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.

My Experience with Youth Volunteering

By: PaKou Lee, Red Cross PR/Social Media Volunteer

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

Youth volunteering reinforces a feeling of involvement, belonging and acceptance in their community. Youth volunteers also have a tendency to do better in school and have a lesser chance by 50% of engaging in risky and unhealthy behaviors  by volunteering once a week. They gain new life skills, important work ethics, and meet different types of people.

Volunteering is important for me because I enjoy the feeling of giving back to the community. I get to meet great people with amazing backgrounds and learn so much from them. I also come from a huge Hmong family and as an aunt to more than 28 nieces and nephews I do my best to be a great role model for them. I have accomplished the typical expectations: go to school, get good grades, graduate college, and not be married by the age of 18. Although I don’t get to see many of my nieces and nephews, I still want to show them that there are better things in life than just video games and having good grades.

So when the Packer 5K was coming up on July 27th, I knew it’d be the perfect opportunity to bring two of my nieces, Nevaeh, 10 and Cienna, 6 along. The night before the race I explained to them that we were going to pass out water and Gatorade to the runners. The next morning, Cienna was ready by 9a.m. and eager to leave.  I was impressed with her enthusiasm but we didn’t have to leave the house until 5p.m.

When we were setting up the Gatorade station with other Red Cross volunteers, Cienna asked me, “Auntie PaKou, what does volunteer mean?” I was surprised by her question because I thought I had explained to her what we were doing. Then I realized I only told her what we were doing, not the meaning of the word and why we were doing it. I answered her, “Volunteering is about helping people for free and not asking for something back like what we are doing right now. We are going to pass out the Gatorade to the runners.” It was great to see Nevaeh and Cienna excited for the runners. We worked great as a team.

At the end, Nevaeh and I had a friendly “argument” about who passed out more Gatorade. To this day, she still thinks she passed out more than me. The only things that mattered to me were they both had fun, they gave back to the community, and wanted to come back next year to volunteer again.

American Red Cross has many volunteer opportunities for youth from starting a Red Cross club at school to activity guides to spread the Red Cross mission. Click here for more information.

Thanks to the Red Cross for the opportunity. Cienna (L) and Nevaeh (R) look forward to more volunteering!

Shopko Foundation Receives the Corporate Benefactor Award!

The American Red Cross mission is to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever we are needed. Our network of nearly 600 chapters further our mandate in neighborhoods across the country by helping people prepare for, prevent and respond to emergencies. Chapter workers are on the ground 24/7, right here in Northeast Wisconsin, thanks to the generosity of corporate partners.

Corporate partnerships ensure a local Red Cross presence ready to offer a wide range of disaster services including response to house fires and other local emergencies, providing food, shelter and comfort to those in need.

In Northeast Wisconsin, our dedicated disaster volunteers respond to nearly 200 disasters annually. And nationally, we respond to nearly 70,000 disasters annually, including home fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and ice storms. In the past eight months alone, over 50 Northeast WI workers were deployed to support large scale operations including Superstorm Sandy and the recent Oklahoma tornadoes. In an average year, the American Red Cross will spend approximately $400 million in disaster relief across the country.

As you can imagine, major financial resources are needed to address these needs. That’s why we are so grateful for the help of loyal friends like the Shopko Foundation. In the past 13 years, the foundation has provided over $180,000 to disaster relief bringing comfort and relief to thousands, during what is in many cases a family’s most challenging time.

In a recent statement, Shopko Interim CEO, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer stated,

“Shopko views each community where we serve our customers as our ‘hometown’. We appreciate the opportunity to serve these communities and strive to strengthen them through the Shopko Foundation’s support of charitable groups and activities that are important to the people who live and work there.  We are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and educational opportunities for our neighbors in all the communities where we serve and strive to make an impact through the Shopko Foundation.”

Shopko

Program Manager, MIchelle Hansen & Public Relations Tara Zeller from Shopko Foundation with the Corporate Benefactor Award!

We would like to congratulate this year’s Corporate Benefactor Award to the Shopko Foundation.

Leon Wollersheim is Honored with the Behind-the-Scenes Award!

Leon Wollersheim

Sherry Rezba and Leon Wollersheim

Leon Wollersheim has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for eight years. He is one of those people you can always depend on. For several years he regularly came in once a week to help with data entry. Having him help in the office was such a pleasure because we could always count on hearing a funny joke when he arrived.  He came in with a smile on his face and a positive “sure, I can do that for you” attitude. In addition to helping in the office he has continuously been a disaster action team member taking 24/7 calls throughout the years, responding to calls in Calumet and neighboring counties when called upon. He recently joined the Calumet/Manitowoc/Sheboygan Community Council becoming even more involved in the mission of the Red Cross. As a council member, he supports the Red Cross’s community outreach through various local and regional events and projects. He is a dedicated volunteer with a great sense of humor, a kind personality and he is a pleasure to be around.

Congratulations, Leon Wollersheim on your Behind-the-Scenes Award!