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Red Cross honors volunteers

September 08, 2006|by JANET HEIM

HAGERSTOWN - There are many unsung heroes in Washington County. The county's chapter of the American Red Cross made sure some of their heroes were recognized at a luncheon on Aug. 31 at the chapter's Conrad Court headquarters.

At the "Heroes for the American Red Cross" Celebration Lunch, businesses and individuals were honored for their participation in the chapter's first "Heroes" campaign.

More than $27,700 was raised by the end of the campaign. Julie Barr-Strasburg, director for the Washington County Red Cross chapter, said the effort was a "huge victory."

Maria Johns, who recently was hired as the financial development director for the Washington County chapter, borrowed the idea from the national office of the American Red Cross. Robert Rankin served as campaign chairman.

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"Heroes for the American Red Cross" is a grass-roots campaign in which local businesspeople, school groups, church groups, civic clubs and individuals pledge to raise $1,000 each, through any legal means they choose, for the local Red Cross chapter.

The funds raised through this year's "Heroes" campaign will be used to support American Red Cross services, and all money raised will stay in Washington County to support local families and individuals.

Each business or individual had a different method for raising the money, Johns said. Hagerstown Speedway held 50/50s, while Family Recreation Park is donating a percentage of the proceeds of the grand opening of paintball at the park.

Karen and Wells Ridenour donated stock for the campaign. Citigroup sold coupons to employees for $10 to dress down for a week and sold tickets for raffles for a day off of work. They also collected donations from employees.

"The success of this year's 'Heroes' campaign is a testament to the hard work of our heroes and the generosity of our community," Rankin said. "The money raised will go a long way to helping families in Washington County prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. All of our gracious donors truly have made a difference in the lives of their neighbors."

Barr-Strasburg said it costs about $1,000 to help a family after a fire. The cost of running the van that takes veterans to the Veterans' Administration Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., three times a week is escalating as gas prices have increased, she said.

Dependent on volunteers and supported by community donations, the Washington County chapter of the American Red Cross is assisted by more than 850 volunteers and nine employees.

"Our next 'Heroes' campaign will be in May of 2007, and we plan on involving our schools to give our youth an opportunity to participate in this fun campaign," Johns said. "I can't wait to see what creative means they develop to achieve their goal."




Campaign honors participants



The following were honored as Super Heroes and Heroes in the "Heroes for the American Red Cross" campaign.

Super Heroes

· Wells and Karen Ridenour

· Albright Crumbacker Moul and Itell

· First Data

· Hagerstown Police Department Bike Squad

· Hagerstown Lions Club

· Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau

· Minnich Funeral Home

Heroes

· Hugh and Rayetta Schindel

· Keller-Stonebraker Insurance Inc.

· Col. Douglas W. Mullendore, Washington County Sheriff's Department

· Beachley Furniture Co. Inc.

· Dolores and Robert Vidoni

· Auto Electric

· Family Recreation Park

· Richard Trump

· Citicorp

· Dan Ryan Builders

· Oak Tree Mortgage Services

· Hagerstown Speedway

· The Corner Pub

· Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home

· Schmankerl Stube Bavarian Restaurant

· Redland Brick

· Michael Hill, Long and Foster Realtors

· Art Callaham

· Efrain's Taqueria

· Robert Longwell

· Statton Furniture Manufacturing Co.

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