Red Cross Responders Stepping Up After Manitowoc Fire

We can’t say THANK YOU enough to our dedicated volunteers!

Stories and photos by: Andrea Wandrey, American Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer

“Look at that smile, isn’t that priceless”, says Taira Grubb, as she is watching one of her shelter residents unfold his new pair of pants. He is one of more than 80 elderly residents that lost everything in a Manitowoc apartment fire—from clothes to medication and furniture, photos and memories. American Red Cross responders from all over Wisconsin raised their hands quickly to help open up and run a shelter at the Wilson Junior High School, to provide basic needs like food, clothing and a place to sleep.

(l-r) Taira Grubb Bobbi Holiday and Jane Lazarevic

Taira Grubb has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for more than ten years. She is one of five disaster action team members in Washington County and traveled with fellow volunteers Bobbi Holiday and Jane Lazarevic to Manitowoc to help. Her favorite part of shelter-work is learning about the clients. “I really enjoy talking to them”, she says. Just like Taira, Jane appreciates the personal interactions: “I like making them laugh and helping them think positively”. Jane is a long-time Red Cross volunteer, and recalls that initially she was not sure how her professional background in technology could be helpful to the Red Cross. However, she quickly found out that there is always a way:

“Whatever you can do, you can give something”, says Jane.

In previous deployments she worked in many different positions, from setting up computers, to logistics, staffing and general shelter work. Likewise, her fellow Washington-County volunteer Bobbi has held different positions at the Red Cross. She was previously an office manager and is in disaster-work now, experienced in assisting clients in traumatic situations like the Manitowoc fire.

Terry Wesenberg, a licensed clinical social worker and licensed counselor and Red Cross Volunteer.

A variety of skills were needed at the Manitowoc shelter and highly-trained workers are indispensable. Terry Wesenberg joined the shelter as a licensed clinical social worker and licensed counselor. He is one of the Red Cross’s most experienced mental health professionals. For many years he was in the army, offering his help to soldiers. After his retirement from the Armed Forces he worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for six years in disaster work. Being a Red Cross Volunteer for more than 30-years, he has helped more people than he could count. “I headed out to help after six Hurricanes”, he recalls. He travelled to the Gulf Coast to assist after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005, and was in New York for Hurricanes Irene and Sandy in 2011 and 2012. When asked about his most memorable experience in all these years, he recalls his conversation with a 90-year-old woman after Superstorm Sandy. “When storm hit, she carried six white banker-boxes from her basement into her living room, to protect them from the flood”, he recalled. The boxes contained pictures, stories, and poems from her deceased granddaughter. With the water forcing its way into the house, the boxes got wet and all memories destroyed. Yet the woman refused to throw them out. “This is all I have left” Terry recalls her saying.

His extensive experience helps Terry support the Manitowoc fire victims, who also lost all of their belongings in the fire. Although his work can be tough, Terry very much enjoys volunteering, specifically because of the fellow volunteers he meets. “If you go out you will meet the best people. You want to know them all”, he says.


Dine For Disaster “Heroes” Announced

Restaurants & Patrons Pair Taste-buds and Disaster Relief Together

This event – Dine for Disaster – invites patrons to simply eat-out at participating restaurants on Thursday, May 17, 2012. More than 180 participating restaurants will donate a portion of the day’s sales and collect customer’s financial donations to benefit local disaster relief and community disaster prevention efforts of the American Red Cross.

 While the Red Cross responds to big disasters such as floods, hurricane, tornadoes each year, but the most frequent threat people face is a fire in their own home! Last year, Chapters responded to nearly 63,000 fires. That’s one every eight minutes!  In each case, we meet with the victims and assess their needs – often while still standing on the street while their home burns or smolders in smoke. Based on their needs, we provide a warm place to sleep, food to eat, infant supplies, we can replace medications, glasses, etc and we provide compassion, a recovery plan and hope to all disaster victims.

Nathan and Marcia Haupt of  Schreiner’s Restaurant  in Fond du Lac and Pat Beimborn of Los Banditos  in Green Bay are spearheading Dine for Disaster with their fellow restaurateurs.

The Haupts’ and Beimborns’ recognize the American Red Cross is always there in an emergency, and they are honored to support them on the local level. “Through Dine for Disaster, local restaurants are in a position to support the local Red Cross Chapter, while providing our guests with an opportunity to socialize, enjoy their favorite meal, and know they’re helping others in the process,” Nathan Haupt said. “It’s a win-win situation, with the community as a whole benefiting. We’re proud to be part a community where businesses that are thought to be competitors are always willing to work together for the greater good.”

Beimborn agrees and is participating because it is a chance to support the work that the Red Cross does in the community. “We at Los Banditos feel it is a great way to say ‘Thank You’ to the community for their support by helping give back to an organization like the Red Cross that helps our neighbors’ right here in Green Bay and throughout Northeast Wisconsin when disaster strikes.”

For the second year, Society Insurance is the corporate sponsor for Dine for Disaster.

 Participating Restaurants on May 17, 2012

Listed by County 

Graystone Ale House De Pere
Gyro Kabobs De Pere
The Abbey De Pere
1951 Green Bay
Allouez Café Green Bay
Bay Family Restaurant Green Bay
Big Tomatoes Green Bay
Kavarna / Parisi’s Green Bay
Legends Green Bay
Los Banditos East Green Bay
Los Banditos West Green Bay
Mackinaws Grill & Spirits Green Bay
River’sBendSteak & Seafood Green Bay
St. Brendan’sInn Green Bay
The Bar Of Green Bay Green Bay
The Bar OnHolmgren Way Green Bay
Timsan’s Green Bay
Titletown Brewing Co Green Bay
Zesty’s Frozen Custard Green Bay
Zesty’s Frozen Custard Green Bay
Zesty’s Frozen Custard Howard – Suamico
Cobblestone Creek Dining & Banquet Brillion
Triple J Wing & Clay Woodfire Grill Brillion
Terra Verde Coffee Chilton
Outpost Pub & Provisions Sherwood
The Cliffs of Sherwood LLC Sherwood
The Granary Supper Club Sherwood
Bailey’s Harbor Cornerstone Pub BaileysHarbor
White Gull Inn Fish Creek
Chamfered Center  (Maxsells) Florence
Joe Jo’s Pizza & Gelato SisterBay
EdenCafé & Eden’s Grill Eden
A&W All-American Food Fond du Lac
BackYard Grill & Bar Fond du Lac
Bagelmeister Fond du Lac
Boda’s Restaurant Fond du Lac
Cibo Steaks & Spirits Fond du Lac
Domino’s Pizza Fond du Lac
Duffy’s Sports Pub & Steak Fond du Lac
Faros Family Restaurant Fond du Lac
Fazoli’s Fond du Lac
Friar Tucks Fond du Lac
Gilles Frozen Custard Fond du Lac
Gino’s Italian Restaurant Fond du Lac
Main Exchange Fond du Lac
Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders Fond du Lac
Nick & Willy’s Pizza Fond du Lac
Parrot Palms Fond du Lac
Philly’s-on-4th Fond du Lac
Pockets Fond du Lac
Rocky Rococo Pizza & Pasta Fond du Lac
Salty’s Seafood & Spirits Fond du Lac
Schreiner’s Restaurant Fond du Lac
Season’s Restaurant Fond du Lac
Sebastian’s Steak House Fond du Lac
Sunset Supper Club & Lounge Fond du Lac
The Coliseum Fond du Lac
VillaPalermoCafé Fond du Lac
Goose Blind Grill & Bar GreenLake
Blanck’s Supper Club Malone
Jim & Linda’s Lakeview Supper Club Malone
Lantern’s Markesan
Reilly’s Pub Markesan
Dave & Brenda’s Idlewile Inn Saint Cloud
Wendt’s On TheLake Van Dyne
Helen’s Kitchen Waupun
Tony’s Pizza Waupun
Al Corso Restaurant Collins
Cedars Resort Kiel
Billy’s onMain Luxemburg
A&W Restaurant Manitowoc
Big Apple Bagel Manitowoc
Four Seasons Family Restaurant Manitowoc
Friar Tucks Manitowoc
Luigi’s Italian Restaurant Manitowoc
Schooners Restaurant Manitowoc
Subway (3 Locations) Manitowoc
The Courthouse Pub Manitowoc
Time Out Sports Bar & Grill Manitowoc
Tony’s Pizza Manitowoc
Subway Mishicot
Luigi’s Italian Restaurant Two Rivers
Subway Two Rivers
Cousins Subs Crivitz
Figaros Crivitz
King Buffet Marinette
Lauerman House Inn Marinette
Victorian Inn Marinette
Peshtigo Corral Peshtigo
B.J. Clancy’s Restaurant & Pub Appleton
Cinder’s Charcoal Grill Appleton
Cinder’s West Appleton
Culver’s of Darboy Appleton
GingeRootz Asian Grille Appleton
Mark’sEast Side Appleton
Rocky Rococo Pizza & Pasta Appleton
Schreiner’s Diner Appleton
Stone Cellar Brewpub Appleton
Super Bowl Appleton
Chute Inn Family Restaurant Suring
Mary’s Country Grove Cedar Grove
Braun’s Ranch ElkhartLake
Subway Howards Grove
Culver’s ofPlymouth Plymouth
Subway Plymouth
Sweet Basil Plymouth
Five Pillars RandomLake
Al & Al’s Stein Haus Sheboygan
Angie’sMainCafé & The Daily Grind Shawano
Majerles Black River Grill Shebogyan
Frankie’s Pub and Grill Sheboygan
HighlandHouse Sheboygan
Subway (2 Locations) Sheboygan
TexasRoadhouse Sheboygan
McDonald’s Caledonia
Wayne’s Drive-in Cedarburg
Emperor’s Kitchen Delafield
Pacific Bistro Delafield
The Barley Pop Pub & Restaurant Germantown
Flipside Café & Grill Grafton
Hank’s Restaurant & Drinkery (Hammerin’ Hanks) Hartford
Hartland Inn Hartland
TexasRoadhouse Kenosha
Gateway Café Kewaskum
Hog’s & Kisses Lake Geneva
Popeye’s OnLake Geneva Lake Geneva
Chancery Pub & Restaurant Mequon
Ferrante’s Mequon
Libby Montana Bar & Grill Mequon
Karma Bar & Grill Milwaukee
No No’s Newburg
Wildman Adventure Resort Niagara
Moe’s Southwest Grill Pewaukee
Piano Blu Pewaukee
Victor’sPier StreetShanty Port Washington
McDonald’s (5 Locations) Racine
Local Folks Slades Corner
Coachman House Supper Club West Bend
Daddy’s Dog House West Bend
The Poplar Inn LLC West Bend
Chain OLakesAdventures Waupaca
ClearWaterHarbor Waupaca
Domino’s Pizza Waupaca
Hahn-A-Lula Fremont
The Silvercryst Wautoma
Luigi’s Pizza Menasha
Menasha Grill Menasha
Mihm’s Charcoal Grill Menasha
Culver’s ofNeenah Neenah
Dairy Queen Neenah
Dairy Queen Neenah
Ground Round Restaurant Neenah
Remington’s (Holiday Inn) Neenah
Under the Dome Sports Bar & Grill Neenah
Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In Oshkosh
Benvenuto’s Italian Restaurant Oshkosh
Cranky Pat’s Pizzaeria & Pub Oshkosh
Domino’s Pizza Oshkosh
Domino’s Pizza Oshkosh
Friar Tuck’s Oshkosh
La Sure’s Oshkosh
Lara’s Tortilla Flats Oshkosh
Leon’s Frozen Custard Oshkosh
Mike’s Place Family Restaurant Oshkosh
Planet Perk Café Oshkosh
PlaneviewTravelPlaza Oshkosh
Primo Oshkosh
Robbins Restaurant Oshkosh
Rocky Rococo Pizza & Pasta Oshkosh
TheBrooklynGrill Oshkosh
The Roxy Oshkosh
Woodeye’s Bar & Grill Winneconne

About Local Chapters:

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20-counties throughout northeast Wisconsin and the Michigan boarder communities. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact your local office or the regional headquarters at 920-231-3590. We can also online at on Facebook (American Red Cross – Northeast Wisconsin Region), Twitter (NEWRedCross) and our blog (

The Southeast Wisconsin Chapter of the American Red Cross serves eight counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter at 414-342-8680 or visit on the web, and

 About the American National Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Touch of Humanity for Repatriates Arriving from Haiti

Since the earthquake in Haiti, American Red Cross support for Americans coming and going at Homestead Air Reserve Base in southern Florida just sort of snowballed.

The original intent of the American Red Cross of Greater Miami and the Keys

A Miami chapter volunteer comforts a baby who has just arrived on a flight from Haiti

was to support airmen taking supplies and crew to Haiti. Prior to the quake, the Red Cross had a long history of providing service to armed forces at Homestead, so it was natural for the Miami Red Cross chapter to load up a panel truck, park it on base and pass out beverages, snacks, conversation and smiles to military personnel engaged in the Haiti operation.

It wasn’t long until the chapter got a call from base officials to expand canteen services. Red Cross service locations multiplied. The number of responders the Red Cross was reaching grew to include search and rescue crews, military pilots and the spiraling number of base personnel ensuring that lifesaving supplies reach Haiti.U. S. Government Establishes a Point of Entry

Less than a week after the quake, the Department of Defense and U.S. Customs converted a gymnasium into a processing center for repatriated Haitians returning to the United States.

Repatriates arrive in unscheduled drips and drabs. Three people on one flight; sixty on the next. Several planes in a row and then six hours without arrivals. Some repatriates are brought in by private pilots. Most have secured empty seats on military cargo planes returning from Haiti.

This is the repatriation facility at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida

Once back in the United States, reentry is arduous. Repatriates deplane onto Air Force buses, which transport individuals to the processing center. At the center people line up for the hour-and-a-half wait to get through customs. When cleared for entry into the U.S., new arrivals are bused to the airport to catch planes to different parts of the country, or they wait for family members to pick them up at the front gates of Homestead Air Reserve Base.

Red Cross Volunteers Help Meet Basic Needs

In making plans for the processing center operations, the government called on two organizations for help: the Florida Department of Children and Families; and the American Red Cross.

The Greater Miami Red Cross chapter got another call from base officials to provide support to Haitian repatriates. Volunteers have staffed the makeshift customs office 24/7, with 12 volunteers to a shift. At the same time, the Red Cross continues support for aircrews.

Chapter volunteers have provided support to thousands who have arrived at Homestead under Operation Unified Response, the U. S. military’s Haitian relief effort. More than 1,500 people have arrived from Haiti in just the last two days.

People arrive from Haiti desperate, disoriented, thirsty and hungry. There are many infants, most without diapers, wipes, baby bottles, formula and baby food.

Red Cross volunteers bring a human touch to the repatriation process. A heartwarming smile. A cup of coffee or hot chocolate. A snack. A teddy bear for a child. A full baby bottle and a clean diaper. Something as simple as pointing out the location of restrooms.

The Red Cross is also providing volunteer translators to greet people in the most comforting way possible when they arrive.

“The response from the community has been amazing,” says Jesika Davis, Red Cross Service to Armed Forces regional director. “Volunteers on each shift wait, not knowing if or when a plane is coming in. But every volunteer feels it is worth the wait once absolutely exhausted repatriates do arrive and that volunteer is able to help them out.”

To underscore the compassion of the Dade County community, Davis tells about a gentleman who arrived with a five-month-old baby. His wife had been lost in the quake. Their home had been flattened. Nothing was left. The baby had filthy clothes, a filthy blanket. Davis made a telephone call for help. Within ten minutes the baby had six new outfits, two blankets, a huge package of diapers and a toy.

Long-standing Federal Agreement to Support Repatriated Citizens

The American Red Cross has a long-standing agreement with the federal government to support repatriation efforts when Americans need to be evacuated out of foreign countries because of conflict, natural disaster or other emergencies.

The last time the American Red Cross participated in repatriation efforts was in 2006 when fighting broke out in Lebanon. The Red Cross met the flights when they arrived at the airport and provided passengers with food, blankets, toiletries and mental health support.

The Red Cross is there to welcome repatriates home and be a shoulder to lean on. Many times repatriated citizens have seen traumatic things, been through very difficult experiences and may have left only with the clothes on their backs.

As is the situation at Homestead Air Reserve Base, the Red Cross does all of this in support of Federal partners, who lead the repatriation efforts.

You can help the victims of countless crises, like the recent earthquake in Haiti, around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation by mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at