The 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts, held Thursday, June 20, featured a guest speaker this year: Thomas Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association.
For decades the Boston Marathon has partnered with the B.A.A. by operating first aid tents along the race route and staffing emergency operations centers just in case they were needed. This year, when the worst did happen, those operations centers sprang into action within minutes of bombs being exploded near the finish line.
Executive Director of the B.A.A. Thomas Grilk thanked the volunteers of the American Red Cross for their central role in the region’s recovery after the bombing.
“The Red Cross takes action when it is needed, where it is needed, and often under stress. On April 15, you took a lot of action," Grilk told Red Crossers in the audience at the Eastern Massachusetts gathering for its annual meeting. “For what we have learned from you, I want to say 'thank you.'"
The Red Cross served 46,829 meals and snacks to first responders and families affected by the bombing. There were 3,574 mental health queries made by Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteers. Hundreds of signs with Red Cross coping tips were posted on MBTA trains and bus shelters. And among the many centers the Red Cross staffed, it co-managed the Family Assistance Center, where families of the injured and the deceased could learn of all the services available to them.
“Our partnership goes back 40 years,” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO of the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts. “It was because of the nature of our work with the Boston Marathon that made us uniquely prepared to respond.”
Also at the annual meeting were members of Team Red Cross. There were 40 marathoners who raised $173,000 for the programs of the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts with their participation in this year’s marathon. Thomas Grilk presented Team Red Cross members with medals for participating in the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.