Gas prices affect GB ride program

WFRV News:  Click HERE to see video of story. Story Created: Mar 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM CST

http://www.wfrv.com/v/?i=117211693

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Gas prices are taking a toll on local businesses and non-profits, reporter Heather Sawaski investigates how a local Red Cross program is coping with the rising costs.

More than 5 years after heart surgery, 80-year-old Dorothy Hovde is taking advantage of the Red Cross Transportation Program to get to to her exercise class at St. Mary’s Hospital.

“It’s convenient for me, I don’t drive and my children and grandchildren that do drive are at work at this time of the day,” Hovde said.

For $2 a trip, the elderly and people with disabilities in the Green Bay area can get rides to and from medical appointments and work, but the climbing gas prices are proving to be more than just a bump in the road.

“Typically we spend about $8,000 a month on gasoline, so we’ve seen a 25 percent increase, we’re now in the $10,000 range,” said Steve Maricque, Red Cross Executive Director, Lakeland Chapter.

The program is funded by state grants and local donors, and gives rides to more than 5,500 people a month. Rising costs have already forced the Red Cross to put a similar program in Door County on hold. There have also been staffing and scheduling cuts to save money.

“We’re able to, so far, manage with the increase in gas prices,” said Maricque. “But if they continue to rise, we’d have to look at other measures in terms of what we would need to do.”

The organization is looking into increasing fares as a last resort, because most of the riders are on fixed incomes, but doesn’t want to leave people like Dorothy Hovde stranded.

The last time the Red Cross had to raise prices was five years ago. Prices went up 50 cents.

Heather Sawaski reports.

Dancing with the Stars Fundraiser Exceeds the $100,000 Goal in Year Three Thanks to an Amazing Team of Dancers

Everything this year was bigger and better for the 3rd Annual Dancing with the Stars for the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter with DanceSport of Green Bay. This year’s event was held on Saturday, February 26 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, Green Bay.

Together with the amazing efforts of our ten celebrity dancers and our sponsors we raised over $112,000 to support Red Cross programs and services in our community. ”We set our sights on a goal of $100,000 and, blasted it to $112,268,” said Mauree Childress, Director of Development and organizer of the event. “I am personally humbled by all of talents, compassion and efforts our team of dancers and the community has done to support this event.”   

“The event was incredibly successful and we are so grateful for the wonderful support from our community,” said Steve Maricque, Executive Director, Lakeland Chapter. “We needed help and the community responded. The support came at a time when we have experienced a significant increase in local fires resulting in our already exceeding our annual budget for direct assistance.” Maricque goes on to say, “We will continue to need help as additional local disasters happen throughout our community.”

Thank you to our sponsors Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, State Farm, Broadway Automotive and Evans Race & Van Dreel CPAs. We also thank our media partners of WBAY-TV2 and WIXX for their promotional support.

Our dancers definitely put their best foot forward to entertain and dazzle a sold-out crowd of 720 guests and volunteers. Our evening began with dinner and followed by our all star dance program were each celebrity performed two dances. The night concluded with honor dances from George Graphos and Janet Gollnick, and Mindy Bennett and Ben Wolf, followed by the awards and open dance for all our guests.

Kurt Vandenhouten, Co-Owner, Van's Lumber & Custom Builders, with the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy Raised High. (photo courtesy artessence llc)

Taking away the top honors for the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy was Kurt Vandenhouten, Co-owner, Van’s Lumber and Custom Builders.

The People’s Choice award, sponsored by LeMieux Toyota, went to Stacy Richards and Jay Morth for their Viennese Waltz to “Time of my Life” – smooth category. People’s Choice for the rhythm was awarded to Aymee Balison and Michael Witte for their Cha Cha to “DJ Got us Fallin’ in Love.”

New category this year was the Judge’s Choice awarded to Dean Lindsley and Alyssa Zellner for their passionate tango to “Asi Se Baila El Tang” (from Take the Lead) and in a tie for Rhythm honors was Ronda Kincheloe and Rane Cegelski for their jive to “Sea Cruise” and Jackie Larsen and Michael Witte for their Paso Doble to “Malaguene”

Special thank you to Bill Jartz and Cami Rapson, WBAY-TV 2 Anchors, our masters of ceremonies and our judges for their colorful commentary, Ivan Seleznez, Rebecca Messenger and Tammie Domek.

Thank you to all our star dancers for their time, commitment, energy and passion: John Allen, State Farm Insurance Agent and Owner; Aymee Balison, owner of Sweetpeas’s; Kathryn Bracho, Action 2 New This Morning Anchor; Ronda Kincheloe, Community Supporter; Jackie Larsen, Owner of Fitnessology; Dean Lindsley, Vice President Operations & Product Development Pallas Textiles – Division of KI; Murphy in the Morning, Morning Show Host at 101 WIXX; Stacy Richards, President/COO, burnham richards advertising; Brad Toll, President & CEO of Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau; Kurt Vandenhouten, Co-Owner, Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders; and Janet Gollnick, owner of DanceSport of Green Bay and artistic director of the event, Rane Cegelski, Chris Flores, Naomi Metz, Jay Morth, Taylor Watry and Michael Witte from DanceSport of Green Bay.

Thank you to our committee, volunteers and most of all the community for supporting your local American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter.

Click HERE to view additional video and pictures of the event.

Thank you Students from All Saints School in Denmark

Students from All Saints School in Denmark, WI are helping the Red Cross bring comfort to families. Eighty students (K-8th grade) made eight tie blankets and presented them to Red Cross representative, Jody Weyers, at an all school assembly. The blankets will be giving out to families who are impacted by disasters in our community area.

Bagging Groceries for Tips Fundraiser a Huge Success

Jenny Short, Corporate Community Relations Leader for Wisconsin Public Service and Lakeland Chapter Board Member, helping bag groceries for tips to support the Red Cross at Angeli’s in Marinette.

By Andy Duchow, Red Cross Volunteer

On Saturday, February 5th,  Angeli’s in Marinette hosted the “Bagging Groceries for Tips” fundraising event to benefit the local Red Cross. Volunteers from all over the Lakeland Chapter came out to support, as well as employees from the local Nicolet National Bank branches.  We bagged groceries for the customers of Angeli’s from 8am-5pm in return for tips. It was a long day, and by the end everyone had a healthy respect for the grocery bagging profession.

A big thank you goes out to the thirty-one volunteers who turned out for the event, and also to Angeli’s for opening their store to our fundraising efforts.  The event raised over $1,300 which will be used to purchase some much needed pagers for the area disaster response team.  The disaster team of the Marinette/Menominee area use a pager system to mobilize volunteers when a disaster occurs, so they can be ready anytime, anywhere.

If you would like to get involved with the Marinette/Menominee Disaster Team please contact Jody Weyers, Volunteer Director at 920-227-4287 or weyersj@arclakeland.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Tom & Cathy Harrison – Sharing the Love of it All

By Dawn Miller, Red Cross Volunteer

You can tell by looking at Tom and Cathy Harrison that they are not only best friends, but soul mates and they have that same kind of devotion to the volunteer work that they do at the Red Cross.

“My wife got me started in community service and working with the Red Cross,” Tom explained. “We have been doing things together and volunteering is a natural fit for us. She is fun to work and play with.”  

Tom and Cathy volunteer in many ways at the Red Cross. They both drive for the Lakeland Chapter Transportation Services once a week. During Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma, they became trained in disaster work and went down to Florida to help on their first national assignment. They are also on call locally week every five to six weeks from 6pm to 6am Monday to Friday and 24/7 on the weekend. They help out with special events and provide volunteers for three to four blood drives a year.

“The Red Cross gives us ways to give back for the beautiful life we have been given.  When you see a crisis on TV and say, ‘wish I could help’, the Red Cross gives us the training and opportunity to really help people,” Cathy said and added. “We are just ordinary people but through the Red Cross we can help make things better for people in our community.  Helping by collecting blood, by serving cookies to donors, driving people to doctor appointment, or giving a fire victim a hug and a warm quilt can really make a difference in people’s lives.”

She went on to point out that giving back is important, “We make time for the Red Cross because we have had a great life and have been very blessed.”

Before retiring, Tom spent 24 years is the Army and was honorably discharged as First Sergeant while Cathy worked at Georgia Pacific. The two have two children, including Paul who lives with his wife, Kris, and their three children in Suamico, WI and Scott who lives in Chicago, IL.

While growing up, both Cathy and Tom learned the importance of giving back to the community. While at Georgia Pacific, Cathy made sure to do just that since she helped organize blood drives at the company for over 30 years.  

“My mom was a blood drive volunteer coordinator so I knew how to organize a drive at work, I asked management if we could try it and they agreed but only if the volunteers took vacation time to work at the blood drive,” Cathy said. “Georgia Pacific provided great cookies and nice refreshments for the drives plus a great area to have the drive. We drew about 100 units at each drive.”.

Since they are both retired they also have time to have fun outside of volunteering. They love to dance including country and ballroom. Cathy even went skydiving on her 47th birthday and they also belong to a Corvette Club.

“We love to travel, any where, any time.  We can be packed for an adventure in no time at all,” Cathy said.  “This past summer we joined eight other Corvettes on a 4000-mile cruise out to Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.  It was a great 14 days and we were still talking to each other when we got home, remember a corvette is a very small car.”

It is clear that this couple truly loves one another, as seen by everything that they do together, especially all the volunteer work that they do.

“We have been married 45 years. We have stayed best friends because we started out as friends first and then realized we loved each other,” Cathy said. “He is the most supportive and carrying person I know.  He makes being married to him easy and fun and I would do it again tomorrow.”

Red Cross Helps Three Displaced by Fire in Downtown Green Bay

The American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter responded to house fire on Cherry St. in Green Bay around 7:30am, on February 2. Two American Red Cross disaster workers assisted the three adults displaced by the fire with their immediate emergency needs.

We provided the clients with hotel stay, monetary assistance for clothing and food.

We also provided all clients with comfort kits (which include soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, comb, facial tissue, deodorant, razors, shaving cream and lotion) and homemade quilts.

Red Cross disaster assistance is free and is made possible by community donations. You can help individuals of this disaster and others by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter for local disaster relief. For information call the Lakeland Chapter at 920-468-8535 or visit www.arclakeland.org.

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 www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Northeast Wisconsin to Celebrate Service

BY ADI REDZIC

The Richard Mauthe Center for Faith, Spirituality, and Social Justice has been selected by Youth Service America as one of 75 agencies in the entire country to lead Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) 2011 in Northeast Wisconsin, April 15-17, 2011.

“This is a special honor and a unique opportunity to live out our core value of social justice, which places service to others at heart of its principles,” said Hung Nguyen, executive director of the Mauthe Center.

Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world and the only such event dedicated to children and youth. Each year, the event mobilizes more than one million young people, ages 5-25, on all six continents and over 100 countries, in the effort to celebrate service, service learning and the impact youth makes in communities throughout the year.

The 75 Lead Agencies are awarded a $2,000 mini-grant to help offset costs associated with the event and are expected to partner with various community organizations in involving hundreds of young people in serving others during that weekend.

 The Mauthe Center hopes to engage one thousand young people in doing service during that weekend in our community and has already secured key partnerships with the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County, the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter, Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes, the Notre Dame de la Baie Academy, St. Norbert College, various UWGB partners, the Volunteer Centers of East Central Wisconsin, Brown County and Door County, and others.

This year’s effort in Northeast Wisconsin will place a special focus on the young people serving the elderly, however, organizations are encouraged to submit all types of service proposals.

“All 75 lead agencies participating in Global Youth Service Day have the common goal of providing youth with opportunities to serve their communities and solve the pressing problems of our time,” said Steve Culbertson, Youth Service America president and CEO. “I am delighted that the Mauthe Center and their partners in Northeast Wisconsin are creatively inspiring young people to build intergenerational relationships with senior citizens through service.”

Although the official kick off date for the effort was January 17 – the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – the solicitation for service sites began this week and it was marked with a service project planned by the Mauthe Center’s Doin’ Good for Others initiative in collaboration with the Danz Elementary afterschool program and the Boys and Girls Club. It engaged children in making handcrafted Valentine’s Day cards for the Meals on Wheels program, sponsored by the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County.

Between MLK Day on the one end and the Global Youth Service Day on the other, the Mauthe Center’s Doin’ Good for Others will continue to engage dozens of UWGB students and others in doing service around the community. 

For more information or to join in the effort, please contact Adi Redzic, chair of the GYSD 2011 Steering Committee at aredzic@mcenter.org or (920) 465-5133. Or visit www.mcenter.org

Founded as the Ecumenical Center over 40 years ago, The Richard Mauthe Center for Faith, Spirituality, and Social Justice is a nonprofit organization, independent from the University of Wisconsin System, but located at heart of its Green Bay campus in service to its students, faculty, and staff and members of the Northeast Wisconsin community in their pursuit of spiritual development, faith exploration, and social justice.