Red Cross Fire and Ice Ball

Fundraising Continues with KeyBank Challenge

A message from CEO Mike Parks

Thank you to our amazing Red Cross supporters who helped us host a successful “Fire & Ice Ball” on Saturday, March 25, 2017!  We couldn’t have pulled this off without all of your efforts…from table sponsorships, donations of auction items and programs,  sharing invitations with friends and family, and dedicating your evening to our lifesaving mission…it was a wonderful celebration!

To those of you in attendance, we hope you enjoyed the experience as much as we did!  We certainly missed all of our friends who couldn’t join us, but we sincerely appreciate your support from afar.

For all of our Red Cross friends, we hope you will plan to join us at a future event, blood drive or neighborhood fire safety walk soon.  We could not fulfill the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross here in Northeast Ohio without your dedication to, and support of, our mission!

A special thank you to Beth Mooney of KeyBank for graciously accepting our Steve D. Bullock Humanitarian Award for 2017.  We are truly honored and grateful for the Inspirational Match of $25,000 that Beth announced on behalf of “Operation-Save-A-Life”.   Those funds will help our collaborative efforts to install new smoke alarms in every home, one neighborhood at a time.

If you would like to support “Operation-Save-A-Life” and take part in this Inspirational Match Campaign, please log onto  https://www.redcross.org/arcneohio-pub   to make a donation on behalf of the American Red Cross and KeyBank.   Please feel free to share this message with your friends.  Thank you for your generosity and commitment to the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland!

Best regards…Mike

Here are some photos from the Ball.  See dozens more in our Flickr album here.

Red Cross Fire and Ice Ball This Saturday

KeyCorp CEO Beth E. Mooney to Receive Humanitarian Award

The 25th anniversary of Operation Save-A-Life will be celebrated at the 2017 American Red Cross Fire and Ice Ball this Saturday, March 25th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Cleveland.  And Beth E. Mooney, Chair and CEO of KeyCorp, will be honored with the Steve D. Bullock Humanitarian Award.

Founded in Cleveland in 1992, Operation Save-A-Life offers residents in neighborhoods deemed to be at high risk for home fires valuable fire safety education and smoke alarm installations. Together with partners like the Cleveland Division of Fire, more than 160,000 smoke alarms have been installed in homes throughout Northeast Ohio since 1992, at no cost to residents.

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The program has been so successful that in 2014, the Red Cross rolled out the Home Fire Campaign nationwide.  Modeled after Operation Save-A-Life in Cleveland, the goal of the program is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to home fires 25% by the year 2020.

As of March 17, 2017, 197 lives have been saved nationally because of working smoke alarms installed by Red Cross workers, volunteers, and community partners.

In fiscal year 2016 alone, the Red Cross and its community partners installed nearly 13,000 smoke alarms in homes throughout the 22 counties served by the Northeast Ohio Region, more than doubling the goal of 6,000 alarms.  This fiscal year, the goal of 10,000 smoke alarms was reached on March 6, 2017, thanks to the power of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors.

Residents in need of smoke alarms in their homes can visit redcross.org/neoosal, or call 216-361-5535 in Greater Cleveland to schedule an appointment for a home fire safety inspection and free smoke alarm installation.

Beth MooneyThe Humanitarian Award is presented to an honoree who embodies the spirit of the Red Cross, through their contributions to the welfare and quality of life in the community.

“Beth’s values certainly reflect those of the Red Cross,” said Mike Parks, CEO of the Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region. “Her work with KeyBank and her many civic and philanthropic endeavors make her a most worthy recipient of the Humanitarian Award.”

Beth Mooney joined KeyCorp in 2006, and was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2011, guiding the 190-year-old institution into becoming one of the nation’s largest and most respected bank-based financial services companies. Forbes Magazine has named her one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” Fortune Magazine declared her one of the top 50 “Most Powerful Women in Business” and American Banker Magazine named her the “Most Powerful Woman in Banking” three consecutive times.

The first Humanitarian Award was presented to philanthropist Sam Miller in 1993, a year after he provided the initial funding to create Operation Save-A-Life.

Previous winners of the Humanitarian Award include:

2014     Sandy Cutler
2012     Richard W. and Patricia R. Pogue
2009     Henry Meyer and Mayor Frank Jackson
2008     Joseph J. LoPresti (posthumously)
2005     William W. Rowley
2004     Terry R. White
2001     Bishop Anthony Pilla and Rabbi Armond E. Cohen
1999     Albert M. Higley Jr. and Beverly Higley
1997     Drs. Floyd Loop and Bernadine Healy
1995     Rena and Michael Blumberg
1993     Samuel H. Miller

Those interested in attending the 2017 Red Cross Fire and Ice Ball can contact Angela Gibian at angela.gibian@redcross.org, or call 216-431-3060.

Ordinary People Honored for Taking Extraordinary Action

Recognized with Highest Award the Red Cross Offers

Lifesavers.  When we hear that word, we think of surgeons, firefighters, police officers, lifeguards.

Add teacher and massage therapist to the list.

Two people who have been certified by the Red Cross for their lifesaving skills have now been honored after putting those skills to use.

Certificates of Merit were awarded to Natasha Alexander-Cooley and Molly O’Donnell.  The certificates, signed by President Barack Obama, cite their “selfless and humane action in sustaining a life.”  They are the highest award given by the Red Cross to someone who sustains or saves a life by using the skills learned during Red Cross training.

Natasha, an educator at Tremont Montessori School in Cleveland, was honored for saving the life of a choking student, by performing several abdominal thrusts until food was dislodged from the choking boy’s throat.

Molly, a licesned massage therapist and trained First Aid/CPR/AED instructor, was cited for her efforts to save the life of her Instructor Trainer, who suffered cardiac arrest prior to the start of their class earlier this year.

“The Red Cross trains people to react to emergency situations, and these individuals did exactly what they were trained to do,” said Charlotte Rerko, Regional COO and a Registered Nurse.   “It was an honor to present these awards to them.”

Charlotte was also honored with a Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action.  She also responded to the stricken CPR Instructor.

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Mike Parks, Charlotte Rerko and Shawn Riley

The awards were presented by Mike Parks, Regional CEO, and Shawn Riley, Board Chair, during the quarterly meeting of the Greater Cleveland Chapter Board of Directors on Thursday, December 8.  There’s a photo gallery from the meeting on the Greater Cleveland Chapter Facebook page.

The Red Cross teaches not only First Aid/CPR/AED, but also Basic Life Support, Babysitting and Childcare, and Lifeguarding.  Go to redcross.org/take-a-class to learn these live saving skills.  You may be called on someday to take extraordinary action in order to save a life.

Smoke Alarms Installed Ahead of Holiday Cooking Time

With the holiday season in full swing we can not stress enough the importance of…

SMOKE ALARMS.

Let’s face it, winter in NEO is C-O-L-D! It’s prime time for home fires, between holiday cooking and trying to stay warm. And that’s why our Operation Save-A-Life program is so vitally important.

We applaud the volunteers and fire department personnel of Olmsted Twp. who braved our first real cold snap last Saturday to install smoke alarms in one Olmsted Township neighborhood. Through their work, we were able to install more than 320 smoke alarms in 130 homes!

(Click on the photo below to view our album on Flickr!)

Olmsted Twp Fire Walk

If you or someone you know need smoke alarms installed, please visit www.redcross.org/neoosal and click on your county to learn more about this free program.

Police Chief Honored During National Preparedness Month

Cleveland Chief Cited for Work During Recent Republican National Convention

He has been called a peacemaker, the host of the party, and the “RNC MVP” for the way protesters and visitors who were in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention in July were treated.  But Chief Calvin Williams of the Cleveland Division of Police gives the credit to the members of his department for helping keep the peace during the four day event.

The Greater Cleveland Chapter Board of Directors recognized Chief Williams and the Cleveland Division of Police with a Certificate of Appreciation at their quarterly meeting on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

Chief Williams agreed to receive the certificate under one condition: that the entire Cleveland Police Department be recognized as well. And he acknowledged the work of many organizations, including the Red Cross, for helping make the RNC a success.

“The Red Cross has always been a great partner of ours whenever there was something that happens, not just in Cleveland but in Northeast Ohio. You don’t ask anything in return, so we definitely appreciate it,” Chief Williams said.  “The RNC was a great, great example of partnership, again not only for Cleveland but Northeast Ohio, and it could not have been the success it was without partners like the Red Cross and others.”

The Certificate was presented to Chief Williams  by Mike Parks, CEO of the Northeast Ohio Region and Laura Hauser, Secretary of the Greater Cleveland Board of Directors.

“It seemed appropriate during National Preparedness Month to recognize this great partner of ours,” Mike Parks said as he introduced the Chief, “Not only the chief, but the Division of Police because of the great work they did.”

Mike noted how the Red Cross was ready to open shelters during the convention, thanks to the preparations made by many Red Cross volunteers.  The need for volunteers did not end with the conclusion of the convention.  There is a constant need of volunteers to fill a variety of roles at the Red Cross.  If you are interested in a volunteer position, log onto redcross.org/neo and click on the volunteer tab, or call 216-431-3328.

Red Cross, Partners Help Euclid Residents Prepare for and Prevent Home Fires

Lincoln Electric Volunteers, Euclid Fire Department Personnel Participate in Fire Safety Walk

Nearly 100 homes in Euclid now have working smoke alarms, following one of the largest Fire Safety Walks ever held in Northeast Ohio.  283 smoke alarms were installed on Saturday, August 6, 2016, with the enthusiastic help of volunteers from Lincoln Electric and our partners at the Euclid Fire Department.

“We were able to get into 95 homes and install 283 alarms. That is approximately 3 per home,” said John Gareis, Regional Manager of Preparedness and Community Planning in Northeast Ohio.

install1Combined with a similar effort last summer involving Lincoln Electric volunteers and the Euclid Fire Department, almost 650 smoke alarms have been installed in that Euclid neighborhood as part of Operation Save-A-Life, the American Red Cross initiative in Northeast Ohio to reduce the number of casualties in home fires by 25%.  John Gareis continued, “While the total number of alarms is less than last summer, our targeted area has far fewer homes in them – making this install more efficient overall!”

As was the case last summer, Lincoln Electric CEO Chris Mapes worked alongside employees to install the smoke alarms, and to provide residents with valuable fire safety information.  And Mike Parks, Regional CEO of the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio contributed to the effort, along with Red Cross volunteers and staff.

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Mike Parks, Chris Mapes and John Gareis

“The partnership between Lincoln Electric, Euclid Fire, and the American Red Cross is a winner to be sure and a model for others, not only in the Region but throughout the country,” Parks said.  “I know the event had an extremely positive impact, and will help prevent the loss of life due to home fires.”

Last year, more than 100 lives across the country were saved after smoke alarms were installed by the Red Cross and our partners.

Home fires remain the biggest disaster threat to individuals and families in the United States. There are three home fires, on average, in Northeast Ohio every night. Operation Save-A-Life, part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is in direct response to that dire threat, with the Red Cross committing to install 2.5 million free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires, and to educate those residents about fire prevention and preparedness.

More than 12,500 smoke alarms were installed in homes in Northeast Ohio last year.

If you would like a free fire safety inspection of your home, and free installation of smoke alarms, log onto redcross.org/neoosal.  You can also visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect you and your family from fire. You can also become a Red Cross volunteer. And you can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

Euclid - Lincoln Fire Walk 2016

Click on the photo to see a gallery of pictures taken during the Euclid Fire Safety Walk.

Photo credit: Cal Pusateri, American Red Cross Communications Volunteer

Greater Cleveland Heroes Honored

A psychiatric nurse who puts his life on the line to treat his patients.

A FirstEnergy Meter Reader who used his first aid training to help a severely injured man.

A U. S. Army Colonel who commands a medical unit responsible for working in combat zones.

A Patient Navigator who helps adolescent and young adult patients recover from cancer.

A Coast Guard pilot who rescued a mariner after his sailboat was smashed on the Fairport Harbor break wall.

A Cleveland Police Detective and two Patrol Officers who administered life-saving aid to an injured man.

And a miniature horse who brings comfort and joy to hospitalized children.

The 2016 American Red Cross Greater Cleveland Hero Award winners were honored on Friday, March 11 during a luncheon ceremony at the First Merit Cleveland Convention Center.  More than 400 people helped pay tribute to the heroes.  They heard Regional CEO Mike Parks update Red Cross efforts to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. And they saw a video featuring the heroes telling their stories.

Sara Shookman, co-anchor of the 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM news on WKYC TV 3 hosted the ceremony.  Channel 3 News covered the event, along with WOIO and Fox 8.

In addition to the hero honorees, Dr. Akram Boutros, President and CEO of The MetroHealth System was presented with the Community Leader Award.

Photo credit: Cal Pusateri/American Red Cross Volunteer

Here are the 2016 Greater Cleveland Heroes:

Thomas Huggins, Visiting Nurse Association

Psychiatric nurse Thomas (Thom) Huggins of the Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio goes above and beyond to help people who are in emotional or mental torment.  Even when they first refuse his help.

Thom visits their homes repeatedly until the patients begin to trust him and to believe him when he tells them that their medication will help, and that their condition is not a sign of weakness.  He knows that if a patient’s mental health and stability improve, the patient’s life will be better and the entire community will benefit.

His courage and compassion have allowed hundreds, if not thousands of individuals to continue their journey to healthy, safe, and independent living.

“To see the spark start to the return to their eyes, that they get it, and to see them feel relief from their symptoms,” says Thom, “What could I ever do that would be better than being a part of that?”

David Bailey, First Energy Corp.

Dave Bailey, a Meter Reader at First Energy, was just finishing up a job at a home in Concord Township when he was approached by another man with a look of horror on his face. The man was a carpenter who was working nearby and had severely injured his hand with a saw. Dave took control of the situation. He recalled the emergency first aid training he received as part of his job.  Dave told the man to keep pressure on the wound to help control the bleeding, and helped keep him calm while they waited for emergency medical personnel to arrive. Dave then activated the emergency lights on his truck to help guide the ambulance crew to their location.

Dave, who is preparing to retire after 15 years with First Energy, is grateful he was able to help a fellow human being in need.

Col. Thomas Dundon, DDS, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Dr. Thomas Dundon is not only Chief of Dental Services at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center,  he is also a U. S. Army Colonel.  He has twice been deployed to war zones in the Middle East. Dr. Dundon has devoted his entire military and professional career to serving Army Reservists and Veterans, and is currently Commander of the 912th Dental Company.

Dr. Dundon was awarded the distinguished U.S. Army Bronze Star, a medal denoting meritorious achievement or service in a combat zone for his deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008.  Through his leadership as the Dental Commander for the entire northern region of Iraq, Dr. Dundon helped more than 12,000 coalition forces and civilians receive quality dental care.

In addition to his military deployments, Dr. Dundon has led numerous dental teams on humanitarian missions to impoverished areas throughout the world, improving access to dental care for thousands of people.

Amelia Baffa, UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital

Adolescents and young adults with cancer can face unique challenges.  They are often caught between pediatric and adult oncology. The medical and social needs of these patients often differ from the needs of infants, younger children and adults.

Amelia Baffa recognizes the challenges these patients face as a Patient Navigator for teen and young adult cancer patients at the Angie Fowler Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Institute at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

She is nationally recognized for her efforts to develop fertility preservation programs for this age group.

Prior to her role as an adolescent and young adult (AYA) Patient Navigator, Amelia was a driving force behind the transformation of blood conservation at the hospital. The standards and guidelines she helped create limited unnecessary pediatric blood transfusions.  She then went on to help other children’s hospitals develop and implement similar programs.  The impact of her efforts has been significant across the country.

Harry Ramsey, United States Coast Guard

Winds were whipping up waves on Lake Erie after sunset on October 8th, when a distress call was received: a sailboat was in danger of smashing into the Fairport Harbor break wall. The seas were 6-9 feet with winds exceeding 20 knots, as a Coast Guard response boat, piloted by Boatswain’s Mate Harry Ramsey arrived. The sailboat did indeed hit the break wall and was taking on water. Despite the extremely challenging weather conditions, and the dangerous proximity to the break wall, Petty Officer Ramsey expertly maneuvered the Coast Guard vessel to rescue the boater from his sinking sailboat.  He executed the transfer flawlessly.

The Coast Guard credits Boatswain’s Mate Harry Ramsey’s bravery, professionalism, and dedication for saving the life of the boater, and preserving the lives of his crew.

Detective John Graves, Patrol Officer Theresa Cavett, Patrol Officer Matthew Cavanaugh, Cleveland Division of Police

Police aren’t often called to chase down someone in need of medical attention.  But it happened one night in December 2015, when Detective John Graves was the first on the scene of a serious car crash on Cleveland’s near west side. Witnesses said a bleeding man ran from the crash. Detective Graves spotted him and gave chase on foot, finally apprehending the man in a yard nearby. He had severe arm and leg wounds.  Arriving on the scene, Officer Matthew Cavanaugh applied a tourniquet to the injured leg, utilizing his recent first-aid training. Officer Theresa Cavett used the man’s belt as a tourniquet on his arm, and tried to keep him from going into shock. Emergency Medical personnel then took man to a nearby hospital, where doctors said a bullet had hit the man’s femoral artery, and that he would have died without the officers’ quick and competent medical attention.

Petie the Pony, Victory Gallop Therapeutic Riding School

Petie the Pony has been bringing joy into the lives of children for nearly 20 years.  He visits patients at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, offering a form of therapy that no doctor or drug can match.  His big brown eyes and his soft muzzle offer warmth and kindness to every child he meets.  He is never impatient, and always finds a way to break through the barrier of pain or sickness to bring joy to children.

Preparing Petie is no easy task.  His handlers Sue Miller, Kim Gustely and Toril Simon of Victory Gallop, a therapeutic horseback riding school, must go through a painstaking procedure to be sure he meets the hospital’s cleanliness standards.  Petie must then negotiate a revolving door and an elevator to access patient rooms.  But the visible joy he brings to a child who hasn’t smiled in weeks is a gift well worth the effort.