American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter Announces Dancers for the 3rd Annual Dancing with the Stars Fundraising Event

Green Bay, WI – On Wednesday, September 29 the ten celebrity all-star dancers were announced for the 3rd Annual Dancing with the Stars for the American Red Cross. This event will be held on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at the Radisson Hotel, Green Bay.  Social hour begins at 4:30pm and dinner/program beginning at 5:30pm.

The 2011 “Dancing with the Stars celebrity line-up includes:

  • John Allen, Owner, John Allen Insurance Agency
  • Aymee Balison, CEO, CFO, COO, Balison Family (and owner of Sweetpea’s)
  • Kathryn Bracho, Anchor, Action 2 News This Morning, WBAY-TV 2
  • Ronda Kincheloe, Community Supporter
  • Jackie Larsen, Owner, Fitnessology
  • Dean Lindsley, V.P. of Operations & Product Development, Pallas Textiles – a division of KI
  • Murphy in the Morning, Morning show host at 101 WIXX
  • Stacy Richards, President/COO, burnham richards
  • Brad Toll, President/CEO, Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Kurt VandenHouten, V.P./Co-Owner, Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders, Inc.

Our 2011 Dancing with the Stars Team - Top Row (l-r) Murphy in the Morning, Brad Toll, John Allen Middle Row: Dean Lindsley, Kathryn Bracho, Aymee Balison, Kurt VandenHouten Bottom row: Ronda Kincheloe, Kackie Larsen, Stacy Richards.

These ten celebrities will be trained in two ballroom dances by DanceSport of Green Bay under the direction of Janet Gollnick, former Midwest champion. Their dance partners will be accomplished and skilled college-aged dancers from DanceSport of Green Bay.

The winner of the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy will be the dancer who scores best on the dance floor and who is supported by public and event votes. Votes will be in the form of dollars donated in support of the star dancer, both at the Dancing with the Stars event and dollars pledged in the name of the dancer prior to February 26.  Awards presentation includes “Judges Choice and People’s Choice” trophies. 

We are honored to have Ivan Seleznev of New York City, an eight time Russian champion, Rebecca Messenger, nationally acclaimed Ballroom Judge and Dan Messenger,  former National Champion and Ballroom Judge both of Milwaukee.

All proceeds for the event go to support local programs and services for the American Red Cross.

Tickets for the event will be on sale at the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter, starting January 3, 2011.

Our Red (Cross) Carpet Debut!

WHAT A GREAT STORY ABOUT SURVIVAL!  Check out our schedule for a local training class near you or check out classes for your workplace.

Posted on September 26th, 2010 by Lise Harwin

If you’re reading Oregon’s Cross Blog, you might already know about Kathy Ryan, a runner who collapsed during Hood to Coast, the state’s most famous relay race. The team that saved Kathy’s life was honored at the Oregon Trail Chapter’s Breakfast of Champions and I let drop that there was a film in the works that would include her story and a CPR class taught to her team of runners by our very own Francisco Ianni.

Well, it’s official…”Hood To Coast” is complete and Francisco made the final cut! What’s more, the fine film folks were nice enough to put together a short clip that highlights Kathy’s story and our efforts to get more people trained in CPR. Check it out!

Hood To Coast Movie – Red Cross CPR from HoodToCoastMovie on Vimeo.

While you can’t see the full film quite yet, here in Portland, we’re looking forward to a team movie night on 1-1-11, when it will be theaters nationwide for one night only. Wouldn’t it be cool if every Red Cross chapter went out that night to support the film and its life-saving message? Francisco would be so proud…

Red Cross Lending a Hand in Minnesota, Wisconsin As Water Continues to Rise

Monday, September 27, 2010 — The American Red Cross is on the ground in Wisconsin and Minnesota where the rains have slowed down but rivers and streams continue to rise, forcing entire neighborhoods from their homes.

In Wisconsin, a 120-year-old sand levee along the Wisconsin River near Portage, Columbia County, is failing and could affect as many as 100 homes with more damage possible as the flood waters travel south. Residents in the area were urged to leave their homes immediately. The river crested over the weekend at almost 3.5 feet above flood level, putting major pressure on the levee system. In Minnesota, some residents were allowed back in their homes only long enough to retrieve some belongings.  Rivers and streams continue to rise. The high water has closed roads, destroyed bridges and damaged homes. In some areas, inspectors may begin checking out homes and businesses to determine if they are fit for residents to return.

Chapters in both states have opened shelters and are providing meals and comfort items such as toiletries to residents forced from their homes by the rising flood waters. The Red Cross is working with local and state officials in both Wisconsin and Minnesota to ensure help is available for those who need it.

 If your neighborhood has been affected by flooding, the Red Cross has some steps you should take to remain safe:

  • Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
  • Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

For more information on what to do if flooding threatens your community, visit www.redcross.org.To make a financial donation to the Red Cross to help people affected by these disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text – visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

American Red Cross Marks Twenty Years of Helping Holocaust Survivors Reconnect

Center has reconnected 1,600 families separated by Second World War

WASHINGTON, September 23, 2010 — The American Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center on Friday will commemorate two decades of providing essential answers to survivors and their families about loves ones who have been missing since the Second World War.

“The need to know what happened to a parent, sibling or child who vanished without a trace never goes away,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO with the American Red Cross.  “More than 60 years since the liberation, many families are still searching for answers and struggling to understand.”

At a time when Nazi and Soviet records were first beginning to surface, a small group of American Red Cross volunteers had the vision to open a national clearinghouse dedicated to gaining access to archives and learning the fates of the missing.

The American Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center opened its doors for the first time in Baltimore on September 24, 1990. In the 20 years since, thousands of people have turned to the Red Cross for information about loved ones lost during this tragic period.

“For the families, every answer is a gift,” said McGovern. “People of Jewish faith, for example, give great significance to the date of a person’s death—for it is on the anniversary of death that loved ones light candles in their memory.  Even when the exact date cannot be found, often the date a relative was taken to a concentration camp or ghetto is enough to provide solace.”

In tribute to the compassionate and committed volunteers who have processed more than 43,000 requests for information and documentation from survivors and in turn eased their suffering, a celebration luncheon will take place on Monday, September 27 during the center’s annual meeting in Baltimore.

“Many of these volunteers helped find people alive after half a century—people thought to be missing or dead,” said McGovern. “For the more than 1,600 families brought together through the work of the center, this information is priceless and life-changing.”

Tracing activities are offered at no cost for survivors and their families so they can obtain information, resolution and, in some cases, documentation that will help them secure reparations.

 After receiving a request, the center will research the fate of the missing by consulting the global Red Cross Red Crescent network as well as various archives, museums and partner organizations throughout the world. The International Tracing Service of Arolsen, Germany, which contains more than 47 million Nazi documentation records, proves to be an invaluable resource for the center’s work.

More information on the Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center can be found at local Red Cross chapters or at www.redcross.org/services/intl/holotrace/.

Red Cross and Grainger Announce Expansion of ‘Ready When the Time Comes’ Program

Disaster volunteer training program expands to more than 50 chapters, reaches milestones

Washington, DC – September 23, 2010 – The American Red Cross and W.W. Grainger, Inc. today announced the continued expansion of the Ready When the Time Comes program with an additional 10 chapters set to join the program in 2011. The addition of these chapters will bring the total participating Red Cross chapters to 51 in disaster-prone areas across the country.

This announcement comes during National Preparedness Month, designated each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. 

The Ready When the Time Comes program, a workplace volunteer initiative in which the American Red Cross trains employees of local businesses who can be mobilized as a community-based volunteer force when disasters strike, was developed in 2001 as a partnership between the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and Grainger, the national founding sponsor of the program. Today, more than 11,000 employees representing 450 businesses and organizations in 41 communities across the country have been trained as disaster volunteers through the program. In 2010 alone, ten chapters will have launched the program including Red Cross chapters in Los Angeles and Boston which are holding kickoff events during the next several weeks.

The Northeast Wisconsin Region is proud to have US Bank and Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance as "Ready When the Time Comes" Partners. July 15: Pat Schaeve, employee of US Bank, "Ready When the Time Comes" volunteer doing damage assesment door-to-door in Neenah, WI.

Ready When the Time Comes is a program that turns compassion into action by training employees of businesses nationwide to volunteer when disasters strike close to home,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. “We are gratified that Grainger and many other businesses are supporting the training and that so many of their employees have stepped forward to help provide comfort and care to their neighbors in need.”

“We believe the greatest resource the business community can contribute to disaster relief is its employees. Grainger has partnered with the American Red Cross to encourage other companies across the U.S. to support disaster preparedness through the Ready When the Time Comes program,” said Jim Ryan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Grainger. “Every day volunteers trained through this program are helping their local chapters respond to disasters. They truly exemplify the “People Power” that is at the foundation of any disaster response. Communities are supported by their helping hands in a crisis and the volunteers themselves are strengthened by supporting their communities.”

The new chapters that will join the program in 2011include the Red Cross King and Kitsap Counties, Seattle, WA; Hawaii State Chapter, Honolulu, HI; Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Red Cross of Central Oklahoma Chapter, Oklahoma City, OK; Red Cross of Central Florida Chapter, Orlando, FL; Sacramento Sierra Chapter, Sacramento, CA; Connecticut Chapter, Farmington, CT; Southwest PA Chapter, Pittsburgh, PA; and

Red Cross of Greater Arkansas, Little Rock, AR. The tenth Red Cross chapter will be announced in the near future.

 About Grainger
W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2009 sales of $6.2 billion is North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products with an expanding presence in Asia and Latin America.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Finding Your Voice?!

Guest Blog Post by Dawn Miller, Red Cross Communications Volunteer:

Days after Jody’s (Jody is the Volunteer and Communications Director for the chapter) return from the National Volunteer Conference this past June, we met for coffee to discuss her trip and what she had learned. I was really excited to hear her ideas and plans. When she said she wanted more transparency, I said, “Yes!” When she said she wanted more involvement from volunteers, sponsor, donors, board and Red Cross employees, I said, “Yes!” When she said we were going to move the communications in new directions, I said, “Yes!” We were pumped when we got up to go and when she said, “You know …you can write something for the blog in your own voice too,” iced-mocha-latte sprayed out of my mouth and onto the table.

No, that’s not how it really happened. We were pumped and all but when she told me I could write something in my own voice I probably just stared at her. She might have thought I was disinterested or annoyed for all I know. What was really going through my head was shock mixed with a little confusion. My voice?

 Since becoming a volunteer a little over a year ago, I have spent my time trying to find the voice of the Red Cross. I researched past articles and communications and got some guidance there. Some of them were kind of dry and clinical and some of them were warm and a little fun. I tried to take a bit from each hoping to get the perfect mix.

With each story I wrote, I asked Jody for clues on what the voice of the Red Cross was. I wanted to make sure everything was fitting to represent who the Lakeland Chapter was.  

I also spent a lot of time asking questions and talking to all kinds of people involved in many different capacities at the Red Cross. There are some amazing people and I consider myself so lucky that Jody was able to find a way for me to be a part of all of this. Everyone was great in trusting and sharing their stories to teach me about the accomplishments and work of the chapter. When I started I thought my volunteer work was nice but it was an added bonus that wasn’t really necessary.

 As time went on and I learned all the great things the chapter does, I realized how important our communications are. I learned so much from so many different people and I never imagined all the things the Red Cross does for our community. And I saw how the Red Cross was a part of our community so when there was need they stepped in to help fill that need. I also unfortunately learned sometimes those in the Red Cross can’t always keep up with what each other are doing. And if we don’t know what we are doing how can we expect the community to know and be interested?

 Time and time again I have heard those involved with the Red Cross say, “A lot of people say they had no idea all that we do.” By sharing our story of what we are doing and why we do it we give the community the knowledge and opportunity to be a part of that story. By sharing the stories of the great people behind the Red Cross we not only learn about them but we also learn a little bit about ourselves. By learning about the Lakeland Chapter, and ourselves, we might find it in ourselves to be there when we can and in whatever capacity we can.

 So, I know Jody has invited those involved with the Red Cross to share their stories and I think of it as a challenge to our chapter. It’s a challenge for us to share our story of one chapter’s Red Cross experience. If someone can blog their experience of cooking their way through Julia Child’s cookbook and another can document the lives of the rich and the why-are-they-famous, then why can’t we document our story? A community of sponsors, supporters, donors, staff, and over 450 volunteers can share that important story of the many events that take place here at our chapter through words, pictures and video.

 I wonder if she knew all along where the voice could be found while I was trying to find so hard to find it. Jody’s lucky she didn’t get a latte shower pointing it out to me. That voice of the Lakeland Chapter is me and that voice is you.

About Dawn:

Dawn Miller graduated Cum Laude from University of Wisconsin- Green Bay in spring of 2008. While there, as nonfiction editor of The Sheepshead Review, she was able to secure an interview with nationally acclaimed author, Aimee Bender for a profile piece. She was also honored with the “Rising Phoenix Award” for her nonfiction piece, “Heel Story” and had the opportunity to read at the 32nd Annual UW-System Women’s Conference. In the fall of 2008, Dawn and her husband, Gary, celebrated the addition of their daughter, Paige, to their family. During the first year of motherhood, Dawn explored topics considering moms who are active in social media through some freelance assignments and also put her writing to work as a volunteer for the Red Cross. She’s currently a full-time mom and also a part-time development assistant at the Arthritis Foundation.

As a volunteer with the Lakeland Chapter since spring of 2009, Dawn has learned a lot about the Red Cross and the people behind it. “I feel lucky to consider myself a part of this amazing group of people,” says Dawn. “I hope that by working with the others to share the stories of our chapter we can learn more about ourselves, educate the community on services and inspire others to be as amazing as the people I have met here.”

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