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Red Cross Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers in Kankakee County

Our volunteers bring a great deal of energy, experience and knowledge of this community

The American Red Cross of Kankakee County is recognizing outstanding volunteer service in the chapter that includes a new board of directors for the 2013-2014 year and teams of disaster responders who helped four local families last month following two home fires.

The new 11-member board of directors includes community leaders who have a diverse professional background in areas of real estate, finance, government and health services.

“Our volunteers bring a great deal of energy, experience and knowledge of this community that will guide the direction of Red Cross activities in Kankakee County,” said Gordon Johnson, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Kankakee County Chapter. “They are compassionate people who really care about helping their neighbors.”

Volunteers Bob Hickman, along Marty and Bonnie Knight, responded to an apartment fire that displaced three families Aug. 2 on Small Avenue in Kankakee. Hickman and the Knights arrived late in the evening and helped six people, three of them children, who were affected by the fire. Volunteers also helped two Bonfield residents who were displaced by a fire Aug. 28. All the families received assistance for food, clothing, a safe place to stay and emotional support from the disaster relief teams.

Volunteers play an active role in the community from helping people recover from home fires to organizing fundraising events for the chapter. There are more than 35 Red Cross volunteers who live in and serve Kankakee County.

The new board of directors is chaired by Randy Van Fossan, a principal of Country Financial Services in Kankakee, who said members are actively working to grow membership, fundraising efforts and volunteerism throughout the county.

“It’s nothing short of amazing what our new board members propose to do in the next year,” said Van Fossan.  “Our Nominating Committee has set its sights on recruiting nine more new members to bring the board population to 20 strong. There are also plans to organize a Red Cross golf outing. We are immensely appreciative of this strong volunteer commitment.”

American Red Cross of Kankakee County Chapter Board of Directors for the 2013-2014 year includes the following 11 members:

Randy Van Fossan—Board Chairperson
Principal of Country Financial Services

Lisa Dugan—Board Vice Chairperson
Former Executive Director of the Kankakee Chamber of Commerce and former Illinois State Representative

Mayor Bruce Adams—Board Secretary
City of Bradley

Bernie Anderson—Manager of Regional Community Relations for Economic Development at AGL Resources

Jeff Bennett—Founder, President & Principal of Bennett Commercial, LLC

Mike Gingerich—Principal, General Partner and Engineer at MG2A

Bill Johnson—Founder & CEO of Kankakee-based employee benefits consulting firm Chairman / CEO of CIBC of Illinois, Inc.

Phillip Kambic—President & CEO of Riverside Health Systems

Amy La Fine—President & CEO of Presence Health at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee

Mike Van Mill—President & CEO of the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County

Blair Minton—President & CEO of Blair Minton and Associates.

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 not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.