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Local Red Cross Volunteer Receives National Award

HOLLAND, Mich., Monday, March 24, 2014 — The American Red Cross of West Michigan is pleased to announce that West Olive resident Judy Petersen received the Red Cross Presidential Award for Excellence for her extraordinary services for the American Red Cross. Petersen accepted the award on March 19 at the Red Cross Annual National Awards and Recognition Dinner in Washington, D.C. 


The Presidential Award for Excellence is given each year to American Red Cross employees and volunteers who demonstrate superior job performance aligning with the organization’s priorities. There were only 20 recipients throughout the United States this year.


“Receiving the award was very humbling…a once in a lifetime experience,” said Petersen. “I don’t volunteer for the recognition; I do it to make a difference.”


Petersen is a volunteer coordinator at the Red Cross of Ottawa County. Her responsibilities include recruiting volunteers, organizing service opportunities, creating volunteer recognition events, and implementing a new online Red Cross volunteer program in West Michigan. Thanks to her work as a coordinator, volunteers with the Red Cross of Ottawa County logged nearly 48,500 hours of service in 2013.


In addition, Petersen is involved with several other Red Cross programs including preparedness education, service to the armed forces, and disaster relief. She teaches courses to Red Cross volunteers in West Michigan about responding to disasters and supporting members of the military and their families.


Petersen says she plans to continue to volunteer with the Red Cross because of the organization’s dedication to serving others.


“The Red Cross is an organization where humanitarianism comes first, it always has and I’m sure it always will,” Petersen added.


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


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.