Volunteer Spotlight: George Kotuby - Mid Coast Chapter
George Kotuby is a rare breed of volunteer. This year he celebrates his 60th anniversary of service with the American Red Cross. Twenty-seven of those years have been with the Mid Coast Chapter. George’s wife, Dottie, a Red Cross volunteer from 1944, cajoled her photographer husband to take pictures at Red Cross events back in the 50s. “Before I knew it, she had me hooked,” said George. “I was a full-fledged Red Cross volunteer!”
Once affiliated with the Brunswick (now Mid Coast) Chapter in 1986, George served on the board of directors for six years. He and Dottie taught CPR classes and contributed invaluable skills to the Chapter’s Health and Safety program by maintaining training records and other statistical data. But change is inevitable.
In 2009, Dottie passed away. Red Cross data management systems evolved with technology along with other organizational changes, yet George remained a steadfast in his passion for the Red Cross. He accepted the invitation to serve again on the Chapter Board, where he shared insightful perspectives on the importance of the Red Cross role in the community.
How does George view the changes over his 60 years? “The Red Cross has come a long way in improving the quality of health and safety training aids, study manuals, visual aids, first aid equipment, CPR and AED techniques and blood services delivery. When I think back to what Dottie and I had to work with, teaching CPR and First Aid classes or doing blood collections (they weren’t really blood drives back then), I can’t believe how we got the job done!”
George continued, “For all the changes that evolved through the decades, the one very positive thing that remains constant is the wonderful people you encounter, you work with, and you help. I will never forget the friendships that have blessed my life because of my Red Cross experiences, no matter where I lived and volunteered.” George believes that it’s the strong sense of the local community – residents and businesses – working together with their Red Cross to ensure they will be prepared to take care of each other when the need arises. He adds, “It’s the caring, compassionate, dedicated people who make the Red Cross a success.”