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Red Cross Recognizes Volunteers and Blood Donors, Ludington

Each year thousands of volunteers and blood donors serve our communities through the American Red Cross.

The West Shore Office of the American Red Cross of West Michigan held its annual Volunteer and Blood Donor Recognition on May 22, 2012, in Ludington. Several area residents were honored for their services to the American Red Cross and the community.

“Each year thousands of volunteers and blood donors serve our communities through the American Red Cross. We are proud of the unparalleled record of the Red Cross for helping people and meeting local needs,” said Penny Albertie, Regional Volunteer Services Director for the Red Cross of West Michigan. “All of the services are possible because of volunteers, blood donors, and financial contributions from the community.”

The organization presented Ron Kovar of Scottville with the Paddy Higgins Award. The Paddy Higgins Award honors those that provide exceptional leadership and personal dedication to the American Red Cross. For the past 13 years, Kovar has helped ensure the success of blood drives in Mason and Lake Counties by doing publicity, recruiting and scheduling volunteers and creating innovative ways to make blood donors feel appreciated. Kovar is also an avid blood donor.

The Youth Services Award was presented to Caitlin Cullar of Ludington. Cullar is president of the West Shore Community College Youth Club. She also is involved with fundraising events like the Angel Auction, assists with disasters, and helps in the offices.

Frank Sagan of Ludington received the Community Services Award for his work on the building grounds in the Scottville office. Sagan is responsible for the creation of a veteran’s memorial garden and the getting the flags that fly in front of the building. He has also helped do shelter surveys for the disaster program and damage assessment.

The Disaster Services Award was presented to Cecilia Huebner of Onekema for her volunteer work on local Disaster Action teams, responding to house fires. She was also recognized for her role in helping to run monthly meetings for other members of the team in Manistee County.

Lori Tipton of Ludington received the Blood Services Award for her involvement with the blood program. Tipton volunteers at Memorial Medical Care Center every time they host a drive, helping to serve refreshments to blood donors.

Several top gallon blood donors were also recognized at the event for reaching gallon milestones in this past calendar year.

10 Gallons

John Fellows - Ludington

Robert Kase - Scottville

Mary Wikarejcza - Ludington

11 Gallons

Lola Thorne - Fountain

James Frost - Scottville

12 Gallons

Allen Andersen - Ludington

Robert Knapp - Baldwin

Irma Ploeg - Irons

15 Gallons

Roger Baas - Augusta

Frederick Engle - Ludington

Ray Finholm - Ludington

17 Gallons

Duane Bogus - Ludington

18 Gallons

Patricia Albro - Ludington

19 Gallons

Gordon Greene - Ludington

23 Gallons

Russell Partidge - Ludington

25 Gallon

Ralph Kayler - Ludington

The Blood Drive Sponsor Award was given to Ludington High School. The school holds three drives per year and has exceptional involvement of students and administration. Over the last two years, the students collected over 200 units of blood. The National Honor Society and their advisor Theresa Shoop coordinate those drives.

For more information on how to give, get trained or to volunteer with the American Red Cross, visit: or call 231-757-3069.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at