The year 2005 was a unprecedented year for The American Red Cross. Major worldwide disasters set volunteers and caring individuals in motion in support of relief efforts. In the United States the hurricane season had horrific affects on the gulf area but the American Red Cross and its volunteers stepped forward and did what they knew needed to be done.
For those who could not physically volunteer, helped in tremendous ways with their financial support. Even in Cherokee the Cherokee County Chapter of the American Red Cross saw an major increase in support from members of the community in an effort to help on a national level.
Marilyn Rietsma, the director the of the Cherokee County Chapter of the American Red Cross reports a total of $11,596.55 was raised and directly donated to the county chapter and forwarded to hurricane relief efforts.
Of that total $575 was raised through the fund raising efforts of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Youth and $3,128.65 came from various fundraising projects of Washington High School students. More money was raised from students at Cherokee Middle School and Roosevelt Elementary.
Locally the chapter sponsored eight levels of Water Safety courses in 2005 for a total of 39 courses and 191 certificates issued. The chapter has 28 authorized Water Safety Instructors. (see chart for breakdown)
They also sponsored seven different courses related to first aid for a total of 61 courses and 320 certificates issued. These courses were taught by six instructors from the chapter and five with extended authorization. (see chart for breakdown)
For the year 2004 the Disaster committee reported no fires. The chapter collected $1,470.90 directly for the tsunami with an additional $1,528 donated through the toll free number or over the internet for a total of $2,9998.90 from Cherokee county.
Volunteers from the chapter assisted with a variety of community activities in 2005. They helped with Mobile Meals, Cherokee Chamber Coffee, County Fund Drive, calling tree, Rodeo Parade, Library Book Basket, Health Fair, and as Board Officers.
In 2005 there were 13 cases of service to the military or veterans. Seven were notification / verification of family members death, three were about serious illness of family and one was in regard to financial assistance, one notification of service man death and one request for service man overseas address.
Much of what the Cherokee Chapter of the American Red Cross does for the community would not be possible with the support of its dedicated volunteers. At their annual dinner held on Nov. 5, 2005, long term volunteers were recognized for their efforts. The volunteers have served anywhere from 10 to 40 years.
Marilyn Bevard is a ten year volunteer having served as Recording Secretary for five years, and on the Nominating Committee. She also helped with the County Fund Drive, Chamber Coffees and Mobile Meals.
Another ten year volunteer, Ken File has helped on the Nominating Committee and with County Fund Drive.
Lois Hobson, an additional ten year member, is on the Fundraising Committee, helps with Mobile Meals, Chamber Coffees, County Fund Drive, and serves on the Nominating Committee.
After 20 years of service, David Boothby is now a Lifetime Member. He is on the Disaster Committee, has served as Chapter Chairman, and assisted the Red Cross in 1993 during the flood through his work on the Flood Committee.
Edna Hinspeter has faithfully attended meetings for 40 years as a representative from Marcus. She has always shared many baked items for the Chamber Coffee and various bake sales. She is very generous with her financial support of the chapter. Edna helped with the County Fund Drive, Gray Ladies, and Membership Committee. She provided food and shelter to families in need from flooding.
There are many other dedicated volunteers involved in the chapter. The complete list can been seen on these pages.
On behalf of the community we would like to salute our Cherokee County Chapter of the American Red Cross for their continued dedication and support of those in need.