Greenfield’s Life-Saver Receives National Award

At only 11 years-old, Abram Suminski of Greenfield, Wisconsin, is a official recipient of the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit for selfless and humane action in saving a life. This is the highest award given by the Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains life by using skills and knowledge learned in the American Red Cross Preparedness, Health and Safety Services courses.

When Abram Suminski was learning first aid basics in an American Red Cross Babysitter’s training course, I doubt he knew how quickly he’d be putting them to use in a real-life situation. Good thing he was prepared though when his younger brother, Logan, was in need. Shortly after, the brothers were playing in their grandmother’s basement when Logan started to choke on a piece a candy. Abram saw his brother turning purple and jumped into action to perform abdominal thrusts. His quick actions dislodged the piece of candy from Logan’s throat, saving his life!

Abram’s instructor from the Babysitter’s training course heard of his life-saving story, and she, along with the Greenfield Rec. Department (where the training took place), nominated Abram for the Red Cross Certificate of Merit, which is signed by the President Barack Obama, who is the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross!


Abram Suminski holding his award with the help of his younger brother, Logan.

On Tuesday night at the Greenfield Common Council Meeting, Abram received the Red Cross Certificate of Merit. The Mayor of Greenfield, Michael J. Neitzke, and local Red Cross CEO, Patty Flowers, had the honor of presenting the award to Abram. In attendance, were some very special guests including Abram’s family, the vice principle of his school, his Red Cross instructor and the Greenfield Fire Department.

If you’re thinking about signing up for a Red Cross training course, don’t hesitate – be prepared! Information about the Red Cross Babysitting course, First Aid, CPR/AED and other training courses are available at

To see live action watch the Fox 6 news clip!


Mix & Mingle at the Club Red of NEW Kick-Off Event!

362547 YP

Are you…
• Looking for a change in your life?
• Wanting to make an impact in your community?
• Interested in networking with other young professionals?
• Between the ages of 21-35?

If you answered yes, we have the perfect opportunity for you! We are thrilled to introduce Club Red of NEW. We have developed and put together a framework and structure for the club. Now we are ready to share with our current Red Cross registered members and potential members within this demographic what Club Red will look like, and how we can engage you and other young professionals within Northeast Wisconsin.

Nationally, the American Red Cross recognizes that across the county the segment of the population between 24-34 is an underrepresented segment with in our volunteer base. To build awareness for the Red Cross among young, civic-minded philanthropists, who want to make a difference the Red Cross has developed a tool kit for clubs across the country to develop Young Professional Groups.

About: Club Red of Northeast Wisconsin is a young professional group that provides you with an opportunity to network with other socially conscious professionals and help your community. Our mission is to Give. Guide. Provide. Whether planning social fundraising events or participating in community service projects (Give), you can support events that can help save lives. Club Red Members will also have mentoring opportunities with our youth volunteers (Guide) and leadership development through opportunities available within the group (Provide).

Benefits: Club Red will provide many benefits to its members.
• Social benefits- meet new people
• Professional benefits- mentor/leadership development
• Personal benefits- sense of self, purpose
• Attracts, engages and retains young professionals in the area
• Ensures lasting support that the Red Cross provides to the community

Co-chair member, Erin Thayse, explains what she hopes members will gain from being a part of Club Red, “I hope Club Red members feel they are part of a worthwhile group that understands how important it is to pay it forward. They might not need the services offered by the Red Cross today, but they or someone they know might in the future.”

Requirements: We ask that club members perform a minimum of 25 hours or donate $75/year. Hours and donations are required on a yearly basis.

Mix & Mingle: We would like to see you at our kick-off event on September 25th from 5:30pm-8:00pm at The Marq located on 3177 French Rd, De Pere, WI 54115 to learn more about Club Red. The night will also include networking, appetizers, cash bar and music by local artist, Rob Anthony.


Bring your friends! Invite your friends! Share this video on Facebook & Twitter!

Jennesa, events & marketing chair, is excited for the future of Club Red, “I am excited to see where all of the hard work will go, who will all be involved in this young professional group and what kinds of service projects we are going to do for the year.” We hope to see you in Club Red’s future!

If you are interested in potentially joining Club Red: Northeast Wisconsin please RSVP by September 19th:

Jennesa Heiting

Find our event on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.


Only Treats, No Onions!

By: PaKou Lee


Oct. 12th, 2013- Neveah, Lucky, Jada, Telvin, Cienna, Kace, Ethan, & Khloe at the Spooktacular event held at Lambeau Field. Typical teenager, Ethan is not too enthused being around the littles ones, but they’re all so cute!

I think everyone can agree with me that treats are great, but some tricks are even greater! I remember when I was in the fifth or sixth grade, my family and I went trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. At the end of the night, we all gathered in a circle at home to check every piece of candy to make sure they were good and not opened. As we looked through our goody bags, both of my cousins pulled out onions! How funny is that? I don’t know which neighbor did that, but that was a pretty slick trick up their sleeves!

This Halloween, I’m super bummed that I can’t go trick-or-treating with my nieces and nephews because I work late. I like going with them because I get to enjoy a few chocolate candies while on supervision duty. Of course when they notice their favorite chocolate bar is missing, I tell them the ghost took it. They never believe me but hey, you can’t blame me. I need all of the calories and energy I can get to catch up with these little vampires, ninjas, and witches. Before I know it the older ones are already playing tricks at the next house and the youngest one is still debating if they should walk up to the first house and face that creepy scarecrow sitting on the porch to get candy. I can’t wait to get home from work today and rummage through some of their hard-earned candies. I promise I’ll only take a little, only the ones I need.


Before you head out for some trick-or-treating, check out these tips for a safe Halloween:

  • Look for flame-resistant costumes.
  • Plan the Trick-or-Treat route and make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.
  • Make sure the Trick-or-Treaters have a flashlight. Add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing in order to be seen.
  • Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.
  • Instead of masks, which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see, consider using face paint.
  • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  • Be cautious around pets and any other animals.

If you are passing out treats tonight for the ghosts and goblins, please remember:

  • Make sure the outdoor light is on.
  • Sweep leaves from the sidewalks and steps.
  • Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.
  • Restrain any household pets.
  • Use a glow stick instead of a candle in the jack-o-lantern to avoid a fire hazard.

There might be a chance of rain tonight so don’t forget your umbrella and ponchos! I also recommend you visit Haunted Wisconsin for the trick-or-treat times in your area. Enjoy your candies and have a safe Halloween!

NBC26 Cares: Holiday Mail for Heroes

By Stacy Engebretson NBC26

Click HERE for video of story.

Lt. Colonel Michael Hert answers questions at Holy Spirit School before making cards for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

Thousands of military members will spend the holidays this year far away from the ones they love.

To lift their spirits, students in Darboy are teaming-up with the American Red Cross to send our soldiers a little piece of home.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hert is back from the war in Afghanistan, but he still has one more mission to complete.

“To be able to come back to them and say to those children, ‘thank you very much from the bottom of my heart,'” explained Hert.

Hert spent last Christmas overseas with Ashwaubenon’s 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion.

“It’s hard because the bottom line is that you’re away from home,” he said.

The soldiers may be gone, but they are not forgotten. Students at Holy Spirit School in Darboy are making cards for the American Red Cross’ “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.

Fourth grader Mary Loker described the card she created. “We wrote, ‘Thank you for your years of service in your battles. We are thinking of you.'”

“I feel like they’ll like it because being out there is kind of scary, and if they just get a card, it’s all that matters,” said fourth grader Joseph Hopwood.

Second grade teacher Sue Calmes is one of the organizers of this year’s card making effort at Holy Spirit School. She believes it’s a good lesson for her students.

“I think that the kids of today need to know and appreciate what other people are doing for them and the freedoms that we have,” explained Calmes.

The Red Cross’ goal is to collect 20,000 holiday cards in Northeast Wisconsin. Half of those cards will be delivered to veterans who live in the area.

“We go to shopping malls. We were at the Green Bay Packers’ blood drive just last week, so it’s a collective effort by the entire community to be able to send such a positive message during the holidays,” said Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin.

Lieutenant Colonel Hert will be forever grateful for the card he received while deployed. Last week, he got the opportunity to visit Holy Spirit School. He thanked the students for their words of encouragement and for creating the cards again this year, so the soldiers know that someone back home is grateful for their sacrifice this holiday season.

“It means a great deal to me, because I know that somebody will be able to have the same experience that I had last year,” said Hert.

If you’d like to send a message of support, you can pick-up a free card at your local Red Cross office. They’ll even cover the cost to mail it, but cards must be postmarked by December 7th to be delivered in time for the holidays.

Getting Prepared with the Babysitter’s Training Course

By Lauren Lindstrom, Communications Intern, American Red Cross

Summer is upon us, and with it the busy schedules of area families. Many of us are out enjoying summertime freedoms, providing more opportunities for area kids to babysit the children of friends and neighbors.

The American Red Cross offers the Babysitter’s Training Course for youth ages 11-15, offering them the opportunity to learn crucial childcare skills and gain the confidence to provide a safe and fun environment while babysitting.

The full-day course covers the basics of caring for infants, toddlers and older children, as well as choosing fun and age-appropriate games and toys.

Green Bay native Ava Baenen recently took advantage of the opportunity to hone her babysitting skills. The 11-year-old received her Babysitter’s Training Certificate on May 19 with two friends.

“It was probably the first time I changed a diaper,” Ava said, adding she learned the proper techniques for feeding and caring for kids of all ages and how to deal with discipline issues. “If there are kids being stubborn, we learned how to solve those problems.”

Most importantly, the Babysitter’s Training Course teaches important safety skills, such as CPR and how to respond if someone is choking.

Ava says she feels more prepared to handle new situations when caring for children. She hopes everyone looking to babysit takes the course.

“It’s a great experience, you learn a lot, and it’s fun!”

The course costs $85, which includes a participant manual and CD-ROM. You may find upcoming courses near you by visiting or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Youth Empowered by American Red Cross Summer Program

Youth partners play an important role in helping ensure a stable blood supply

During the lazy days of summer, schools are out of session, yet local young adults are staying very active. In fact, 16- to 24-year-olds throughout the Oshkosh community are changing lives by partnering with the American Red Cross. 

Live. Give. Life. is a Red Cross program to engage 16- to 24-year-olds to organize blood drives and recruit their peers to give blood during the summer. The program provides an opportunity for youth to experience social responsibility and learn the importance of community service while playing an active role in maintaining a stable blood supply.

 WHAT:          Live. Give. Life. Blood Donation Opportunities

WHO:            Yee Lor, Youth blood drive coordinator               

                           American Red Cross staff

WHEN:         Friday, June 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE:      American Red Cross Office (Tower West Building); 540 W. Washburn Street,Oshkosh.

Live. Give. Life.  is also rewarding. All presenting blood donors at these special youth blood drives scheduled between June 1 and August 31, 2012 will receive a tangle free ear bud code-card with a unique PIN number that can be entered online for a chance to win prizes. Additionally, high schools that host summer blood drives will earn an additional $500 for their school’s 2012-2013 Red Cross Young Minds Change Lives scholarship.

Young donors play an important role in meeting patient needs for blood products. Approximately 20 percent of blood donations come from high school and college blood drives during the academic year. During the summer when school is not in session, donations from high school and college donors drop by as much as 57 percent.

The Red Cross blood supply has reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. All eligible blood donors are encouraged to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at


Northeast Wisconsin to Celebrate Service


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 or (920) 465-5133. Or visit

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.


Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Konrath, President, UWGB Red Cross Club

(l-r) Michelle Etheridge, musician, Rob Anthony and Melissa Konrath at last years Red Cross Club Awareness Concert on Campus.

As a University of Wisconsin- Green Bay student, Melissa Konrath, 20 years old, is active on-campus and in intramural sports. She is also active in the American Red Cross as president of the UWGB –Red Cross Club.

The UWGB Red Cross Club is an on-campus organization that provides opportunities for students to get involved in the community through things like CPR training, disaster training and volunteering. Its mission also includes raising awareness to the community services and needs of the American Red Cross. They also don’t forget to bring the fun in this social and interactive environment.

As a class officer in her high school in Slinger, WI, Melissa, helped to plan and run blood drives so she was familiar with the Red Cross as an organization. As a student at UWGB, she joined the Red Cross Club on campus its first year. “I thought it would be a good way to get back into volunteering,” says Melissa.

“I have learned that there is more to the Red Cross than blood drives.  I think that is a common misconception throughout the general population,” says Melissa.

Melissa served as Vice President the first year and was recruited as president of the club for the experience she could bring to the role the next year.

Since the club’s inception in the spring 2009 semester they have supported the Red Cross in many ways. Their members have volunteered for a variety of fundraisers including a concert for Haiti. They also made cards for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program, making comfort dolls for AIDS orphans in Africa, babysitting to support Military Services, volunteering for the Packers Spooktacular and Project Leap events, participated in service to help at a Downtown Green Bay clean-up day and help at on-campus and community blood drives.  The clubs signature  event is organizing an annual concert with musician, Rob Anthony, to raise Red Cross Awareness on-campus to the students and faculty.

“I am amazed at how much the Red Cross Club on campus has grown and all that we have accomplished since the club was first brought to UWGB.  Because we are growing each year, our accomplishments also have expanded as well as getting the word out there of the mission of the Red Cross,” says Melissa.

When Melissa isn’t busy volunteering with the Red Cross she is spending time with friends and family including her 5 year-old-sister. She is also busy working towards a double major in Psychology and Human Development.

“The Red Cross is something worth making time for because you know you are helping others and can even sometimes see first-hand your impact.”

(l-r) Mellisa and Jody Weyers, Red Cross Club Staff Advisor, at UWGB Fall Org Smorg recruitment event.

Blood drives are like Christmas.

Youth Blogger: Hannah B.

Canteen area at this year's Super Donor Days!

This is the conclusion I’ve reached following a rewarding three hour shift of volunteering for the Red Cross’s “Super Donor Day” blood drive. It’s just as logical as Mike Myers’s infamous simile: “Ogres are like onions.” But for those who don’t see where I’m going with this, please allow me go into deeper detail for you.

First off, the obvious. Blood drives help aid those in need of additional blood by building up the supply of blood available for transfusions. These would be those people receiving gifts on Christmas. Patients receiving transplants, surgeries, cancer patients, premature babies, burn victims, and people with blood disorders are among those whom receive the blood transfusions. This means an immense amount of blood is needed. But what shocked me the most was that out of the 38% of the population eligible to donate, only 8% actually do so. Point blank, this needs to change.

The satisfied feeling a person obtains when they see a friend or family member unwrap a gift that he or she picked out and seeing their face light up can easily be compared to the after-feeling of giving blood. Blood donors and blood drive volunteers compare to those giving the gifts on Christmas. It’s difficult to imagine the holiday season without these people. In fact, it’s impossible. As is a blood drive without these essential citizens. Although there are requirements for height, weight, and age to donate, all volunteers are accepted. Many workers were overjoyed to have the amount of volunteers that showed up for the Super Donor Days. However, one observation disappointed me. There we five teenagers (including myself) volunteering that Thursday, and to my knowledge there was even less the previous day. It’s truly an experience that more than five of us should have. The staff more than insisted we take breaks–they made us take breaks. When we entered the “behind the scenes” area in the back there was an unbelievable amount of food—just for us volunteers! Donuts, juice, fruit, bagels, cookies, were just waiting for us to pile on our plate and pizza was on the way by noon. It’s true, we weren’t exactly worked to the bone. But with that said, helping out wasn’t any less rewarding.

At blood drives there’s an unexpected variety of volunteering offered. The majority of teenagers at the drive were musicians who played for approximately one hour shifts as donors gave blood. There are also donor aids, the most outgoing volunteers, who chat with the donors as they give blood to keep their nerves in check. Volunteers at the canteen do similar tasks; however, they not only chat with donors but distribute food (A perk to donating—they had Culvers custard and pizza!). Finally, many volunteers are needed for miscellaneous tasks such as handing out t-shirts—the station I was placed at after managing to escape the task of dressing up in the red blood drop costume to flag in donors (A perfect off-season task for those who enjoy being Santa’s elves at the mall during Christmas time. Or those merely seeking that kind of attention.)So who is up for a little bit of Christmas in August? Visit now to learn where to donate or volunteer at a blood drive near you.

Fort Howard Elementary Pioneers donated $364.43 to the Haitian Relief

The Fort Howard Elementary Pioneers donated $364.43 to the Haitian Relief.  The 3rd Grade class had a BIG idea.  They wanted to help the people of Haiti.  So, they had a collection of loose change.  A group of 4th Grade boys took orders for freshly-popped popcorn, made the popcorn and delivered it to their customers.  Thank you to the students at Fort Howard for helping the people in Haiti!