Red Cross Honors Volunteers at Annual Celebration of Support

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter celebrates its life-saving mission by recognizing volunteers and donors alike.

November 16, 2011 – Last night, American Red Cross volunteers and community partners were honored with service awards at the annual Celebration of Support. The American Red Cross is driven by volunteers to provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The Celebration of Support is one way to thank and honor volunteers for their contributions down the street, across the country and around the world.

Bemis Corporation received our Community Partnership Award and special certificate signed by American Red Cross CEO, Gail McGovern, for their support of the American Red Cross' aid to the victims of the Joplin, MO tornado.

Setting the stage for the evening was a first hand account of the killer tornado which hit Joplin, Missouri earlier this year. Although 900 tornadoes touched down in April, this one storm was responsible for hundreds of lost lives – yet the response and on-going recovery is a message of strength. Sharing a Fox Valley perspective was Bill Austen, from the Bemis Company Foundation which has a manufacturing plant in Joplin. While the plant was undamaged, several of their employees escaped the winds with just clothes on their back.  Their story demonstrated the need for local preparedness and the strength and appreciation of trained Red Cross staff and volunteers who rapidly arrived to support emergency needs.

Volunteers make up 97 percent of the workforce for the American Red Cross. Three volunteers, Joyce Keyes and Linda Michels (Fond du Lac) and Gloria Wachholtz (Oshkosh) received 5-year pins while MarJean Buck, Neal Buck (Fond du Lac) and Greg Gibbons (Oshkosh) received 10-years of service pins. 

The following awards were presented at the event:

  • The Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for Community Programs is granted to a volunteer who has proven exceptional performance and enthusiasm toward the community programs at the Red Cross. This year’s recipient was Dixie Laehn, who volunteers each Monday for the Bridges program.

    Congratulations to Dixie Laehn for receiving the 2011 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for her work with our Community Service programs.

  • The Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for Blood Services is presented to the individual who has shown exemplary effort and dedication with regard to volunteering in the blood services program. This year’s recipient was Edna Mae Cragin who has chaired two Montello blood drives per year since 2006 and has helped save up-to 3,615 lives.
  • The Exceptional Volunteer Service for Health & Safety Services is presented to the individaul who has show exemplary efforts and dedication to teaching and promoting our life saving training within the community. This year’s recipient was Bob Mayer, honored for his flexibility and his ‘can-do’ attitude that is so appreciated. 

    Congratulations to Bob Mayer for receiving the 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for his work with our Preparedness, Health & Safety Program.

  • The Exceptional Services Award for Services to the Armed Forces is given to the individual who plays an important role in the local to global support of veterans, military members and their families. This year’s recipient was Linda Bishop from Appleton who provides 24/7/365 emergency communication support for service members and their families while in crisis.

Congratulations to Linda Bishop for receiving the 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for her work with our Services to the Armed Forces program and for helping with general office support at our Appleton location.

  • The Special Employee Recognition Award was given to Nick Cluppert,who has spearheaded our Services to Armed Forces and disaster preparedness and response programs. He was recognized for his management skills, excelling in disaster training and his disaster deployments around the country.

    Congratulations to Nick Cluppert for receiving the 2011 Special Employee Recognition Award.

  • The Exceptional Services Award for International Services is granted to a volunteer who portrays exceptional effort in promoting Red Cross services worldwide. This year’s recipient was is the Nakashima family, who rose to the occasion to support the people ofJapan after the Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear incident devastated the country many family members call home.
  • The Community Partnership Award is awarded to any company, agency or organization that actively collaborates with the American Red Cross to improve the welfare of the community in which they are part. This year’s recipients were J.J. Keller, Menasha Corporation, Bemis Corporation, Community First Credit Union and State Farm.

    Congratulations to Community First Credit Union for receiving our Community Partnership Award for outstanding support of our special events.Congratulations to State Farm for receiving our Community Partnership Award and many thanks for sponsoring our Celebration of Support event!

  • The Leadership in Giving Award is presented to a person who exemplifies philanthropy throughout his or her life. This year’s recipient was Jim Thomas, (Fond du Lac) who has volunteered with the Red Cross for more than six years, served as Chapter chairman and led a five-year strategic plan.

    Congratulations to James Thomas for receiving the 2011 Volunteer Leadership in Giving Award.

  • Two Exceptional Services Award for Disaster Services were presented to individuals who illustrate extensive personal commitment to helping those in need of emergency assistance. This year’s recipient include Andrew (Andy) Stanislawski, (Waupaca) who has been a dedicated local and national disaster volunteer including multiple deployments this year alone. He also supports the Waupaca office, works at blood drives and is always ready to lend a hand. The second award was presented to Neal and MarJean Buck. They both serve as Fond du Lac area Disaster Action Team captains and their dedication was not deterred when their own home flooded yet they spent five days working full time helping neighbors in need before they tended to their own basement.
    Andy Stanislawski received the 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Award for his work with our Disaster Services program. Congratulations!
Congratulations to MarJean and Neal Buck for receiving the 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for their work with the Disaster Services program.

The Clara Barton Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Red Cross, is presented to a volunteer whose performance in a number of leadership positions and personal expertise has enabled the Red Cross to contribute valuable services to the community. This year’s recipient was Vicki Jenks, from Wild Rose, WI who has spearheaded local Heroes efforts, rallies community engagement and serves on the Board of Directors.

Congratulations to Vicki Jenks for receiving the highest honor of the evening, the Clara Barton Honor Award. This award is given to an indvidual who mimics the true humanitarian spirit of American Red Cross founder, Clara Barton.

 The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NEWRedCross.org. Find us on facebook.com/newredcross, twitter.com/newredcross, the local blog is newredcrossblog.org and Chapter photos are at flickr.com/photos/newredcross.

American Red Cross Deploys Local Volunteer to Joplin, MO

Joyce Petit, pictured here with John Schorse, has volunteered for the Red Cross for 27 years.

Berlin, WI, May 31, 2011 — American Red Cross volunteer Joyce Petit, of Berlin, will be leaving today at 4:00pm for Jopin, MO to help the people impacted by the devastating tornadoes to hit that area just over one week ago.

Joyce is assigned to go out to assist in client casework. As a client casework volunteer she will be working with individuals impacted by the disaster to determine their immediate emergency needs and provide assistances.

“Client Casework is an important activity for Red Cross,” said Nick Cluppert, Emergency Services Manager, EastCentral WI Chapter. “We provide people with assistance and walk them through the steps as they begin their road to recovery. Joyce Petit is a great volunteer and will no doubt bring lots of experience to this activity on her deployment.”

Joyce has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross for 27 years and this is her 12th National Disaster Assignment. She has also assisted for the Terrorist attacks of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and Wilma and the 2008 Wisconsin Floods.

Joyce works part-time for Classic Cab, LTD in Berlin,WI.

Since the end of March, the Red Cross has launched 35 large disaster responses across 24 states reeling from the devastation left behind after this spring’s flooding and tornadoes. 

The Red Cross is helping people today and will still be providing assistance in the weeks to come.

Since March 31, American Red Cross has:

  • Served more than 2.3 million meals and snacks.
  • Opened more than 240 shelters and provided 22,000 overnight stays
  • Provided more than 53,000 mental health and health consultations
  • Handed out more than 1.2 million relief items like toothbrushes and shampoo, tarps, coolers, rakes and other clean-up supplies.
  • Deployed more than 10,000 trained disaster relief workers from all 50 states

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help people affected by disasters like these tornadoes and wildfires. You can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box 37243,Washington,DC20013.

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.

American Red Cross Responds to Deadly Midwest Tornadoes

 Editorial note: Call (202) 303-5551 to speak with an American Red Cross spokesperson.

An emergency vehicle drives through a severely damaged neighborhood in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 89 people. (Charlie Riedel/AP Photo)

Just hours after a series of devastating tornadoes swept through the Midwest last night, the American Red Cross opened shelters in Missouri and Minnesota to help those whose homes were damaged or destroyed.   

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with those who lost loved ones or have suffered through these deadly storms,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Services. “The Red Cross already has people on the ground to help in these communities, and we have more on the way today.”

The American Red Cross opened a shelter in hard-hit Joplin,Missouri, shortly after the tornado struck on Sunday. That shelter, located at Missouri Southern State University, had approximately 110 people on Sunday night and can hold up to 1,000 people. The Red Cross is working with local officials inJoplinto arrange transportation to help get people to shelters and if necessary, identify additional shelter locations.

The Red Cross also opened a shelter in Minneapolis, where 200 people spent the night following the tornadoes there.

Currently, hundreds of relief supplies are being moved from Red Cross warehouses toJoplinand other affected areas. These supplies include comfort kits, tarps, coolers, rakes and other cleanup supplies. The Red Cross is also sending in additional staff, concentrating particularly on trained health and mental health workers.

Red Cross emergency response vehicles are already responding inMissouri, helping to transport supplies to the shelter. More vehicles are headed to the area today. In addition, a Red Cross emergency communications vehicle is being sent in due to damage sustained on area infrastructure.

The Red Cross encourages people to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know they are safe by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). From a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell and click on the “List Yourself as Safe and Well” or “Search for Friends and Family” link.

People in the affected areas can list themselves as “safe and well” on the Safe and Well site. Friends and family outside the disaster area can then search for messages from their loved ones by using a pre-disaster phone number or complete address. Safe and Well also enables disaster survivors to update their Facebook and Twitter status through the website.

As the Red Cross responds in the Midwest, it continues its relief operations across the South in response to April’s tornadoes and the continued flooding along theMississippi River. This spring, more than half of the country has been affected by damaging weather, disrupting people’s lives fromNorth Dakotato the East Coast. Since March 31, Red Cross disaster workers have provided thousands of overnight stays in shelters, distributed thousands of cleanup and comfort kits and served more than 1.8 million meals and snacks.

The Red Cross is able to respond quickly when emergencies happen with the help of corporations who are members of the organization’s Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). ADGP members pledge donations on an ongoing basis to allow the Red Cross to pre-position supplies and be ready to take immediate action when disasters occur.

Members of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program are 3M, Altria, Aon, Cisco Foundation, ConAgra Foods, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Darden Restaurants, Inc., Dr Pepper Snapple Group, FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kraft Foods, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Merck, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Northrop Grumman, Ryder Charitable Foundation, Southwest Airlines, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc., UnitedHealthcare, UPS and Walmart.

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help in times of disaster. Those who want to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and wildfires, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS; people can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box 37243,Washington,DC20013.

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