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Red Cross of Ottawa County Recognizes Volunteers & Blood Donors


The American Red Cross of Ottawa County held its Annual Volunteer and Blood Donor Recognition on March 28 in Holland. Several area residents and community groups 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 Red Cross’ unparalleled record of helping people and meeting local needs,” said Mike Mitchell, Community Chapter Executive and Chief Operating Officer for the Red Cross of West Michigan. “All of the services are possible because of volunteers, blood donors, and contributions from the community.”

Recognized volunteers include:

  • Robert Miller, Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Rebecca Santellan, Community Events Award
  • Mary Parchert, Emergency Services Award
  • Sandy Oudemolen, Director’s Choice Award
  • Esther Vandebunte, Blood Services Award
  • The Red Cross Youth Club also received recognition for service projects with active duty service men and women as well as a preparedness video the club wrote and produced. A group of more than 20 individuals was also honored for baking cookies each month, which were then given to veterans at the Battle Creek Veterans Facility.

    The American Red Cross also recognized more than 20 long-time volunteers including Ed Wirth, who has been volunteering with the organization for 50 years.

    Other longtime volunteers include the following:

  • 35 Years - Charlotte Klaasen
  • 25 Years - Merrie Bannick
  • 20 Years - Ruth Timmer, Esther Vande Bunte
  • 15 Years - Mary TenHarmsel, Marlin VanDoorne
  • 10 Years - Carol Dykstra, Larry Brown, Carlyne Gebben, Martin VanderVelde
  • 5 Years - Bev Assink, Joseph Bitely, Megan Gamber, Kristy Klock, Edward Lekan, Marion Murphy, Diane Riemersma, Robert & Rosalie Strabbing, Donna Timmer, and Patrick Wykes.
  • The Red Cross also honored Hillcrest Christian Reformed Church in Hudsonville, West Ottawa High School, and Grand Haven Stamping Products for their consistent and successful collection of blood products.

    For more information on how to give, get trained or get involved with the American Red Cross, visit: redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.