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Red Cross lauds 'Heroes'

June 18, 2007

Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, acting as master of ceremonies and speaker at the Heroes for the American Red Cross Washington County Chapter luncheon, discussed the Red Cross and local tourism, and also Clara Barton's work in Washington County during the Battle of Antietam.

Barton is known to be the founder of the American Red Cross, and Riford said the Clara Barton Monument at Antietam National Battlefield is seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

Riford also shared his personal connection to the Red Cross as the recipient of blood transfusions following a devastating skiing accident in 1995.

The local Red Cross chapter will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year. Since 1917, the chapter has been a hero for thousands of people like Riford, collecting blood, lending aid during times of disaster, assisting military families and providing citizens with CPR and first-aid skills.

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Today, 31 area residents have shown that they can be "Heroes" for the American Red Cross. This energetic and creative group raised a total of $31,000 to keep the services of the Red Cross going strong in the county.

"Heroes for the American Red Cross" is a grass-roots campaign in which local business people, 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 campaign will be used to support Red Cross services, such as disaster relief, assistance for fire victims, emergency military communications, first aid and CPR training, and disaster preparedness information for our community. All money raised will stay in Washington County to support local families and individuals.

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