>A Celebration of Service: American Red Cross hosts Annual Meeting

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An evening of celebrating service given was held on May 20th at the Greenville County Club, where Red Cross volunteers and partners were recognized for their lifesaving work, and the men and women of the Armed Forces, Veterans and their families were recognized for their sacrifice.

After a delicious dinner and a brief business meeting which saw Tyeis Baker-Baunamm, Rick Lee, Dan Franks and Jessica Pabst elected to join the Darke County Board of Directors. An election of officers, Chair Mary Lane, Vice Chair Roger Van Frank, Second Vice Chair Cinda Pike, Secretary Diane Delaplane and Treasurer Ted Holsapple was held to lead board members Mike Bowers, Mike Boyer, Mark Dotson, Marie Boas, Dale Musser, John Cook, Greg Zechar, Mike Gray, Michelle Mader, Dennis Lockhart, Bonnie Wagner and Kay Kirby, past Chair. Additionally, two members were inducted onto the Honorary Board, they are considered for inclusion because of their high level of exemplary service, commitment to the organization and their enthusiastic continued support to the mission of the Red Cross, the two new members, Ruth Macklin and Bernard Dent join, Jon Eric Fee, Carmon Shoemaker, Mike Snyder, Don Grooms, Mike Rhoades, Ron Bonfiglio, John Keller, Nils Eikenberry and Gene Buchy.

Guest Speaker, Lt Colonel, Jesse Green, Ohio National Guard and Darke County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney shared with the members of the audience his experiences of his recent deployment; bringing home the services the Red Cross provides the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families.

A variety of awards were given at the Annual Meeting, for volunteers, partners and businesses:

The Good Neighbor Award for is presented to an organization for having made a significant humanitarian contribution to the Darke County Chapter of the American Red Cross. This year’s awardees are businesses, community organizations, social identities who all contributed in their own way to the Chapter’s Year of Service, and without their tremendous community support ,the Red Cross would not be able to deliver services and programs.

  • Darke County Friends of the Parks
  • Wayne Hospital
  • Experience Works
  • Beechwood Golf Course
  • Darke Journal
  • HandsOn Network
  • Darke County Juvenile Probation Office

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation (the Council) was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities and encourage more people to serve.

Recognizing and honoring volunteers sets a standard for service, encourages a sustained commitment to civic participation, and inspires others to make service a central part of their lives. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families, and groups that have achieved a certain standard – measured by the number of hours of service over a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime, twenty-four awards were presented in bronze and gold.

Five emergency services volunteers received the Service to Armed Forces Caseworker pin-these are the front line volunteers who are on call twenty-four hours day and night providing casework to the military and their families: John Wright, Karon Wolfe, Victor French, Emerson Behee, Debra Winterrowd. Additionally, volunteer Lowell Williams, was awarded the Service to VA Hospital pin.

A long distinguished history of nursing volunteers whether it’s in teaching, providing nursing or in disaster services, this year Regina Cook was presented with her Nursing Pin, Regina not only teaches CPR and First Aid, but also volunteers with the Medical Reserve Corp.

The Red Cross Ready Award is presented to an organization or business that’s excelled in their commitment to their employees and their customers or clients by preparing their organization for an emergency of any kind. This year’s winners of the Red Cross Ready award trained their employees in First Aid, CPR and Disaster Preparedness, as well as went above and beyond, by sharing classes with the public and their volunteers. This year’s awardee is the Darke County Health Department.

The Special Citation for Exceptional Volunteer Service honors a volunteer whose sustained performance over a period of several years has substantially exceeded the volunteer’s original commitment to the American Red Cross. The two winners of this award exemplify this in so many ways:
The first awardee is Lowell Williams, gentlemen who actually volunteers for the Red Cross, both in Darke County and for the Muncie Chapter. In Darke County he volunteers literally in all branches of service, teaching First Aid, Wilderness, CPR and youth classes; in disaster services he is on the day DAT team as well as volunteering across the country, in Armed Forces, he volunteers at the Dayton VA, not to mention, he can always be counted on for special projects and events.

The second awardee is Larry Crumrine, a known face in the Darke County Chapter, who has been continuously volunteering for the past twelve years, giving two to three days a week in custodial, services and office volunteering. Not only does he make sure that the office maintains a high quality of cleanliness, he always has a smile for everyone he encounters.

The Certificate of Merit is signed by the President of the United States, who serves as the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross. The Certificate of Merit began in early 1911 when an anonymous donor contacted the American Red Cross regarding a donation they wished to make to the National American Red Cross specifically for the recognition of first aid work rendered by railway men. In 1928, as a result of executive action, the present Certificate of Merit, with it’s guidelines was established. It has borne the signatures of fourteen presidents and survived numerous revisions to the physical certificate and medal. Darke County Chapter continues this most historic and noble tradition of the American Red Cross by presenting this award to Mr David Gilpin and Ms Rhonda Minton who were honored for their heroic efforts in sustaining the life of Mr. James Rench. These two used their training honorably, doing the best within their power to keep James alive until EMS could arrive, without a doubt although eventually Mr Rench passed away, the training and skills these two used that night gave him and his family time. For this act, David is being awarded the highest award given by the American Red Cross, The Certificate of Merit and Rhonda is being presented with the Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action.

Lastly, awards were given to all military members and/or their families who were attending with over twenty-five duffle bags being distributed to families. For those wishing more information about the work the American Red Cross does in Darke County, please stop by the chapter or take a look at their website www.darkecounty.redcross.org, additionally the chapter has a facebook page and a twitter account DarkeCyRedCross.

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