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American Red Cross of Ottawa County Recognizes Volunteers & Blood Donors

HOLLAND, Mich., April 1, 2014 — The American Red Cross of Ottawa County held its Annual Volunteer and Blood Donor Recognition on March 27 in Holland. Several area residents and community groups were honored for their services to the American Red Cross and the community.


“The Red Cross is 90 percent run by volunteers and our work simply couldn’t be done without them. They help in so many ways from answering phones, to coordinating events, to responding to local fire calls,” said Mike Mitchell, Chapter Executive of the Red Cross of Ottawa County and Chief Operating Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan. “Our volunteers give so selflessly of their time and we are so pleased to recognize them for the work they do.”


Recognized volunteers include:

·         Linda Mathews was recognized with the highest award given to a local volunteer within the organization, the Chapter Volunteer of the Year.  Linda volunteers countless hours in the disaster service and volunteer service.

·         Sally Daniels, was awarded the Community Events Certificate for her participation in events around the county.  She is one of the ‘quiet but always there’ volunteers who wants nothing more than to help where she is needed. Sally is also a member of the Disaster Action Team.

·         Russell DeJonge, was presented with the Emergency Services Award for his work with the shelters within Ottawa County.  Russ visited 108 shelters to update all agreements, teaches a sheltering class to volunteers, developed shelter kits and placed them around the county and has assembled a Shelter Team ready to move in a very short period of time when called.

·         Lynda Walker, was recognized with the Director’s Choice Award.  This award is given to a volunteer who has been with the chapter for less than a year but has done over and above what was expected.  Lynda is the Youth Club Coordinator and has been instrumental in growing the chapter’s Youth Club to 30 members

·         Rick Buckley, was presented with the Blood Services Award.  Rick is one of our unsung volunteers who can be called on to help load, unload and set up for blood drives around the county.  He is always available to assist with the blood drives

·         Kathy Fuller, was recognized with the Administrative Office Certificate.  Kathy volunteers in the front reception area, answering phones, directing visitors and assisting other services where she may be needed.  She volunteers two days a week and always greets those coming into the chapter with a smile.


Blood Service also recognized three sponsors in Ottawa County this year for their participation in holding blood drives.  They were honored for their consistent and successful drives during 2013.  These sponsors were St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Spring Lake, Johnson Control Tech Center, Holland, and Black River High School, Holland.  We also recognized 20 donors who have donated blood five or more times during the last year.


The Red Cross Youth Club received recognition for a video they wrote and produced and for the Preparedness Education talks they have given in the community.


Cookie Bakers were honored for making cookies each month to be delivered to the veterans at the Battle Creek Veterans Facility.


Thirty volunteers were recognized at the event for serving 5, 10, 15, or 20 years with the Red Cross:

5 years

Sheran Bolles, Mark Calcut, Edward Cole, Deana Gregoire, Robert Hoekstra, Dawn Kozak, Samantha Long, Steve North, and Sharon Thomas.

10 years:  Rudy Bieber, Elaine Bradford, Steven Bredeweg, Kirk Brummels, Lynn DeMarse, Jennifer Denton, Margaret Frens, Stuart Fritz, Andree Garner, Kathleen Hulst, NormaJane Humble, Tom Kehr, Elsie Kossen, Darrin Masselink, Keith McConkey, Christopher Rottier, Steven VanderHill, Elizabeth VanderWege, Renae Visscher, Jeanine Wolff and Matthew Young.

15 years

 Eldonna Dieters, Phillip Harrington, and Deborah Kiekover.

20 years

Marilyn Rolph.


The Board of Directors were recognized for their service in 2013.  They include:  Glenn Anderson, Chairman, Deb VanderJagt, Jeff Dornbos, Edward Cole, Ruggles Church, Larry Figueroa, Lori Varner, Tom Weber and Dan Printz.  Dan Printz was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his last six years of service as a board member.


A special ‘thank you’ was also given to Frank Wilson and the Lighthouse Catering Team, Holland Event Center and Kaylee Glass and the Second Floor Bakery.


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.