Red Cross goes up, brings down a grand

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 29, 2005

&uot;We can’t come down yet!&uot; Suffolk Red Cross representative Donna Perry shouts from the roof of Art’s Kitchen Saturday morning. &uot;We need your spare change! Please support the Red Cross.&uot;

Perched atop the restaurant with her niece Morgan Tester, 9, Perry’s raising funds to kick off the Helping the American Red Cross program. Over the next few months, the Cross hopes to recoup some of the money donated to the Asian tsunami victims last year.

They get off to quite the start Saturday; after less than five hours on the roof, Perry and Morgan collected over $1,000 in a bucket lowered to the street for passersby to drop in funds.

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&uot;There’s not a lot of time to pass,&uot; Perry says. &uot;It’s been that busy. I thought we’d be up here with nothing to do, but we were averaging about $200 an hour.&uot;

Noticing someone parking nearby, Morgan, a student at Mack Benn Elementary, picks up the small bucket and lowers it over the side with a string of rope.

&uot;I’ve been running around the roof and listening to music,&uot; she says. &uot;I’m thankful for everyone that’s helped, because they’ve been giving us a lot of money, and it’s going to let us help a lot of people.&uot;

As the pair set up shop early Saturday, the thunder and rains that raged across Suffolk in the early morning hours suddenly ground to a halt.

&uot;There’s a higher power involved in what we do,&uot; Perry said.