Sharon Davister & Bonnie Rozmarynowski Honored with the Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer Award

June 24, 2014 the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin hosted our spring Celebration of Support event.  We had 260 staff, volunteers, blood donors and community members attend this annual event. Every year we honor a few volunteers who have gone above and behind. Here are their stories.  

(l-r) Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director, Sharon Davister, Behind-the-Scenes Award Winner and Sue Reineck, Office Manager.

(l-r) Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director, Sharon Davister, Behind-the-Scenes Award Winner and Sue Reineck, Office Manager.

We all know someone who is always there…not in the spotlight, many people might not even know their name, but to the person or area they support they are invaluable.  This year we honored two ladies who started their career with the Red Cross in the same way.  Sharon Davister and Bonnie Rozmarynowski both started at the Red Cross through the N.E.W.Curative Senior Aid program. This program places older adults within an agency to gain job skills for 1-2 years before they are transitioned to a new assignment or gain employment.

After their first term was up both ladies stayed on to help in a second term and then continued on as a loyal volunteer.  

Sharon Davister worked in our Health and Safety department where much transition was happening and the Red Cross was making some hard decisions and changes within the department she served taking the workforce from 5 down to 2. While she served day after day through this growth period there was always a smile on her face and a spring in her step. She made every effort to put smiles and hope in others around her.  She was and is to this day a rock of positive thinking and hope. She strives to focus on the good in people and the positives happening around her. She currently works every Tuesday and will help with whatever projects are needed to be done.  Assisting with data entry projects, mail processing and finances, sewing patches on vests, to other admin support projects. Anything she is asked to do, she does it with a smile on her face. 

Sue Reineck, Office Manager, say “Sharon’s made a great impact in my life and I truly count on her to be “my right hand” in my day-to-day role.

Bonnie Rozmarynowski has a similar story. She worked as a Senior Aide and then after her term was up, continued on as a loyal volunteer. She is a key player in our fundraising department. Who likes to make call after call to ask people for prizes?  She does this task for most of our special events and has much success. She helps call businesses to gather prizes for our golf outing, Soup’s on Fundraiser and the Heroes Musicales event.

She will continue to call a business until she gets a yes or a no, and more times than not with her dedicated follow up and notes, that business does donate to our events. She will also assist when called upon to answer phones at our front desk in the Green Bay office.

Both these ladies and truly behind-the-scenes, but their impact is felt by many within the Red Cross,  it was our honor to present the Behind-the-Scenes Award to Sharon Davister and Bonnie Rozmarynowski

John Mueller Honored with the Andrew Janssen Transportation Award

June 24, 2014 the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin hosted our spring Celebration of Support event.  We had 260 staff, volunteers, blood donors and community members attend this annual event. Every year we honor a few volunteers who have gone above and behind. Here are their stories.  

(l-r) Carol and John Mueller and Tina Whetung, Transportation Manager.

(l-r) Carol and John Mueller and Tina Whetung, Transportation Manager.

This award is in remembrance of a man who truly enjoyed volunteering for the American Red Cross.  He was a very caring, compassionate individual who went above and beyond each and every time he got behind the wheel of a Red Cross vehicle.

John Mueller has been a dedicated volunteer for Transportation Services for more than 17 years.  Since starting he has seen a lot of changes within the program, including making the move from the basement office on Deckner Ave into the Service Delivery facility, across the street, where we are currently located.  He has also experienced the growing pains of adjusting to new scheduling software and was present for many staff comings and goings.

John is a routine volunteer driver, meaning he commits to driving each Tuesday and Thursday morning, providing rides to the elderly and/or disabled in our community.  The impact this volunteer has made since starting is:  He has volunteered 1,768 times donating 7,956 hours of his time and provided approximately 14,144 rides.  When he is not helping out at the American Red Cross he can be found volunteering either at his church or doing work for the Knights of Columbus.

Congratulations John Mueller, this year’s Andrew Janssen Transportation Award recipient!

Pakou Lee Honored with Rookie of the Year Award

June 24, 2014 the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin hosted our spring Celebration of Support event.  We had 260 staff, volunteers, blood donors and community members attend this annual event. Every year we honor a few volunteers who have gone above and behind. Here are their stories.  

(l) Pakou Lee, Rookie of the Year with Jody Weyers, Volunteer & Communications Director.

(l) Pakou Lee, Rookie of the Year with Jody Weyers, Volunteer & Communications Director.

The American Red Cross has so many stories to share of the amazing generosity of our volunteers, donors and the great work we do in the community.  It is a gift when you come across a volunteer who has the talent and skills to capture these stories to share with the public.

Pakou Lee is vital to the public affairs team. She is involved with writing stories about our services and her experiences and then sharing those on our blog and other social sites. She updates our Northeast Wisconsin Facebook page and Twitter account daily promoting local blood drives and campaigns.

She volunteers at many of our special events assisting with promoting that event through social media or helping where needed. For the past two years she has assisted at the Packers 5k, along with bringing her nieces to help, our Dancing with Our Stars kick off and many fundraising events for our Star Dancers.  

Pakou has taken training classes in public affairs to gain additional knowledge and did her first live television interview as a Red Cross spokesperson this year.  Through her volunteer experience, she received a promotion with her employer working on their social media team.

She has a wonderful talent of being able to draw people in with her words.  It is for her dedication and commitment to sharing the Red Cross story that honored Pakou Lee with the Rookie of the Year Award.

Northeast Wisconsin Board Member Spotlight – Tom Rettler

Tom Rettler
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Menasha Corporation

Thomas Rettler - Menasha Corporation

Red Cross Board Member Since: 2012

We want to thank Tom for sharing his Red Cross story with us and are honored to have him as a member of the American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter Board of Directors.

What are your responsibilities as a board member?
My primary responsibility is raising awareness of the Red Cross mission among my personal and professional network, which hopefully leads them to getting involved as either volunteers, donors or both.

Why did you choose to volunteer for the Red Cross?
Being a finance person, I was attracted to the scope, scale, speed and efficiency of the resources the Red Cross can bring to bear on disasters when and wherever they occur.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for the Red Cross?
Playing a small part in assisting a great organization that serves a vitally important mission.

Where do you see yourself in the future with the Red Cross?
Right now I see my involvement primarily at a local level (NE Wisconsin Chapter) and staying involved as a board member.

Do you volunteer for other places/non-profit organizations?
I am on the Board of the Menasha Corporation Foundation. I occasionally volunteer at my daughter’s elementary school.

What do you and your family like to do together?
Traveling and just spending time together whatever the activity might be.

What are your favorite hobbies or past time activities?
Golfing and fishing are my two favorite recreational activities

What is one interesting fact about you that would surprise your friends and colleagues?
My oldest child is 26 and my youngest is 7. The youngest one keeps me young.

What is your favorite quote that you live by?
“Everyone faces adversity. How you respond to that adversity defines your character.”

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We will never eliminate disasters or the need for blood. These are situations, for the most part, that can’t be prevented, they can only be responded to and supported. No organization does it better than the Red Cross.

 

 

 

Get to know: Trina Capelli, Summer Intern

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By: Trina Capelli, American Red Cross Intern

My name is Trina Capelli and I am a summer intern for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin located at the offices in Manitowoc. I just completed my second year as a Biochemistry Major at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. I plan on graduating a semester early in December of 2015. After receiving my Bachelors of Science degree, I hope to go on to Medical School.

A little bit about me: I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin and attended Mary D. Bradford High School. I played Varsity Tennis, Basketball, and Softball in high school, and have continued to play tennis for Beloit College. I am a big fan of pretty much any Wisconsin sports team, especially the Packers. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, working out, and spending time with my family.

My connection to the American Red Cross began when I was about eight years old with the Babysitting and First Aid courses. Since then I have also completed the CPR and First Aid courses and have become a certified lifeguard as well. I am very excited to be interning with the American Red Cross this summer, and I look forward to having a positive impact on the Manitowoc community.

Wisconsin Heroes Award

Recognizing exceptional Wisconsonites for their selfless contributions

(left-right) Elton Petersen, First Lady, Tonette Walker and Elton's wife, Mary Petersen

(left-right) Elton Petersen, First Lady, Tonette Walker and Elton’s wife, Mary Petersen

Wisconsin is home to some of the finest Midwestern hospitality and some of our nation’s friendliest people. Throughout the state, in small towns and big cities alike, countless individuals are eager to go the extra mile, take a stand for causes in which they believe, and use their time, effort and ideas to help make Wisconsin a better place.

Recognition is given each month to one outstanding Wisconsin resident. The first lady, Tonette Walker, visits and presents the award to the winner to say thank you for his or her willingness, compassion, and commitment to the betterment of our state.

Thanks to the Volunteer Center of Brown County for nominating 2014 Golden Heart Award winner, Elton Petersen, for the Wisconsin Hero Award.  We were so excited to have Elton selected as the June Hero!

A little more about Elton: 

Elton Petersen has been doing service for decades. During his almost 21 years of service at the Red Cross, Elton has volunteered over 5,500 hours and has provided about 10,000 rides to clients over the age of 60 and/or those who are disabled. He also has volunteered hundreds of hours delivering blood and blood products to patients in need at area hospitals. Additionally, as a member of De Pere Area Men’s club, Elton has delivered meals every week and heads a paper pick-up in De Pere every month. Elton has been involved with the De Pere Community Center since 1999. His volunteer efforts at the center consist of helping with the Nutrition Program, meal delivery, and seasonal events. On top of everything, Elton is a volunteer musician with three local bands, all of which he has played with for at least 25 years.

Thank you Elton for your years of service and for everything you do within our community!

Click HERE to see additional photos from the awards presentation.

Get to know: Brianna Schad, Summer Intern

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By: Brianna Schad, American Red Cross Intern

My name is Brianna Schad, and I am blessed to be spending my third summer interning with the American Red Cross in Manitowoc. I just completed my fourth year of college and second full year at Concordia University in Mequon, WI.  I am working towards my Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, with a projected graduation date in December of 2015.  I hope to work with the geriatric population in a skilled nursing facility in the future!

I was born and raised in Manitowoc, WI.  I come from a relatively small family, with one younger brother (age 20).  Brandon just completed his sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he is studying Computer Science.  In our free time, my family and I love to go fishing, biking, and boating.  And of course, we always enjoy cheering on the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Brewers!

Prior to my first internship opportunity, I had no idea how involved the Red Cross was in our community!  I quickly familiarized myself with their many facets once I began. On a daily basis, the Red Cross is helping those most in need and changing lives.  I’m looking forward to another summer of learning and growing as a person through this internship!  I’m excited for all of the opportunities and challenges that may arise.

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