Red Cross volunteers honored

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 20, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

The North Main Street Wal-Mart presented a $1,000 check Friday to the Suffolk Chapter of the American Red Cross, and that money will be used to replenish the Disaster Fund in preparation for the 2004 hurricane season.

Donna Perry, financial development coordinator for the Suffolk Chapter Red Cross, said the donation is gratefully accepted and will be used to help citizens of Suffolk only.

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&uot;Sam Wiggs, the manager of Wal-Mart at 1200 N. Main St., recognizes that community involvement has a profound impact on the vitality of our city and proved that on Thursday by becoming the very first corporate sponsor for the Suffolk Chapter of the American Red Cross,&uot; said Perry. &uot;I am extremely impressed with Wal-Mart’s commitment to our city. Their help and support mean a great deal to me and our organization, but even more to those who rely on us to be there during some of the most difficult times of their lives.&uot;

While the Red Cross was the recipient this time, most of the time they are giving, giving and giving. The do everything from disaster aid to educating the public on disaster preparedness and training people on CPR and other life skills.

Recently, the Red Cross gave again – this time to the numerous volunteers who dedicate their lives and skills to helping the Red Cross help local residents in many ways.

In an evening of awards presentations and songs provided by the Lakeland High School Cavalier Singers, John R. Bright, chairman of the Suffolk Chapter, welcomed the volunteers and encouraged them to enjoy the festivities and foods.

Bright also introduced Pat Manier, who presented to volunteers pins for years of service. &uot;You are truly the heart and soul of the American Red Cross,&uot; said Manier. &uot;The services and programs provided by the Red Cross could not be provided without people like you, the volunteers.&uot;

Manier presented five-year pins to Irving Bains, Robert Bradshaw, Mary Ellen Browning, Sandra Haduck, Charlene Holloway, Charles and Joan Hughes, Dawn Lassiter, Elizabeth Michaels, and Susan Saunders.

The 10-year award winners were Laurie Barnes, James Barrett, Evelyn Graham, Jim Seibel, and Bill Ward.

There was only one 20-year volunteer; G. Stewart Tyler, who has dedicated much of his life to the Suffolk Chapter and has also given almost 20 gallons of blood in Red Cross Blood Drives.

Tyler was topped only by Nancy Verdirme, who has given 25 years of volunteer services to the Suffolk Red Cross.

Manier also quoted President Calvin Coolidge who said, &uot;No person was ever honored for what he received. Honors have been the reward for what he gave,&uot; and then she introduced a volunteer who has given greatly of their time and talents.

&uot;This year’s Volunteer of the Year gives and gives and gives and she is a person who doesn’t know the meaning of the word no,&uot; said Manier. &uot;This person was nominated by all four of our Suffolk Chapter staff members and she has a long list of accomplishments.&uot;

Iva Mitchell was named as the 2004 Volunteer of the Year, having served on the board of directors, the emergency services committee and she worked on blood drives and KidCare ID events. She also participated in fund-raising events, provided general office assistance and helps out whenever and wherever needed.

Before the celebration of volunteers ended, the Red Cross also honored its outgoing officers of the board including Iness Taylor, who served as treasurer from 1999-2004. Shirley Baldwin served as Taylor’s assistant from 1998 to the present, and G. Leroy Edwards served as ex-officio from 2003 to the present.

The Suffolk Chapter Red Cross is gearing up for the 2004 Hurricane Season and residents should look for a special pull-out page in the Suffolk News-Herald. For more information on any programs of the Red Cross, call Perry or Executive Director Faye Byrum at 539-6645.