4th Annual Disaster Training Conference

Last week, the Wisconsin Region conducted our 4th  annual Disaster Training Conference. Though the conference was held on the shores of Green Lake, attendees paid little attention to beautiful autumn scenery outside. The 183  attendees, Red Cross volunteers and staff from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, enjoyed four days of learning, sharing and networking.

The broad range of classes provided opportunities for brand new volunteers and seasoned veterans. The newest volunteer had been with the Red Cross for only two days and several in attendance had more than 20-years of service. Classes were offered to provide instruction on delivering the Red Cross mission, supervision & leadership along with diversity & inclusion. Workshops built upon classroom instruction and provided hands-on opportunities to set-up a shelter, conduct damage assessment and manage a disaster relief operation.

On Wednesday night, Red Cross volunteers partnered with the Berlin Fire Department to make homes in Berlin safer. They visited homes and provided smoke alarms testing, free smoke alarm installation, home evacuation planning and fire safety tips. 25 homes were visited and 69 smoke alarms were installed.  Community outreach like this is happening around the state and more than 10,000 smoke alarms will installed this year alone!

By all reports, the Disaster Training Conference was a wonderful success! It was wonderful to see so many Red Crossers come together to learn and celebrate together. Plans for next year’s conference are already underway. We hope to see you there!

 

Volunteer of the Month Anne-Marie McDonald

roc_blog_img_McDonald Anne-Marie

Congratulations to Anne-Marie McDonald, the April 2016 Red Cross Volunteer of the Month.

Anne-Marie joined the Red Cross in 2005 explaining, “After seeing how much my husband enjoyed volunteering with the Red Cross I followed his lead,” and eleven years later she continues to support the Red Cross by giving of her time and talent.  She ensures Blood Donors receive a warm smile, answers to their questions and have a fantastic overall experience. Disaster clients get her full attention during local disasters, national disaster response and through preparedness outreach.  And if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, recently Anne-Marie took on the role of Community Volunteer Leader (CVL).

As a Donor Ambassador, Anne-Marie works with donors at Blood Donor Centers and Blood Drives. She makes every person feel special–whether they are regular donors, first time donors, staff or volunteers.   Panghoua Maua notes, “Anne-Marie is always going above and beyond. She also assists as a volunteer trainer for new Donor Ambassador Volunteers to ensure they get the information and tools they need to be successful. This has been instrumental in the satisfaction and retention of Blood Services volunteers.”

As a Disaster Response volunteer Anne-Marie is always willing to step-up and takes on responsibility to help when-ever and where-ever needed. Last July she helped opened a shelter, during some torrential rain, in the Hudson area for residents of a flooded mobile-home park. Even though Anne-Marie spent much of the day on site at that shelter, when a request for assistance from a flooded out family in the neighboring city of River Falls came through, she volunteered to help go and meet that family’s needs. Luong Huynh said, “The thing that I am most proud of when it comes to Anne-Marie has been her commitment to the Red Cross mission. In tough situations, she responds with grace and strength of character.”

Anne-Marie said her most memorable volunteer moment took place when responding to a residential fire earlier this year. While offering support to the family, she learned that she had also assisted the client’s mother after her residence burned in early 2015. “The client remembered us! This family was so grateful for our help and resources provided by the Red Cross. It was so rewarding, we were very happy to be able to help both family members begin to get back on their feet.”

Throughout local communities Anne-Marie’s impact as a CVL has been felt. She encourages others to join the Red Cross stating, “Part of the Red Cross mission is to ‘prevent and alleviate human suffering’.  There are so many ways to contribute to this mission through Disaster Services, Blood Services, Service to Armed Forces, and Preparedness Services.  Select an area which interests you and dedicate as little or as much time as you have available to help.  Volunteering with the Red Cross is a very rewarding experience.”  Kyle Kriegl,says, “As a CVL Anne-Marie is just a great person to work with.  She is always willing to help and make a difference in her community!”

Thank you, Anne-Marie, for promoting the importance of the American Red Cross mission throughout your community! To learn more, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer

Pakou Lee Honored with Rookie of the Year Award

June 24, 2014 the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin hosted our spring Celebration of Support event.  We had 260 staff, volunteers, blood donors and community members attend this annual event. Every year we honor a few volunteers who have gone above and behind. Here are their stories.  

(l) Pakou Lee, Rookie of the Year with Jody Weyers, Volunteer & Communications Director.

(l) Pakou Lee, Rookie of the Year with Jody Weyers, Volunteer & Communications Director.

The American Red Cross has so many stories to share of the amazing generosity of our volunteers, donors and the great work we do in the community.  It is a gift when you come across a volunteer who has the talent and skills to capture these stories to share with the public.

Pakou Lee is vital to the public affairs team. She is involved with writing stories about our services and her experiences and then sharing those on our blog and other social sites. She updates our Northeast Wisconsin Facebook page and Twitter account daily promoting local blood drives and campaigns.

She volunteers at many of our special events assisting with promoting that event through social media or helping where needed. For the past two years she has assisted at the Packers 5k, along with bringing her nieces to help, our Dancing with Our Stars kick off and many fundraising events for our Star Dancers.  

Pakou has taken training classes in public affairs to gain additional knowledge and did her first live television interview as a Red Cross spokesperson this year.  Through her volunteer experience, she received a promotion with her employer working on their social media team.

She has a wonderful talent of being able to draw people in with her words.  It is for her dedication and commitment to sharing the Red Cross story that honored Pakou Lee with the Rookie of the Year Award.

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!

On this day in 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

happy birthday Did you know that Clara Barton founded the Red Cross on May 21, 1881? That means the Red Cross is a strapping 133 years young. When Clara was only 10, her brother David fell off the roof of the family barn. At first, he seemed fine, but the next day he developed a headache and fever. The doctor diagnosed “too much blood” and prescribed the application of leeches to help draw out the extra blood. Clara took over as her brother’s nurse and spent two years at his bedside applying leeches (though David did not get any better until he tried an innovative “steam therapy” several years later). As a girl, Clara was shy and had a stutter, and her worried mother asked a phrenologist (phrenologists, who were fairly common in the 1800s, examined the bumps on a person’s skull as a way to determine their personality traits) to help her. The phrenologist said that she was shy and retiring and that the solution to her problem was to become a schoolteacher. Barton did not want to teach but she began teaching in 1839 at the age of 18. She overcame her shyness, became a sought-after teacher, and believed in the value of her work. She once said, “I may sometimes be wiling to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.” Several men proposed to Barton, but she remained single her whole life, at one point telling her nephew that on the whole she felt that she had been more useful to the world by being free from matrimonial ties. In 1854, she gave up teaching and took a job in the United States Patent Office in Washington, D.C. She worked hard, got promoted, and within a year was making a salary equal to the men in the office (which angered the men). She left Washington for three years when the administration changed, but she returned in the early 1860s and resumed her job in the Patent Office. By 1861, war was breaking out, and when supporters of the Confederacy attacked Union soldiers in Washington, D.C., Clara helped nurse wounded soldiers in the same way she had nursed her brother when they were young. clara bartonDuring one of the first major engagements of the war, the Battle of Bull Run, the Union suffered a staggering defeat and as Clara read reports of the battle she realized that the Union Army had not seriously considered or provided for wounded soldiers. She began to ride along in ambulances, providing supplies and comfort to wounded soldiers on the frontlines. After the war, she traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, where she learned about the International Red Cross and its mission to be a neutral organization that helped wounded soldiers. When Barton returned to the United States, she pressed for the creation of a national branch of the Red Cross. But many people thought there would never again be a war as monumental and devastating as the Civil War and didn’t see the need for the Red Cross. Barton finally convinced the Arthur administration that the Red Cross could be used in other crises. The American Red Cross was officially incorporated on this day, with Barton as its president.

Clara Barton said, “I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.” And she said, “The door that nobody else will go in at, seems always to swing open widely for me.” She also said, “Everybody’s business is nobody’s business, and nobody’s business is my business.”

Soup’s On Cooks Up a Record Evening

Soup 3The results are in from the Red Cross’ annual Soup’s On fundraiser which took place on Friday, November 1st at the Grand Meridian in Appleton. A new concept for the event named the “High School Challenge” helped the chapter raise a record $50,000 for local programming.

It was the 20th year for Soup’s On but the first year in which 10 area high schools were invited to work with a restaurant/chef as a team. Each team aimed to win the Platinum Ladle Trophy for the best-tasting soup of the night.

The high school students were also encouraged to campaign for votes prior to event night where one vote equaled a one dollar donation to the Red Cross. The school with the most “votes” would receive a  $1,000 grant to purchase new cooking equipment for their culinary classroom.

“The High School Challenge was just what Soup’s On needed to bring it back to life,” said Becky Bergin, Director of Special Events for the American Red Cross in Northeast Wisconsin. “The students added so much fun and excitement to the evening. And wow, can they all cook! Every soup was great and we received a lot of good feedback from our event guests.”

The teams and the soups that were created for the event were as follows:

  • Appleton East High School and Café Bon Appétit of Lawrence University made Pozole
  • Appleton North High School and Mark’s East Side made Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup
  • Appleton West High School and Grand Meridian made Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Fox Valley Lutheran and Pullman’s made Roasted Red Pepper Soup
  • Green Bay Preble and Big Tomatoes made Preble’s Chorizo Chili
  • Hortonville High School and Ione’s Dining Room of Fox Valley Technical College made Buffalo Chicken Chili
  • Kaukauna High School and The Kangaroost made Baked Potato Soup
  • Little Chute High School and The Main Event Steakhouse made LC Chinese Chowder
  • Neenah High School and Cannova’s Pizzeria made Pumpkin Soup with Rocket Relish
  • Xavier High School and Atlas Coffee Mill and Café made Curry Apple Soup

Soups 4

Throughout the evening, each guest was able to vote for their favorite soup. The Kaukauna High School/The Kangaroost team took home the Platinum Ladle Trophy for their Baked Potato Soup.

Appleton West was crowned the winner and recipient of the $1,000 cash award for raising $1,661.01

Appleton West was crowned the winner and recipient of the $1,000 cash award for raising $1,661.01

As for the new fundraising component, Appleton West was crowned the winner and recipient of the $1,000 cash award for raising $1,661.01 for the American Red Cross. Appleton North came in at a very close second, winning the runner-up prize of a Kitchen Aid professional mixer. All told, student fundraising from the 10 high schools brought in over $8,800.

“It was a very exciting evening for the kids,” said Lauren Ott, family consumer sciences teacher at Appleton West High School. “They loved working with the chef and got first-hand experience cooking in a real commercial kitchen. They got to use different equipment that we don’t get to use in the classroom.”

“Events like Soup’s On are absolutely vital in raising funding to support our programs and services,” Bergin added. “They are also a great way to introduce those unfamiliar with what we do, to our mission of providing emergency relief and teaching emergency preparedness. We can’t thank our sponsors, the schools, the restaurants and our volunteers enough for making our 20th Anniversary of Soup’s On SOUP-ERB!!!”

Give the gift of life this Thanksgiving with blood donation

Red Cross to thank donors with pies at select Thanksgiving blood drives

As Thanksgiving approaches, many people reflect on their blessings and look for ways to give back to the community or someone less fortunate. Giving an hour of your time and donating blood could offer a hospital patient the most valuable gift of all – the gift of life. The American Red Cross is encouraging all eligible donors to donate blood. It’s the gift that doesn’t cost a thing and can offer another holiday season to someone in need.

Thanksgiving2The Red Cross will thank presenting donors Nov. 25-29 with a complimentary pie at select blood drives in Iowa and Wisconsin. As an added incentive during the week of Thanksgiving, all presenting donors will receive a red, commemorative Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

“While the need for blood is ongoing, the supply isn’t – especially around the holidays,” said Greg Novinska, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region. “Long holiday weekends pose an extra challenge, when many donors are traveling to be with family and friends. Without the generosity of volunteer blood donors, we would not be able to ensure a stable blood supply for patients in need.”

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Northeast Wisconsin:

  • Nov. 25-27 from 1-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay.
  • Nov. 27 from 12:30-5 p.m. at Saint Francis Xaviers Parish at 220 S. Michigan St. in De Pere.
  • Nov. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 991 Pilgrim Way in Green Bay.

Thanksgiving-Pie

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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 consent 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.