The Red River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross honored heros and thanked supporters and its 2013 annual meeting held at the Ramada Plaza & Suites in Fargo. Almost 300 people were in attendance for the showcase of Red Cross activities over the past year.The emcee for the luncheon was WDAY-TV 6 Anchor, Robin Huebner. She announced the 'heroes' for 2013, which included Sonya Carlson, Dr. Kit O'Neill, and both Paul & Barb Henke. These volunteers have spent numerous hours helping those affected by disaster.
Carlson is a member of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team. She has deployed and responded to numerous disasters locally, regionally, and nationally. From sheltering to feeding, Sonya has done it all. Dr. O'Neill has been a member of the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health team for 20 years. She is a clinical psychologist and not only assists clients that have incurred a critical incident but also offers assistance to our Red Cross staff and volunteers. The Henke's have been volunteering for the Red Cross over 15 years. They have deployed on several national disaster responses, most recently, to New York for the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The couple are also members of the Disaster Action Team in Valley City.
"It is so rewarding to be a Red Crosss volunteer," Carlson said in a speech following her award. "It means so much to help people that are going through such a difficult time in their lives."
Beth Renner and Lloyd Paulson were also recognized as the first members from the region to join the 'Tiffany Circle' and 'Humanitarian Circle' for their support of Red Cross services.
Jennica Ness also provided her story about how the Red Cross assisted her and her family during disaster. This powerful 90-minute meeting also featured videos from those that utilized all Red Cross services and a recap of the fiscal year 2012 from Regional CEO, Judy Green.
2013-2014 American Red Cross Red River Valley Chapter Board members.
It was great to see all the highlights of what the Red Cross does," said RRV Chapter Board Member, Dave Rogness. "It was a tremendous event and raised a lot of awareness."
Finally, the Red River Valley Chapter installed six new board members for three-year terms. They include Randy Johnson, Titan Machinery, Steve Dirksen, Fargo Fire Chief, Jason Stein, Border States Electric, Mary Blixt, US Bank, Beth Renner, Wells Fargo, and Brett Lambrecht, Richland County Emergency Management
The Red Cross responded to over 160 incidents in fiscal year 2012 and are on pace to exceed that number in 2013.