The American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee will recognize individuals who exemplify courage, kindness and unselfish character at its 6th Annual Hometown Heroes Luncheon on Thursday, March 14 at The Chattanoogan from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Volkswagen, Erlanger and Blue Cross Blue Shield are event sponsors.
The keynote speaker will be Keith Alvey, recent Director for the Hurricane Sandy Relief in New York. He is a 17 year veteran of the American Red Cross from Kentucky who also worked in disaster response during Hurricane Katrina, the September 11 attack on NY, the Lexington Com-Air crash, Hurricane Floyd and the tornadoes in Kentucky and Indiana in March 2012.
The Red Cross will select five local heroes from nominations submitted by the community. Categories include Good Samaritan – Youth (18 and younger); Good Samaritan – Adult; Red Cross Volunteer-Hospital; Red Cross Volunteer – Disaster and First Responder.
Anyone may nominate a hero by visiting http://american.redcross.org/southeasttnheroes. People may also pick up nomination forms at the American Red Cross, 801 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403. They can be mailed or faxed to 423-265-8952. Nomination forms must be received by February 25 at 4:45 p.m. and will be judged by a committee of civic and community leaders. Nominees must live or work in Hamilton, Bledsoe, Grundy, Sequatchie, Rhea, Marion, Bradley, Meigs, McMinn, Polk or Monroe counties. Additional guidelines may be found on the nomination form.
“This is a great opportunity to remember those who help all of us here in Southeast Tennessee by giving their time to help their neighbor,” said event coordinator Sandy Matheson, Red Cross Regional Chief Development Officer. “We want to thank our heroes during Red Cross Month – our volunteers, class takers and financial supporters who help us assist those in need.”
March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.
Last year in the Greater Chattanooga area, the American Red Cross assisted 180 families (195 individuals) with disaster financial assistance; 4,514 people attended Red Cross Disaster Services presentations and demonstrations and Service to Armed Forces provided casework services for 444 members of the United States Armed Forces, veterans and their families. In addition, the Red Cross instructed 4,630 people in Health and Safety courses including First Aid, CPR, AED and Water Safety while 654 local volunteers supported community services including disaster relief, community preparedness, information and referral, and volunteer leadership.
“Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross and there are many different ways to do it,” Matheson said. “They can develop a preparedness plan for their household, become a Red Cross volunteer, give blood, or take a Red Cross class, just to name a few.”
The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.
For information about table sponsorships contact: Sandy.Matheson@redcross.org or call 423-421-4587.