1st National Bank “HERO” for local American Red Cross

By Vicki Jenks, American Red Cross Board Member and Volunteer

On Monday, April 29th, the local American Red Cross received a most generous $1,000 gift from 1st National Bank, presented by President, Tom Jensen.

Vicki Jenks, Joyce Petit, Thomas L. Jensen and Betsy

Pictured left to right along with Tom are:  Vicki P. Jenks, American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin Board Member, Joyce Petit, long-time Red Cross Disaster Action Team member, and Betsy Wandtke, Red Cross Major Gifts Officer.

Known well as a supportive community organization, 1st National Bank originally became involved with HEROES last year holding a Casual For a Cause Day with all donations assisting the local American Red Cross work in Green Lake and Waushara counties.  The expansion to official HERO ($1,000 donation) allows the Red Cross to further its work both in local disaster relief and also Service to the Armed Forces (SAF).

 “The community of Berlin is marvelously supportive in countless ways. As a relative newcomer to east central Wisconsin, every day holds a heartwarming story of the gigantic hearts of its altruistic, thoughtful citizens,” said Vicki P. Jenks, HEROES volunteer coordinator, Wild Rose.

Every 9 minutes in the US, an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team (D.A.T.) responds to some sort of disaster—the most common being RESIDENTIAL FIRES.  The local D.A.T. team springs immediately into action offering such things as temporary shelter, food, clothing, and bedding and linens.  Additionally, the Red Cross can replace prescription medications and vision wear lost in the fire.  Perhaps most importantly, however, is the INVALUABLE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT the team members provide.  Long after the initial disaster, the Red Cross continues its follow through.

Although Service to the Armed Forces (S.A.F.) has been an integral program to the Red Cross since 1905, it is new to HEROES this year.  The American Red Cross is the only entity in the world mandated by Congress to validate and relay emergency messages to military service member across the globe.  On average, 400 emergency messages are relayed daily.  Perhaps a service member is able to arrive home in time for a funeral of a family member due to the assistance of the Red Cross.   Additionally, Red Cross volunteers work in our two regional VA hospitals in Iron Mountain and Milwaukee.  Closer to home, volunteers assist distributing Holiday Mail for HEROES at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King.



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Westfield School District Hosts “Hats on for HEROES” for Local American Red Cross

By Vicki Jenks, American Red Cross Disaster Volunteer and Board Member

Westfield Schools Brakebush Bros. HEROES 002

(Pictured left to right) Jon Brakebush, Lexi Brakebush, Judy Brakebush, Vicki Jenks, & John Eyerly, Superintendent Westfield School District

On Friday, March 15th, the Westfield School District assisted their local American Red Cross by hosting “Hats on for HEROES”.  A simple fundraiser in which a student pays $1 for the privilege of wearing a hat for the day, “Hats on for HEROES”—a first-time event, was extremely successful. 

All the funds will be utilized locally in Marquette County for Local Disaster Relief and Service to the Armed Forces. 

The most common disasters are RESIDENTIAL FIRES.  Every 9 minutes in the United States, a Red Cross Disaster Worker responds to a fire.  Due to the generosity of the American people, the Red Cross is able to provide temporary shelter, food, clothing, shoes, bedding, linens, and personal hygiene items.  They can also facilitate the replacement of prescription medications and eyewear.  But perhaps the most important gift Disaster Workers provide is INVALUABLE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT. 

Service to Armed Forces is a new addition to the HEROES fundraiser this year.  Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the Red Cross relays urgent messages containing accurate, factual, complete and verified descriptions of the emergency to service members stationed anywhere in the world, including on ships at sea and at embassies and remote locations.

The Red Cross provides emergency financial assistance, volunteers in area VA Hospitals, and sees that military members arrive home for funerals and births.  This “personal touch”, again, is due to the incredible generosity of citizens like the Westfield students, staff and administration. 

Brakebush Brothers, well known as a philanthropic corporate citizen, stepped up to also become a HERO and facilitated the new Red Cross relationship with the Westfield School District. 

“Down the street, across the country, around the world—the Red Cross is there”, because of students like those who attend the Westfield Schools and generous corporations like Brakebush Brothers.

Waupaca High School “S.A.D.D.” Chapter Hosts “Hats on for HEROES” for Local American Red Cross

Waupaca HS S.A.D.D. Hats for HEROES 002

Pictured Left to Right: Elizabeth Olson, Vicki Jenks (Red Cross Board Member), Nichole Thorne, Christina Rasmussen, Dale Feldt (S.A.D.D. Advisor)

By Vicki Jenks – Red Cross Board Member and Disaster Volunteer –

On Friday, March 8th, Waupaca High School’s S.A.D.D. chapter (Dale Feldt, Advisor), helped their local American Red Cross by hosting “Hats on for HEROES”.  A simple fundraiser where students pay a $1 for the privilege of wearing a hat for the day, “Hats on For Heroes”, was also hosted at Chain O’ Lakes Elementary.

All the funds from various HEROES functions throughout not only Waupaca County, but also Waushara, Green Lake and Marquette counties, will be utilized for Local Disaster Relief and Service to the Armed Forces.

The most common disasters are RESIDENTIAL FIRES.  Every 9 minutes in the United States, a Red Cross Disaster Action Team responds to a fire.  Volunteers—due to the generosity of the American public—are able to provide temporary shelter, food, clothing, shoes, bedding, linens, and personal hygiene items.  They can even facilitate the replacement of prescription medications and eyewear.  Most important is the INVALUABLE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT rendered on site and for months to come.

New with HEROES 2013, is the donor choice of SERVICE TO THE ARMED FORCES.  Whether relaying emergency messages to service members—24/7—, volunteering at VA Hospitals, providing emergency financial assistance, seeing that a military member arrives home for a funeral or birth, the AMERICAN RED CROSS provides that “personal touch”.

“Down the street, across the country, around the world—the Red Cross is theresm”, because of students like the members of Waupaca High School’s S.A.D.D. chapter.  Congratulations, students!!  Thank you for helping your local American Red Cross.

HEROES - Jenks

During Red Cross Month, Honor the Everyday Heroes Who Help Our Communities

During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross recognizes the nation’s Everyday Heroes who give of themselves and in some way help their community.

 “Please remember those who help all of us either down the street or across the country by giving their time to help their neighbor,” said Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive. “We want to thank our heroes during Red Cross Month – our volunteers, blood donors, class takers and financial supporters who help us assist those in need.”

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, Veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

 In just one fiscal year, our local Chapter responded to 171 local emergencies with trained Red Cross responders who are able to respond to disaster not just down the street but across the country. We assisted more than a 1,000 military members, their families and Veterans with pre and post-deployment briefings and emergency communications. We also brighten the holiday season for local Veterans and active duty personnel with our Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Through our Preparedness, Health & Safety services we trained thousands of people in both classroom and online courses in life-saving skills to disaster education. Throughout our area, people also rolled-up their sleeves to donate the gift of life. Throughout the state, we provide a safe and reliable blood supply for more than 40 hospitals and clinics.

“Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross and there are many different ways to do it. You can develop a preparedness plan for your household, become a Red Cross volunteer, give blood, or take a Red Cross class, just to name a few,” concluded Hansen.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested into humanitarian services.

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter has a number of activities planned for Red Cross Month, including:

  • Governor’s State of Wisconsin Proclamation to be announced.
  • All Disaster Classes are free and open to the public:
    • International Humanitarian Law course explores global relationships via the Geneva Conventions, rules of war, etc. (Saturday, March 9, 9:00a.m. – 1:00p.m.) Green Bay

Disaster Overview course provides new and perspective volunteers an overview of Disaster Services and previews involvement opportunities.

      • Waupaca, WI Tuesday, March 12 (6:00p.m. – 9:30p.m.)
      • Iron Mountain, MI – date/time to be announced
  • Fundamentals of Disaster Mental Health & Psychological First Aid, Saturday, April 5, In partnership with the University of Wisconsin –Oshkosh Department of Professional Counseling.
  • Boys & Girls Club (Fond du Lac) Family Preparedness seminar, 6:00p.m.
  • Participant at 46th Annual Governors Conference on Emergency Management and Homeland Security (March 7& 8)
  • Tornado App roll-out: Starting March 4th, a free downloadable App will provide preparedness tips, define/provide watches & warning tips and more
  • Flags over Fond du Lac: on the Johnson Street Bridge
  • Blood Drives are hosted at various locations and at the Blood Collection Center at 2131 Deckner Avenue, Green Bay which is open five days a week. To find your nearest local blood drive visit www.redcrossblood.org.
  • Introducing Babysitting Basics a new web-based course with video and interactive activities geared toward children 11 – 15 years of age. This is a compliment to the traditional classroom training course.
  • Life-saving Courses like CPR/AED, first aid, babysitting, etc are being held in multiple cities and locations. To find ALL classes & to register go to www.redcross.org/TakeAClass
  • Nursing Assistant Training: There is no greater calling than to provide care and compassion to those in need. Registration is now open for classes in Green Bay, Oshkosh and Waupaca. For more information visit www.redcross.org/newisconsin, call 800-727-0477 or send an email to Paulene.Kipke@redcross.org.

Our Services to Armed Forces support Yellow Ribbon Events for our enlisted military members and their families with “Get to Know Us Before You Need Us” presentations to reintegration services and/or information booths.

  • March 2, MI National Guard 1432nd Engineering Company, Kingsford, Michigan
  • March 9, WI National Guard 372nd Engineering Company, Milwaukee
  • March 10, WI National Guard 1157th Engineering Company, Appleton
  • March 21  WI State Warrior Summit Exhibitor, Milwaukee
  • March 24 WI National Guard 121st Field Artillery & 97th Agri-Development Team, Elkhart Lake, WI
  • Heroes Musicales are a collection of musicians giving of their talent with concerts in Wild Rose, WI (Saturday, April 20) All three concerts were sold-out last year so order tickets early.
  • When filing Wisconsin State Taxes, this is the second year you can use the donation ‘check-off’ to give directly to American Red Cross disaster relief
  • Dine for Disaster participants are being recruited! Eateries, of all types, are being recruited so we can all eat/drink and socialize at their locations on May 16th with a percentage of sales raised donated to local disaster relief.

Northeast WI Chapter

The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties, including two in Michigan, with a mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter at 920-231-3590 or visit redcross.org/newisconsin or via social media.

“Songs of the Season” Red Cross Benefit Rousing Success!

IvoryWind at the Steakhouse 024On Saturday, December 8th, Ivory Wind with Strings held an immensely successful candlelight Christmas concert, “Songs of the Season”, at the First Presbyterian Church in Weyauwega.

This third annual event raised over $2,000 for local disaster action team and fire prevention programs, as part of the HEROES for the American Red Cross program.

New to HEROES this year is the integration of “Service to the Armed Forces” (SAF)  which ensures that service members, veterans and their families have worldwide, around-the-clock access to timely and reliable humanitarian services.  The beauty of HEROES is its local impact—in this particular instance—Waupaca County.

Ivory Wind with Strings is a trio of amazingly talented musicians.  Joyce Josie, piano, is the music director at First Presbyterian Church of Weyauwega.  Ann Stevens, flute, has played with the Waupaca Community Orchestra for the past 27 years and works at Aurora Community Services assisting individuals with disabilities.  Laurie Young, violin, joined the group in 2009 and has played violin since age 7.  She is Occupational Therapist and Rehab Director at St. Joseph’s Residence in New London.

Vicki P. Jenks, Board member for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin and Disaster Action Team volunteer, shared with the large audience that, “Joyce, Ann and Laurie are HEROES for the American Red Cross, but so are YOU.  You are the backbone of your communities.  You step up, time and time again, and DONATE.  The Red Cross could not exist without you!”

Heroes Gift

Thank you to First National Bank  for your $2,000 HEROES gift to support local Disaster Relief and Service to the Armed Forces. We are so thankful for your continued support of the American Red Cross.

First National Bank Waupaca HEROES 001

In Picture: (l-r) Vicki Jenks,  American Red Cross Board Member and Disaster Volunteer, Kristine Smith, First National Bank, and Betsy Wandtke, American Red Cross Major Gifts Officer.