ARC Gearing Up for the RNC in Cleveland

Preparations are underway for the 2016 Republican National Convention, July 18-22 in Cleveland.  The American Red Cross is among several organizations with plans to provide residents and visitors a safe and enjoyable experience.

The Red Cross responds to approximately 66,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect a single family, to hurricanes that affect tens of thousands, to earthquakes that impact millions. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet.

During the Republican National Convention, most hotels in Northeast Ohio are expected to be booked solid.  The Red Cross is preparing to respond to any potential need to shelter and feed any residents who may be displaced from their homes,  and is recruiting volunteers to help fulfill its mission.

Preparations are underway to open up to three shelters within a short time frame, in the event that a large number of Northeast Ohio residents is displaced due to home fires or other disasters. Opening and staffing three shelters could require more than 70 trained shelter volunteers around the clock. Currently, there aren’t enough volunteers to meet that need.

If you are interested in supporting our readiness to assist people in need throughout Northeast Ohio, during the convention and beyond, click here to create a Red Cross volunteer profile and begin the application process.

There is also a “Zero to Hero” boot camp planned in June, to teach volunteers the skills necessary for sheltering, health, or mental health responses.  The boot camp will take place from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Friday, June 24 and all day Saturday, June 25th, at the headquarters of the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region, 3747 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland.  To register, contact Luis Rivera, Workforce Engagement Manager, at 216-431-3328, or email NEOvolunteer@redcross.org.

Red Cross Cup Returns to Prestigious Canterbury

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You’ll feel like a pro when you join the Red Cross at the legendary Canterbury Golf Club on June 13.

The Red Cross Cup has historically been one of the region’s premiere golf outings.

Canterbury Golf Club is one of only three courses in the United States to host all five rotating men’s major golf championships.

The Red Cross Cup offers golfers not only the chance to play on a great course which is typically reserved for Canterbury members only, but every player will emerge victorious with all of the funds raised going directly to the disaster relief efforts of the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio.

The dual format adopted in 2011 to accommodate both the lower handicapped competitive golfer as well as the casual golfer was well-received by our players. This year’s tournament will again offer both individual and scramble play options.

For the first time at Canterbury, a live scoring app will be available to allow players to enter their scores into their smart phones.  Players will also be able to view their scores at the 2016 Red Cross Cup website.

A pre-tournament breakfast will be offered, as well as a post-play reception, featuring food, drinks and several coveted auction items, including four tickets to a Cavaliers game during the 2016-2017 season.  The winning bidder will also get four pre-game benchwarmer passes, allowing access to the Cavaliers bench before the game, and a unique opportunity to get up close and personal as the players walk on and off the court during the game and as they exit the locker room afterwards.

All Red Cross Cup golfers will receive a gift bag featuring a Bluetooth speaker and a sleeve of golf balls donated by Fox Sports Ohio.

The Red Cross Cup is limited to just 120 golfers, and foursomes sell out quickly. Reserve your spot on the legendary Canterbury Golf Course now! Contact Laurie Klingensmith at laurie.klingensmith@redcross.org or 216-912-4091.

Bring IT On: Disaster Services Technology

When a disaster strikes, who is it that gets the basic IT services that we’ve come to depend upon back up and running? The Disaster Services Technology team – a unique group of volunteers who deploy to a disaster response to set up communications technology!

The team provides the necessary infrastructure that a response may require, from internet capabilities (think: Safe And Well Services) to telecommunications (like an antenna based radio if cellular services are down).

“We can service everyone from a single user connection up to a whole site,” said Ed Finley, National Field Communications Engineer.

This week the team held a rare hands-on training at our Akron office. The three-day course is only offered once a year in each division. The training staff has already taught the course in Mobile, Ala.; Oakland, Calif.; and Austin, Texas. After Akron, they will head out to Tinton Falls, N.J.; Columbia, S.C.; and Minneapolis, Minn.

The course gives volunteers the opportunity to train on equipment that will deploy to a disaster response; such as laptops, cell phones, routers and satellites.

“Not only will students learn how to set-up and use the equipment, but also that there is a support system behind them that will help them get through the process and be successful,” said Ed.

Students at the Akron class hail from all over Ohio and the rest of the country – California, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

If you are interested in joining the Disaster Services Technology team, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer and sign-up to be a volunteer. You’ll go through a couple of basic Red Cross courses, including Disaster Services Technology Overview, and from there you’ll be able to train with some of the IT leaders who we are lucky enough to have living in Northeast Ohio before deploying.

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She Runs Because Help Can’t Wait

For one local woman, what began as a simple way to stay fit has become a wonderful way to give back to the community.

Mucci Run Team 1Jen Mucci started running as a source of exercise after the birth of her son, but it soon grew into a hobby. She began running longer distances and qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon after completing her first local marathon. Since then, she has run 14 marathons.

And, for each mile she runs, Jen is earning money for the Red Cross. And she is not alone. Jen has grown an amazing team who helps by running relay, half and full marathons – particularly at the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame marathon in Canton. Each year she hosts a kick-off meeting at her home where team members receive a Red Cross shirt to wear during the events. She also invites a speaker to share with the group how the Red Cross services affect so many individuals and families throughout the community.

“We run because help can’t wait,” said Jen. “The real goal is educating people on what the Red Cross does. No one is exempt; there is nothing you can do that precludes you from needing the Red Cross.”

This year her team pledged to earn $15,000 for the Red Cross. To date, she and her band of runners have earned more than $16,000 dollars!

“It’s been great being associated with such a great organization,” said Jen.

To support Jen’s annual fundraising campaign, visit https://www.facebook.com/WeRunForRedCross or visit her at Mainstream Boutique at Washington Square,  for the next scheduled fundraiser on May 20, where 10% of the day’s proceeds will benefit the Red Cross.

NEO Region Surpasses Goal for Number of Smoke Alarms Installed

Leads the Nation in Number of Smoke Alarms Installed

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Volunteers from Global Prairie and the Maple Heights Fire Department helped install more than 100 smoke alarms on Thursday, April 28, 2016.  Photo credit:  Cal Pusateri/American Red Cross Volunteer

Thousands of residents in Northeast Ohio are better protected from home fires, as the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region has surpassed its goal of installing 10,000 smoke alarms during fiscal year 2016.

As of Sunday, May 1, 2016, more than 10,500 smoke alarms had been installed in the homes of residents in the 22 counties served by the Northeast Ohio Region.

“This was truly a team effort in all five chapters, and reflects the efforts of the entire staff, our dedicated volunteers, and our valuable community partners,” said Mike Parks, Regional CEO.  “At last count, Northeast Ohio still leads the nation in the number of installations, which is only fitting since this life-saving program started in Cleveland almost 25 years ago.”

The American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign was modeled after “Operation Save-A-Life,” an initiative between the Red Cross Greater Cleveland Chapter and the City of Cleveland Division of Fire.  Through the program, valuable fire safety information is shared with residents, including how to develop an escape plan.  The installation of free smoke alarms is also offered.

The goal of the initiative is to reduce the number of fire deaths and injuries in the U. S. by 25% within five years.

Residents in Northeast Ohio can learn more about the campaign, and can request a free fire safety inspection and free smoke alarm installation by logging onto redcross.org/neoosal.

See more photos from the Fire Safety Walk in Maple Heights with our partners from Global Prairie on our Facebook Page.  And read about recent smoke alarm installation events in Akron and Madison Township on our blog.

Want to get our blog posts emailed to you directly each time one is posted? It’s simple to subscribe by email – just enter your email address on the left side of our home page, www.neoredcross.org!

They Went Over the (Black) River to Run for the Red (Cross)

Annual Fundraiser Draws Dozens of Participants

Despite gray skies and frosty temperatures, more than 80 runners and walkers turned out for the 2016 Run for the Red 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 23.  The event was held at the Bur Oak Pavilion in the Black River Reservation of the Lorain County Metro Parks.

Photo credit: Cal Pusateri/American Red Cross Volunteer

The top three finishers for men and women in various age groups received medals to commemorate their accomplishments.  Regional Major Gifts Officer Pam Zoltowicz had the honors of handing out the awards.  See the results of the run here.

Lara Kiefer, Executive Director of the Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter participated, along with her husband Joe and son Grant, who won the male 20-29 category, finishing the 3.1 mile run in 24:33.  He ran at a pace of under eight minutes per mile.  This was his first 5K.

The Red Cross thanks Moose Lodge 778 in Elyria and Nordson Corporation for their sponsorship of the 2016 Run for the Red.

Log onto redcross.org/neo to keep up to date with future fundraisers and other events, or to donate funds, blood, or to volunteer.

 

Lake to River Celebrates Volunteers

We love our volunteers!

Thank you so much to those who volunteer their time and heart to the Red Cross. Thank you to those who answer calls from people in our community in an effort to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of an emergency!

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On Thursday, April 21 the Lake to River chapter held a luau for their local volunteers. We want to thank and congratulation Jay Rosenthal (53 years) and Tab Alden (48 years) of service.  Nearly 50 volunteers, their guests and staff members attended the celebration.

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The Lake to River Chapter, which serves Ashtabula, Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning, and Trumbull Counties, has 225 volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.com/neo and click on “Volunteer”.