The Buffalo Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross held its 6th Annual ‘Heroes Night’ this past Friday at the Gladstone Inn & Suites in Jamestown. The event raises funds for Red Cross disaster relief and honors ‘heroes’ in the community.
The Buffalo Valley Board of Directors along with the Heroes Committee choose the recipients based on service to the Red Cross in the community. Three ‘Heroes’ were chosen for 2013. They are David Smette, Phyllis Thompson, and Jeff Wolsky.
Smette has been a volunteer with the Red Cross since the spring of 2009. He has been trained to assist with Disaster Assessment, Feeding, assisting in an Emergency Operation Center and as an Emergency Response Vehicle Driver. Smette has assisted with feeding sandbaggers during the flooding in 2009, 2010, 2011, feeding emergency personnel during a search and recovery operation in Foster County, and feeding emergency personnel during a search and recovery operation in Stutsman County. He also drove an Emergency Response Vehicle 1700 miles three days after Hurricane Sandy hit landfall to assist many families, first responders, and military. Upon returning from his deployment for Hurricane Sandy Dave was a guest speaker at many local civic organizations and local media sharing of his experiences during his deployment. When he returned from volunteering 12 plus hours a day for 14 days out east he stated, “I am ready for my next assignment that was fun!”
Thompson is the General Manager for the Gladstone Inn & Suites has been instrumental is the ‘Rooms for Red Cross’ program. For the past three years, she has supported this program by donating hotel rooms to be used for families affected by a disaster. With her support , the Red Cross has been able to secure new motels with the donations of rooms. Jamestown secured over 70 rooms thanks to her help, second most of any community in state of North Dakota.
Wolsky has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for over 12 years. He serves as a Disaster Action Team leader and is on call 24 hours a day to serve the community. He has responded to fires, assisting not only the families affected by fire, but also providing food and hydration to fire fighters. Wolsky has also assisted with feeding during flood responses and even provided assistance with shelters for stranded winter travelers. Whether it is 3 o’clock in the morning or 3 o’clock in the afternoon, 100 degrees and humid or 30 below zero, Wolsky is there to serve.
“We are so thankful for these great volunteers,” said Buffalo Valley Chapter Executive Director, Beth Dewald. “We could not serve our mission without their continued support and they truly are heroes in our community.”
The event also raised over $12,000 for disaster relief in the Minn-Kota Region thanks to company partnerships, donations, and 'chance' prizes.