help, our club is now becoming largely known on this campus. Our club advisors and I look to Brenna to maintain that relationship to allow our club to grow year after year.

Brenna’s dedication to the American Red Cross goes so much further than her number of volunteer hours. The amount of time she dedicates to the club would probably be over 100 hours!

Let me remind you that Brenna is only a freshman! That kind of drive and passion for our organization’s success and the drive that she has to satisfy our club member’s needs and wants is something that definitely should be recognized. Brenna openly has stepped into a brand new, relatively unknown role with her headfirst and her heart followed right behind. She has definitely helped pave the way for this organization and I am confident that with her at the reigns we will continue to grow as the years come!

IMG_0895 group picIn Brenna’s own words:

“As a freshman, we all look for a good place to fit in on campus. I attended the first American Red Cross club meeting and knew that I could help them become the club they wanted to be. I felt very welcomed and encouraged to get involved. I applied for a board position and was granted it. Since then, my position has evolved into the Blood Drive Chair for the club. I work closely with the American Red Cross when they host drives here on campus. Because of the opportunities placed before me by the club I have discovered my potential as a leader and active member in my own club as well as others as we reach out to other organizations. We have recently started working with the Fraternity Delta Sigma Phi. We are hoping next year, they will be able to help us spread our club even further.

As an emerging club we have faced struggles such as no funding our first year, no storage space first semester and having a small amount of active members. However, we have proven our strength as a team. We have volunteered at multiple activities at Lambeau Field, Kings Veteran Home and on campus.

These activities include Holiday Mail for Heroes, Project Play 60, bingo and bowling with veterans and more. We reach such a variety of people and hope to continue on through the years. Joining this club was the best decision I made my first semester here. I enjoy every meeting and event and feel I have been able to expand my own interests and viewpoints on many subjects.”

 

‘Lean on Me’

By Barbara Behling, Communications Officer, American Red Cross  

Major General Dunbar shares his appreciation with Red Cross volunteers. We provided beverage, tissues and even diapers to attendees.

Major General Dunbar shares his appreciation with Red Cross volunteers. We provided beverage, tissues and even diapers to attendees.

April 2, 2014 –  It was an honor to represent the American Red Cross at the Troop Send-off ceremony for the Wisconsin Army National Guard – 121st Field Artillery Alpha Battery Unit .  For 79 brave men it was their next step before hitting the ground at Fort Bliss and then shipping off to Afghanistan.

The air inside the 128th Air National Guard Refueling Wing was still. The faces of grandparents were stoic as their grandsons “go off to war” as one gentlemen shared with me. “I’m now back to changing diapers to help the family.”  Many times the wives of soldiers rocked one baby on their chest while holding their spouse tight while another child hung onto their legs.

The ceremony was poignant with a military band playing and the dignitaries standing in front of the largest American flag I have ever witnessed.  Major General Dunbar spoke from the heart, “It’s a bittersweet day to send soldiers into combat zones for a year. What happens at home continues. Take the pride in your eyes, the confidence in each other and lean on each other”

The American Red Cross is proud to support our active duty members and their families around the clock – around the globe. Each member of this unit has received special  briefings on what to do and who to call in case of emergencies. The American Red Cross will answer the call.

Any military member and their family can “lean on us”  by contacting their local Red Cross office or by calling 877-272-7337 for support.

Join us for the 100 Days of Summer!

redcross_100daysSummer is the season we’ve all been waiting for. It’s 100 days of high dives, ball games and barbecues. It’s 100 ways to dress a burger, catch some shade, or get out of town. It’s 100 chances to clear the calendar, and choose your day to give. As your summer calendar fills up, consider making time to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross!

The Red Cross is clearing its calendar for what’’s most important – saving lives! We invite you to join us as we count down the 100 chances to give hope this summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Click here to read amazing stories, participate in promotional giveaways and stay inspired all summer long! And be sure to stay connected on social media with #ChooseYourDay.

Please click here to schedule your appointment to donate and save up to 3 lives.

Unable to donate? Click here to volunteer.

 

“Will My Children Remember Me?”

In honor of Memorial Day, we want to share with you a touching story and video about how a simple doll can help children cope with deployment of their mom or dad.

Story By:  Mar Tobiason, Meghan Spreer & Barbara Behling

American Red Cross volunteer Mar Tobiason presents Hug-A-Hero dolls to the Blankenship family.  Lillie (3 ½) and Hallie (2) along with their mother Katherine Blankenship were delighted with tears of joy.

American Red Cross volunteer Mar Tobiason presents Hug-A-Hero dolls to the Blankenship family. Lillie (3 ½) and Hallie (2) along with their mother Katherine Blankenship were delighted with tears of joy. Photos credit: Virginia Hart, American Red Cross Volunteer.

“Will my children remember me?”

That’s just one of the concerns military fathers have as they leave their young children for extended periods of time. Thanks to a partnership with the American Red Cross, children of the deployed 5th Marines Divisions, have a resounding “yes” to this question.

After two California wildfire evacuations for Camp Pendleton in California, the flames were extinguished and the families returned home to a very special gift from the Red Cross.  Bobby Ellison-Peck, Services to Armed Forces program manager, coordinates the Hug-A-Hero program with the support of military Family Readiness Coordinators. A full-length photograph is taken of each Mom or Dad and reproduced on a custom-made doll. The foot-high stuffed dolls also have words of encouragement such as “I Love You!” Tears of joy ran down the cheeks of moms after their child received the dolls. Many of the kids squealed with delight, “Daddy! Daddy!”

“It’s not just for the kids, it’s also for ‘me’” stated Melissa Rooks, who is also the Family Resilience Coordinator. “To be honest, I give him a squeeze and kiss too.” Melissa’s son Zachary received a Hug-A-Hero Doll five-years ago.  He still keeps it close to him day and night. “Through facial recognition, he remains physically and emotionally attached. It’s so much more powerful than a doll,” concludes Melissa.

The program is spearheaded by the Red Cross with funding from a Walmart grant. This is one program to help families and military members before, during and after deployments. To learn more about our support of military members and Veterans, please visit www.redcross.org/SAF

 

New Advanced Child Care Training for Older Sitters and Nannies

advanced child careThe American Red Cross is now offering Advanced Child Care Training, a course for people 16-years and older who are or plan to become nannies, sought-after babysitters or who are caring for kids for the first time in a residential setting.

“Parents often have a tough time finding good child care, and the Red Cross makes it easier to spot the best sitters,” said Sara Weier, Health & Safety Program Manager. “The new Red Cross Advanced Child Care Training course helps people become the best sitter they can by teaching exactly what to do in emergencies and typical child care situations.”

Parents value a well-trained sitter, as more than 80 percent of parents say they would pay more for a sitter who is trained in CPR, first aid and child care skills, according to a 2012 Red Cross survey. The course is also a good option for grandparents and other relatives who might want a child care refresher before watching young children.

Currently, the Advanced Child Care Training class is scheduled for:

  • Thursday, May 29th American Red Cross office, 1302. E. Wisconsin Avenue, Appleton; 9am-4pm

To sign-up please click here.

This Red Cross course enables people to learn while having fun by blending tried-and-true information with digital learning techniques. Participants will learn the most common child care routines and behavior along with safety inside and outside of the house. The course also includes Pediatric First Aid, CPR and AED training and certification.

Other features of the training include:

  • 24/7 access to the self-paced, online training portion
  • Hands-on skills training and assessment
  • A resource center with downloadable skill sheets on child care subjects, lesson summaries, fact sheets, templates for résumés and business cards, administrative forms and age‐appropriate activity ideas.

People who would like to sign up for the program should visit redcross.org/childcare for more information. The course is eight and a half hours and costs $129. It combines two hours of self-paced online learning and six and a half hours of in-person training and skills testing. Upon completion, course takes will receive a two-year certification in both Advanced Child Care Training and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED.

Advanced Child Care Training is not a licensing program and does not meet all state requirements for childcare centers or daycare providers.

When You Lose Not Only Your Home, but Your Safe Haven

Barbara Behling, Communications Officer, left on Friday when she got the call that her help was needed in the Red Cross response efforts for the wildfires in California. She is flying back today, and here is one of the many stories she has written during her deployment. We thank Barbara for giving of her time and talent and for sharing the stories of how the Red Cross is helping those in need.

 May 18, 2014 – By Barbara Behling, Advanced Public Affairs Team, Harmony Grove, California Wildfire

Harmony Grove.spider

Harmony Grove home owner Chris Meredith (left) and Barbara Behling, American Red Cross by Koi pond. Photo by: Virginia Hart, American Red Cross

It was not his home but his Koi pond that grabbed national attention.

The devastating San Diego wildfires of 2014 destroyed 25 of the 29 homes of the Harmony Grove Spiritual Association community. Yet, thirty-six of Chris Meredith’s forty Koi survived the burning embers. While watching news the day of the fire, Chris saw his home of 27-years go up in flames. Knowing the importance of this spiritual community, the fire department connected a generator to pump fresh air and clean water into the murky pond to increase chances of the Koi’s survival. The Koi Club of San Diego agreed to relocate the colorful fish until they can be returned to a rebuilt Harmony Grove.

When the first responders gave an ‘all clear’ for residents to return, the American Red Cross was there too. As Harmony Grove residents began searching through ashes, the pain of what was lost was apparent on their faces. Red Cross mental health workers were on the scene to talk with people, provide comfort and support them as a range of emotions swept over them.

Red Cross caseworkers were on hand to assist with short and longer-term recovery plans. Through a partnership with Campesinos Unidos, short-term lodging and emergency funding was provided for residents who lost their homes and all their belongings. The Red Cross also provided water, food, snacks, comfort kits and other supplies to residents returning to where their homes once stood.

With continued oversight by the Red Cross, each resident will have support for days, weeks and even months to come as Harmony Grove rebuilds its community.  “This is more than a home – it’s our safe haven,” Chris said.

Harmony Grove home owner Chris Meredith (right) and Barbara Behling, American Red Cross.  Photo by: Virginia Hart, American Red Cross

Harmony Grove home owner Chris Meredith (right) and Barbara Behling, American Red Cross. Photo by: Virginia Hart, American Red Cross

Many of the residents were philosophical about the losses, emotionally supported by the spirituality of the community.  “With a wooden house and deck and surrounded by trees, it’s not a good combination. We are simply passing through this land and we take the experiences with us,” Chris concluded.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 62,000 residential fires a year and has trained disaster responders available to respond to disasters large and small.

The American Red Cross provides all their services as a gift to the American people from the American people.  If you would like to help us with a financial gift and learn about fire prevention, readiness and tips for disaster recovery please visit www.redcross.org.