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American Red Cross Northern Mariana Islands Recognizes Volunteers

NMI Volunteer Jerry Facey

The American Red Cross-NMI Chapter recognized last Saturday several of its volunteers who help the organization reach out to those in need.

During its 24th Annual Club 200 held at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, the humanitarian organization presented certificates of appreciation to Anita Sablan, Juan Lizmaa, Dean Oscillios, and Jerry Facey. Anita Sablan, the Red Cross club adviser at Marianas High School, was acknowledged for her hard work, dedication, and commitment to the Red Cross and its humanitarian mission, as well as her active involvement in the club and empowering the youth to do community service. Juan Lizama, one of the long-serving board members of Red Cross, was also recognized for his nine consecutive years in the board and several years as an alternate . Both Sablan and Lizama were not present to receive their awards. A certificate of appreciation was also presented to Dean Oscillios, a disaster action team member who was acknowledged for his exceptional service and dedication to the disaster services mission of Red Cross. “Any chance he gets off from work, he's up volunteering when we call him,” said emergency services director Juan Diego Tenorio, describing Oscillios as “very skilled” and “very dedicated” in his Red Cross work. Oscillios, who works at Joeten Superstore as the receiving department supervisor, said he began his volunteer work in 1997. “It feels good when you are able to help people who are in need,” he said in an interview. “Red Cross is like my second family and I'm surprised about this award.”Red Cross also bestowed its Lifetime Honorary Board Member award to Jerry Facey, the “grandfather” of Red Cross, according to executive director John Hirsh. A native of Springfield, Massachusetts, Facey has had extensive Red Cross experience in various capacities but “his first love has been and always will be disaster response,” said Hirsh. Hirsh said Facey has spent thousands of volunteer hours in an effort to help those in need, having responded to every major disaster in the CNMI in the last 25 years, even serving as Red Cross responder during the 9/11 attacks in New York. Facey, whose full-time job is benefit adviser for the Prior Service Trust Fund, said in an interview that the time he spent with Red Cross has been a “satisfying and rewarding job.”Red Cross officials and staff also expressed gratitude for the community's support in their biggest fundraising event every year.“Despite the horrific economy and despite the rainy and wet conditions, we had a whole bunch of people to support the Red Cross. We are here to support people in their time of need and our community came out and supported us,” said board chair John Guerrero.For his part, Hirsh said the event proves that “volunteerism is very alive and well in our community.”

“That's what motivates me for my work, to see the people around me doing so much,” said Hirsh. “Given our economic climate, it's tough on families. But I think our families do realize that they have to support organizations that in the end would help them. We saw that tonight,” he added.