April Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Kohler

Linda KCongratulations to Linda Kohler, of Larson, on being named one of the April 2015 American Red Cross Volunteers of the Month!

Linda joined the Red Cross in November of 2010. “I wanted to volunteer because I wanted to get out of the house, but continued to volunteer because of the staff at the Red Cross,” explained Linda.

Volunteering about 12 hours per week, Linda supports the front desk at both the Oshkosh and Waupaca offices. As her nominator, Nick Cluppert, wrote, “Linda is always willing to help however she can. She puts on a smile and welcomes everyone that comes to the office. Linda is always eager to take on special projects from staff to help out by making phone calls, researching information and putting together packets of information for upcoming activities. If it was not for our front desk volunteers, our small staff would have a difficult time getting these things done. Linda really helps the office function smoothly and offers different perspectives on how things might be able to get accomplished.”

Linda’s work impacts the value of Red Cross every day. Not only is Linda a valuable resource for staff, but an important welcoming face of the organization. Nick explained, “Linda has a great sense of humor that she brings to the office every time she comes in. If anyone is having a bad day you can bet that Linda will bring a smile to your face. Linda is also very good at working with the clients and guests that come into our offices.”

“My favorite part of volunteering is being able to help people that need it. The staff makes me feel like I am part of their team and I feel really at home. Every day I’m here is a memorable moment even with the little things that happen. I would definitely recommend volunteering with the Red Cross. It will enrich your life and make a big difference, just as it has mine!” – Linda Kohler

Thank you, Linda, for sharing your talents and time with the American Red Cross!To learn more about how you can get involved, visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer or contact Volunteer Services at volunteerwisconsin@redcross.org.

Kerrie Forester Volunteer Award goes to the Extraordinary Territory 3 Disaster Team

June 24, 2014 the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin hosted our spring Celebration of Support event.  We had 260 staff, volunteers, blood donors and community members attend this annual event. Every year we honor a few volunteers who have gone above and behind. Here are their stories.  

Congrats to our entire Territory Three Disaster Team award with the Kerrie Forester Emergency Services Award.

Congrats to our entire Territory Three Disaster Team award with the Kerrie Forester Emergency Services Award.

The Kerrie Forester Volunteer Award each year goes to a Disaster Services volunteer who has shared their time and talents above and beyond the high expectations of Disaster Response team members. This award is named after Kerrie Forester who symbolized all this and more, and left us way too soon.

This year we could not pick one single person, because an entire team stepped up when faced with multiple adverse conditions and challenges.

First, our weather – It may be warm and sunny now, but I am sure you remember multiple sub-zero days, wind and snow. No matter what the weather was like, the team was there because they knew help was needed.

Second, thirteen year Disaster Program Manager, Judy Gregory, left on Christmas break and due to a serious medical issue was unable to return to work until April 14th. 

The Red Cross story states we are an agency run by volunteers and this is a prime example of volunteers being leaders.

“It was amazing to see how the volunteers stepped up to the plate, coordinated amongst themselves, and filled in every gap to meet the challenge in Judy’s absence. Whether a large apartment fire, a single family response, or administrative tasks, they exemplified what it means to be a volunteerled organization.”  Said Travis Waack, Regional Manager, Direct Services

These wonderful volunteers went out of their way and pulled together to continue providing exceptional care to people directly affected by a Disaster.

Congratulations and thank you to our ENTIRE Territory 3 Disaster Team.

Get to know: Trina Capelli, Summer Intern

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By: Trina Capelli, American Red Cross Intern

My name is Trina Capelli and I am a summer intern for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin located at the offices in Manitowoc. I just completed my second year as a Biochemistry Major at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. I plan on graduating a semester early in December of 2015. After receiving my Bachelors of Science degree, I hope to go on to Medical School.

A little bit about me: I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin and attended Mary D. Bradford High School. I played Varsity Tennis, Basketball, and Softball in high school, and have continued to play tennis for Beloit College. I am a big fan of pretty much any Wisconsin sports team, especially the Packers. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, working out, and spending time with my family.

My connection to the American Red Cross began when I was about eight years old with the Babysitting and First Aid courses. Since then I have also completed the CPR and First Aid courses and have become a certified lifeguard as well. I am very excited to be interning with the American Red Cross this summer, and I look forward to having a positive impact on the Manitowoc community.

American Red Cross Honors Volunteers and Supporters at Celebration of Support Event

The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin Chapter celebrated its partners at the annual Celebration of Support Event on Tuesday, June 24 at the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay. Two hundred and sixty attended the event, comprised of Red Cross volunteers, community partners and The Grainger Foundation representatives; the event sponsor. The crowd was brought to their feet upon hearing the amazing acts of volunteerism and collaboration. WBAY-TV anchor, Kathryn Bracho served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.

The program kicked-off with incoming Board Vice-chair, Chris Vanderheyden of Double Digit Sales Growth, welcoming words and appreciation for all who give of their time, talent and treasure to help the Red Cross fulfill its mission. Following Vanderheyden was Greg Novinska, CEO, Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region with an update on our collection, testing and distribution of life-saving blood products.  The first awards were presented to One-a-Week Club businesses and clubs who committed to at least 52 donations of blood per year, or one per week during the previous year.

After dinner, the Volunteer Recognition Awards were presented to individuals and groups for their exceptional volunteer work.

Jean Frisch, of Wisconsin Public Service, Ed McHugh Worker of the Year award for front-line volunteers with exceptional reliability to the blood program.

(l-r)  Greg Novinska, CEO, Badger-Hawkeye Blood Service Regioin, Robert Hollenbeck, Hilary Lesperance Award Winner, and his daughter, Lori Hollenbeck

(l-r) Greg Novinska, CEO, Badger-Hawkeye Blood Service Region, Robert Hollenbeck, Hilary Lesperance Award Winner, and his daughter, Lori Hollenbeck

Associated Bank, Business, Group or Organization of the Year, given to a business or group of volunteers for years of commitment to the American Red Cross Blood Services program.

Robert Hollenback, of Sheboygan Falls, Hilary Lesperance Award for outstanding support in the Blood Services Program.

Territory Three Disaster Action Team,  Kerrie Forester Emergency Services Award for commitment and dedication to Disaster Services.

John Mueller, of DePere, Andrew Janssen Transportation Award, for outstanding work in transportation services for the American Red Cross and providing transportation for the elderly population and those with disabilities to help them sustain an independent lifestyle.

Rick Jerry, of Green Bay, Outreach Award, for outstanding service in Preparedness, Health and Safety, education and outreach.

Sharon Davister, of Green Bay& Bonnie Rozmarynowski, of Denmark, Behind-the-Scenes Award presented to a volunteer who assists with essential office work at one of our office locations in development, facilities, reception and other behind-the-scenes jobs.

Pakou Lee, of Green Bay, Rookie of the Year, presented to a volunteer for exceptional level of service and has started within the past year.

The Konop Company, of Green Bay, Community Partnership Award, awarded to a group, individual, or business for demonstrating extraordinary support, collaboration and fulfillment of the American Red Cross mission within its core lines of service

Schneider, Corporate Benefactor Award, for a business with outstanding commitment and dedication to the American Red Cross.

Aymee Balison, of De Pere, Mrs. Crane (Mary) Murphy Award, presented to a member of the Board of Directors for exceptional contribution and advancement of the American Red Cross.

John and Lynne Wilson, of Iron Mountain, MI, Volunteer of the Year Award, presented to the individual who has demonstrated long-term commitment to multiple programs of the American Red Cross.

(l-r) Shawn Kiser, Major Gifts Officer, Jody Weyers, Director of Volunteers, Jim Rivett, Clara Barton Award Winner, and Mary Gronnert, Foundation Manager, Schneider, Corporate Benefactor Award.

(l-r) Shawn Kiser, Major Gifts Officer, Jody Weyers, Director of Volunteers, Jim Rivett, Clara Barton Award Winner, and Mary Gronnert, Foundation Manager, Schneider, Corporate Benefactor Award.

James Rivett, of Green Bay, President of Arketype, Clara Barton Award, the highest award of the night, presented to an individual who exemplifies the qualities of American Red Cross pioneer Clara Barton.

Congratulations to all the award recipients and thank you to everyone for your time, blood and support of the American Red Cross.

Click HERE to see pictures of all the award recipients.

Board Member Spotlight – Mike Gallagher

By Erin Thayse, American Red Cross Volunteer

Today,  Mike Gallagher begins his term as the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin Chapter Board Chair at the start of our new fiscal year.  We sat down with Mike to learn a little bit more about him to share with our volunteers and donors. 

Gallagher_MikeBackground

Current Location:  Schreiber Foods, Inc.  Director of Yogurt Strategy

Career History: Have been with Schreiber since 2001, prior to that was VP of supply chain for WG&R Furniture for 4 years and 2 years as a consulting engineer for HNTB Corporation in Chicago

Volunteer History: Have served in volunteer roles with the Boy Scouts of America, Schreiber Community Impact Team, Pop Warner Football, and coaching local baseball and soccer teams

American Red Cross

Board Member Since: 2008

Board Chair Since: Term starts July ‘13

Responsibilities/Duties as a Board Chair: As board chair I believe the chief responsibility is engaging fellow board members in the mission and fund raising goals of the Red Cross.  Ensuring that the many skills and interests of these volunteers are leveraged to create value for the people we serve.  The role also offers the opportunity to attend national briefings and share this information with our team.

Questions

How did you become Board Chair of the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of the Red Cross?

Having been a member of the organization for the past five years and wanting to continue to add value, it was as simply as saying “yes” when approached by Steve Hansen, our regional COO.

 Since 2008, what has been your most memorable moment since joining the Red Cross board?

There are several, but the most memorable has been serving as the fundraising chair for Staci Kring, A Schreiber co-worker, in the 2012 DWOS event.  Being able to increase the awareness about what the Red Cross does in our community with 800 coworkers was a tremendous experience.  It was even more gratifying to obtain $47,000 in financial support and have many of these partners attend the event and continue their support for the Red Cross beyond the dancing event.

(l-r) Shawn Kiser, Special Events, Kate Burgess, Clara Barton Award winner, Jody Weyers, Volunteer Director, Mike Gallagher, Board Chair.

At our 2013 Spring Celebration of Support event. (l-r) Shawn Kiser, Special Events, Kate Burgess, Jody Weyers, Volunteer Director, Mike Gallagher, Board Chair.

What has been the chapter’s biggest achievement since you have joined the board?

There are several areas where our region shines: raising funds, wildly successful special events, and supporting the community and individuals in times of need.  However, I think one of the biggest achievements we’ve made is in successfully executing the consolidation and restructuring that has occurred over the past two years.  When I speak with a donor, I’ve always been proud to say that more than 90% of the funds donated go directly to the people we serve.  The efforts we’ve just completed will continue to make the Red Cross one of the most efficient and effective charitable organizations in the world.

What do you hope to accomplish by being Board Chair?

At the end of the day, our mission is to serve people in times of need.  As chair,  my focus will be on sharing the mission and working hard to support that mission by engaging people to donate to the American Red Cross.

Have you completed a full marathon yet?

It’s still on the bucket list… I’ve completed several half marathons, but haven’t found the right time to balance work, family, coaching youth sports and this goal.  I’ve also replaced a some of my running time with biking as my knees thank me the next morning 😉

Tiffany Circle: Following the Lead of so Many Great Women Before Them.

By Sherry Holmes, Tiffany Circle Director

SONY DSCFounding member of the Northeast Wisconsin Tiffany Circle chapter, Aymee Balison, held a reception at her home on Monday, April 15, to announce the 2013-14 project for the Wisconsin Tiffany Circle Chapters and to introduce Tiffany Circle to women leaders in the Green Bay area.

Tiffany Circle is a society of women leaders and philanthropists. These women follow in the footsteps of a long line of women leaders who have helped the Red Cross serve the American public in times of war and peace with disaster assistance, blood collection, safety training and countless other community assistance services. The Northeast Wisconsin Tiffany Circle Chapter is in its inaugural year.

To support Blood Services, the Eastern Wisconsin Tiffany Circle members are committing to raise funds to purchase a new Sprinter vehicle.  This vehicle will provide more opportunities for businesses, schools and organizations who want to sponsor blood drives at their location. For more information on Tiffany Circle, contact Sherry Holmes, 920-922-3450 or sherry.holmes@redcross.org.

Photo by: Women Magazine

To learn more about Aymee – Read her article in the latest addition of Women Magazine!

As a business owner and mother to four lovely daughters, Aymee Balison already has her hands full. But, Balison’s home and work juggle hasn’t stop her from getting deeply involved in area charities and maintaining the strong friendships she’s developed the last 15 years in Green Bay.

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.