Running with the Lorain County Chapter

Saturday, June 7th was a beautiful day for a race. The Lorain County Chapter and U.S. Steel Corporation, presenting partner of the race, challenged over 100 runners and walkers to “Run for the Red”.

The 5K is an annual event for the Lorain County Chapter. U.S. Steel has been the presenting partner for the past three years.  The race began at the Lorain County Metro Parks’ Day’s Dam Pavilion where runners followed the scenic Steel Mill Trail.

Participants enjoyed fresh fruit and Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream along with an array of door prizes after the race. Door prizes included a Spa Basket, a Cupcake Basket provided by Sweets by Maggie, a three month pass to EMH Health and Fitness, brunch for two at the Oberlin Inn, and a gourmet tea basket from Sub Rosa Tea.

Pictured: Team US Steel, Presenting Sponsor, had 22 runners this year. John Wilkinson , Plant Manager and Kim Black-Brown our FY14 Board Chair coordinated the team. They are looking forward to running the 5K next year!

Thank you once again to all who came out and supported our fundraising efforts by participating in Run for the Red! Please visit the Lorain County Facebook page to view photos and a video from the 5K.

Cleveland State Intern, Mary Malone shares her Red Cross story

As a senior at Cleveland State University pursuing a bachelors of Social Work, I began an internship with the American Red Cross, in the Emergency Services department.

After a fire, the Red Cross assists the family in immediate and urgent needs. As a student intern I am learning how to participate in a social services agency setting by working directly with clients, other caseworkers, volunteers, and various other staff positions. I look to each person at the Red Cross as a “teacher” and someone from whom I can learn valuable lessons and techniques.

A typical day for me at the Red Cross includes following up with clients after they have experienced a disaster. The most prevalent of emergency situations that I have encountered, during my time, are single-family house fires. The caseworkers at the Red Cross and I ensure that the client’s direct needs are being met. If the Red Cross cannot provide it directly, there are countless referrals to other community organizations. I spend a lot of time on the phone talking with clients, sometimes it is a short call and sometimes the client wants to have someone to talk to and express their fears, worries, and sometimes even joys. I use my ability to communicate with others when they have just experienced a crisis, by validating their words and listening to what it is that they are saying. Other times I meet with clients when they need to come in to the Red Cross for a meeting with a caseworker. Being able to help people in such a dire time of need, knowing that I have many tools in my toolbox to assist them and let them know that they are not alone, is so rewarding.

As part of my internship, I have been able to go out and witness the scene of a disaster. I went to a house that had been burnt very badly and the emotions of clients as they were standing outside, were very raw. Having never been in a situation quite like this I was not sure how I would feel, or how I should act. I learned a lot by watching my Red Cross supervisor communicate with empathy, understanding, and patience. Even though her home was very badly damaged, the client was most concerned for her cat’s well-being. As we left various neighbors, family members and friends came to her and lavish her with hugs, and envelopes of money to help financially. Even in a situation that is inconceivably horrible, the strengths within this one client’s community gives me hope of a full recovery and resiliency.

After semesters of studying books and articles, participating in mock interventions, and writing papers in preparation for my future as a Social Work practitioner, my work with the Red Cross has reaffirmed my passion for social work.

Fourth of July Safety Tips

Happy Independence Day!Founders
Northeast Ohioans can expect a gorgeous Holiday weekend and many are expected to celebrate at a backyard party or poolside.

Whatever way you chose to enjoy yourself during the party weekend of the summer, be sure to keep these simple, safety tips in mind.

Soak Up the Sun, Safely:

Keep your skin safe by wearing sunscreen outdoors, even if it is partly sunny. But how exactly does sunscreen work? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most sun protection products work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. All products do not have the same ingredients so if you have a bad skin reaction to one brand, try another.

Know your sunscreen’s rating. All sunscreens have a sun protection factor (SPF) number clearly stated on their label. The SPF number illustrates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. Look for sunscreen with at least a rating of SPF 15. This number applies to cosmetics that contain sunscreen as well. And be sure to check out your label’s directions regarding reapplication. Most brands recommend reapplying after two hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off.

Sunscreen does have a shelf life! Check your sunscreen’s expiration date. If it is expired, or you’ve had it for three years, throw it out and purchase new.

Take Water Seriously:

Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water, even if you are not “thirsty”. Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages in excess.

Use the buddy system when swimming. No one should swim alone. Adults should pay close and constant attention to children and inexperienced swimmers. Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.

Download the free Red Cross Swim and First Aid Apps. Swim App users can learn water safety and drowning prevention information for a variety of aquatic environments. Children can have fun learning water safety tips with the child-friendly videos and quizzes in the app. The First Aid App puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at someone’s fingertips. The apps are available for smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores. The Swim App is also available in the Amazon Kindle Store.

Backyard Pool Owners can take the Home Pool Essentials online course. The Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation have developed an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners. Home Pool Essentials ( helps people understand the risks of pool ownership, how to maintain a safer and cleaner pool, what safety equipment is appropriate, how to prevent pool and hot tub entrapment hazards and how to respond to an emergency.

For more water safety information check out

Fireworks and Flag

President and CEO of the American Red Cross, Gail McGovern speaks at event in Northeast Ohio

Gail McGovern, CEO of the American Red Cross, speaks at the City Club of Cleveland.

Gail McGovern, CEO of the American Red Cross, speaks at the City Club of Cleveland.

Gail McGovern spoke at the Cleveland City Club on June 20, 2014 about the transformation process that turned the American Red Cross into a 21st century emergency response and blood services organization.

She spoke about how the organizaiton was able to eliminate a $209 million operating defecit in two years after she began at the Red Cross in 2008. By consolidating the organization by getting all chapters on one email system, a common donor database, and a single website the Red Cross was able to become better stewards of the donor’s dollar. McGovern also shared some of the Red Cross stories she hears from people around the world, including one from a man who gave 103 gallons of blood – helping over 2,400 people – simply because he thought it was the right thing to do.

To view video from the June 20th event, click here:

Honoring seven everyday heroes at the 15th Annual Real Heroes Awards

On May 15th, the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio celebrated the 15th Annual Real Heroes Awards Event.

The event, held at the beautiful Bertram Inn in Aurora, raised over $22,000 for the services and programs of the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio.

The 2014 Honorees include:

David Irland was recognized for using his First Aid knowledge to save a choking child.

During a lunch period last spring, David Irland, a teacher, noticed one of his kindergarten students not acting quite right. Within seconds, David could tell the boy was choking. Quickly and quietly, he knelt behind the boy and performed an abdominal thrust which dislodged a very large bite of sandwich. He took the kindergartener to the school nurse and they were back in the lunchroom within 15 minutes.

Now a first grader, the boy only remembers that his head slumped over and Mr. Irland came up and gave him a big hug.


Chance Singer was recognized for rescuing a family from an early morning house fire.

Chance Singer was driving home from work around midnight when he and his passengers spotted the roof of a house consumed by fire. Noticing a car in the driveway, Chance pulled over and ran to the house to alert the residents. After banging on various doors and windows, he had to run back to  his car to recover from the smoke. When he returned for one more attempt, he heard a dog barking. He watched as the family ran out of the burning door. The oldest son had been woken by Chance’s pounding and had pressed his family into action. With the home engulfed in flames, Chance got them across the street to safety.

Chief Seth Riewaldt was recognized for 35 years of altruistic commitment to the Aurora Community and for creating the Community Enhancement Team (CET) and K-9 unit.

Chief Riewaldt will retire in June with 35 years of service to the community of Aurora. He worked his way through the ranks, first as a dispatcher and then as an officer, and was appointed Aurora’s Police Chief in 2003. In his tenure, he has increased the size of the force and assembled funding for the city’s Police K-9 unit. In an effort to enhance the department’s response in the community the Chief created the Community Enhancement Team (CET), which is a division of three officers assigned to address concerns of residents and business owners. He initiated the school resource officer program with the local district, which has grown from one officer to two.

Bart Alcorn was recognized for creating Clay Eddy Fields Kiwanis Park and developing employment programs for area adults with disabilities.

When his daughter was young, he saw a need for more athletic fields in the area. Bart, co-owner of Eddy Fruit Farm, started his own non-profit and began raising funds to create the Clay Eddy Fields Kiwanis Park. The park grew to include baseball and soccer fields which are open to all local teams. It is now the home to the Special Olympics Softball Tournament.

Through the Special Olympics, Bart has become a proud supporter of adults with disabilities. He is taking on a new project that will tie the family business to the community members he has come to know and love. “The Green House Project” will provide fresh vegetables through Eddy Fruit Farm to the community at large all year round and will create jobs for adults with disabilities.

Andrew Wawrin was recognized for inspiring community members to donate over 500 pints of blood to help more than 1500 recipients through the annual Christopher Wawrin Blood Drive.

When his son, Christopher, passed away due to a violent act in December of 1997, Andy Wawrin wanted to observe his birthday in a way that would continue to honor his legacy. Each year he hosts a blood drive on the weekend of Christopher’s birthday. Christopher, who had been a regular blood donor, had received over 100 units of blood while fighting for his life.

In the past 16 years, the family has inspired nearly 500 people to come and donate blood and helping 1500 patients in local hospitals to receive the lifesaving treatments they need.

Zoe Burch was recognized for reporting the threat of school violence.

Zoe was in an online chat room during her second year at Kent State University when she noticed a violent threat towards a high school in Pennsylvania. She reported the threat to Kent State Police which led to involvement from Pennsylvania authorities and the FBl. The threat was confirmed and the suspect was arrested thanks to Zoe’s quick actions.

Dr. Judah Friedman was recognized for going above and beyond to assist his patients when they need it the most.

Dr. Judah Friedman loves the science behind medicine, but his passion is allowing his patients to finalize their lives without their focus being on doctors and hospitals.  Dr. Friedman visits his patients at various hospitals as a friend, he takes their prescriptions to them so their time is spent with family not driving to pharmacies. He will also continue his care as his patient’s transition to hospice and provide his personal cell phone number to be contacted anytime, day or night, even if it’s just to talk. Dr. Friedman goes above and beyond to make sure his patients are focusing on the truly important people in their lives.

Portage County community hero, A. Ray Dalton of PartsSource, was awarded the Robinson Memorial Paragon Award for his contributions to improve Portage County and the world around him.


Meeting the challenges of Northeast Ohio Weather – May edition

Even before the storm clouds rolled over the radar screen, the hub at the Red Cross in Cleveland was readying its response to the coming storm.

On Monday, while the wind and rain howled throughout the region, members of our disaster response team began to initiate the first stages of the plan. Red Cross workers began the work of setting up a shelter for the residents of North Ridgeville, who had to be evacuated by boats due to the rising flood waters.

Summit and Portage County Board Member, Leonard Foster, loads a clean-up kit at the chapter.

Summit and Portage County Board Member, Leonard Foster, loads a clean-up kit at the chapter.

As the sun rose on Tuesday volunteers and staff were loading up the Red Cross vehicles to begin the process of observing, collecting, assessing, processing and recording information on each affected areas. The information obtained in this assessment helps the Red Cross determine how to respond to a disaster and what supplies will be required.

Our process starts with an area assessment and then moves to looking at individual homes to see what specific damage has been wrought by the storm – checking water levels in the basement or living space of a home and seeing if it is still inhabitable.

In the case of one Stow area family, where a basement wall had collapsed allowing mud and debris to slide into the home, we were able to help start the process of repairing the wall so that they will be able to stay in their home.

The Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) loaded with bleach and buckets donated by Home Depot, May 2014

The Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) loaded with bleach and buckets donated by Home Depot, May 2014

In other areas of Summit, Medina and Lorain Counties, we provided residents with clean-up kits containing disinfectant, a mop, a bucket and information about how to begin cleaning up the mess the storm and water had left in their homes. In some areas, we also passed out bleach, a donation from Home Depot.

If you are still looking for information on how to clean your basement, check out this link to our Repairing your Flooded Home booklet.

Back in North Ridgeville, we loaded up our Emergency Response Vehicle and set out through the streets, providing food to the residents who were there making their own assessments of the damage to their properties.

We cannot say enough to praise the many volunteers who left their own flooded basements to help other members in their community and in neighboring counties. If you are interested in joining their ranks, you can get started as a volunteer by signing up through our website.

If you would like to financially contribute to the clean-up effort, please visit or contact your local chapter.