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Red Cross Announces Veteran Honoree for 2013

The Red Cross has a long history of supporting our military units... This partnership continues today, both locally and nationally with a number of programs assisting troops, before, during and after deployment. - Doug Morgenstern

The American Red Cross of Northwest Michigan has announced that Richard Rizzio of Traverse City, a WWII veteran who served during the Battle of the Bulge, was selected as this year’s Red Cross veteran honoree to be recognized at the chapter’s Annual Golf Outing “Honoring Our Veterans”, at Elmbrook Golf Course on Sunday, September 8, 2013.

At the tender age of 19 Richard Rizzio was serving in the 274th Armored Field Artillery Battalion while overseas fighting at a critical juncture during WWII, later known as the Battle of the Bulge. During his service he was awarded the Silver Star for bravery during combat and the Purple Heart for being wounded while in action.

Richard has lived in Traverse City for the past 30 years and has been a great resource for individuals and organizations to garner an in-depth look at what it was like on the front lines during WWII. While many WWII veterans are unable to discuss their years of service (for one reason or another), Richard believes that sharing his story will help the memories of his fallen comrades live on.

“There aren’t a lot of us left, and before you know it, we’ll all be gone. I just don’t want people to forget why we were there.” Said Rizzio, who has seen many of his fellow soldiers pass on in recent years.

To “Honor Our Veterans” and highlight the longstanding partnership with the men and women who have and are serving our country, the American Red Cross together with the American Legion Post #35 and Cherry Capital Airport, are proud to be hosting the 2nd Annual Red Cross Golf Outing “Honoring Our Veterans” at Elmbrook Golf Club on Sunday, September 8, 2013 from 8:00AM – 2:30PM.

Anyone is eligible to participate and will have a chance to win a variety of contests, including: hole in one, closest to the pin, longest drive and lowest team score. Prizes up for grabs include a car, golf package and a raffle provided by the American Legion for a 42” LG Flat Screen TV, along with many auction items, so bring your checkbooks.

“The Red Cross has a long history of supporting our military units dating back over a century to when Clara Barton [founder of the American Red Cross] first recruited nurses to help support the US Army. This partnership continues today, both locally and nationally with a number of programs assisting troops, before, during and after deployment.”, Said Doug Morgenstern, Board Chair of the American Red Cross of Northwest Michigan.

“We are thankful to the American Legion and Cherry Capital Airport for their passion towards our local veterans and their commitment to the Red Cross, our mission and to becoming long-term partners on this new and exciting endeavor.”, Added Morgenstern.

“Cherry Capital Airport and the American Red Cross have been longstanding partners from the services they provide in crisis situations and we’ve worked together to build those relationships, so it’s been a great partnership and we thank the Red Cross for looking towards us to build upon that relationship.” Said Kevin Klein, Airport Director – Cherry Capital Airport.

Proceeds from the Golf Outing will enable our local Red Cross to provide vital educational and emergency relief services to people in Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau Counties.

Those interested in making a sponsorship gift, signing up a foursome or golfing as an individual, can visit or call Charlene Woody at (231) 947-7286 ext 7416.

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.

Photo: Pictured from Left to Right: Northwest Michigan Red Cross Board Chair - Doug Morgenstern, Northwest Michigan Red Cross Executive Director – Kevin Bavers, WWII Veteran and This year’s Honoree – Richard Rizzio, American Legion 9th District Commander – Neal Horning, and Cherry Capital Airport Director – Kevin Klein