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A Busy Summer for Red Cross of Cortland County

A Busy Summer for Red Cross of Cortland County

Led by a dedicated staff of volunteers, the Learn to Swim program enjoyed another successful year. (Photos courtesy of Michele Whalen).

The Learn to Swim Program ended July 25 and this year more than 129 students registered and 35 volunteers helped staff the program.

It has been a busy summer for the American Red Cross of Cortland County. Here’s what has been happening:

Learn to Swim Program

The Learn to Swim Program ended July 25 and this year more than 129 students registered and 35 volunteers helped staff the program. Sunny skies prevailed for most of the summer and swim lessons took place every day from July 7-25. This year, volunteers received Learn to Swim T-shirts from Cannon Pools in Cortland. The blue T-shirts, featuring the Red Cross logo, are now worn by staff members to ensure that students know a safe person to approach at the pool. The volunteers, aides and swim instructors of the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program would like to thank Cannon Pools for its generous gift.

Ride for the Red

On Sunday, Three Bear Inn in Marathon is sponsoring its annual Ride for Red to support the Cortland County Red Cross. Registration is from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Three Bear Inn, 3 Broome St., Marathon. The start and finish is at Three Bear Inn, and kickstands are up at noon! Take Route 11 or 1-81 to exit 9 to get to Three Bear Inn, and all makes and models of bikes are welcome.

The cost is a $20.00 donation per bike, and $10.00 for each passenger. Riders travel 100 miles through five counties with stops at the Georgetown Inn, Preble Hotel, and Dryden Hotel. When the riders return they are treated to a buffet dinner. There is also a 50/50 raffle, prizes, a silent auction, and entertainment! For more information, contact Sharon Toussaint at 607-849-3258 or

Cortland Preparedness Week

September is National Preparedness Month. The Local Emergency Preparedness Committee (LEPC), the United Way of Central New York, and the American Red Cross of Cortland County are planning a Preparedness Week from Sept. 22-27. The goal of Preparedness Week is to teach the public about the need to shelter in place for up to 72 hours during an emergency or disaster, which is recommended by FEMA and the American Red Cross. It is important for each family and individual to build a preparedness kit to help shelter in place.

Events are being planned throughout the county during the week. There will be a Lunch and Learn Series at 9 Main Street, a build-a-preparedness kit competition in local schools and businesses, and preparedness presentations will be given on Saturday, Sept., 27, in Cortland at the County Office Building and in Homer. Please check the Cortland Standard and WXHC in September for more information about upcoming events for Cortland Preparedness Week.

Vehicle Donation Program

If you want to do help the Red Cross this summer, you can still donate unwanted vehicles to benefit the American Red Cross. The Vehicle Donation Program accepts many types of vehicles including cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, motorcycles, RVs snowmobiles, jet skis, heavy equipment, tractors, and more. Vehicles are accepted in any condition, and our partner Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) will pick up your vehicle at a time that’s convenient for you. IAA will sell your vehicle for the maximum value possible and you will receive a tax receipt and acknowledgement of your donation from the American Red Cross.

Your vehicle donation will help the Red Cross fulfill its mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies. For more information, contact the local Red Cross office at 607-753-1182. Donating your vehicle is a great way to help us help others!

Michele Whalen is the Cortland County Manager for the American Red Cross. She can be reached via e-mail at or at 607-753-1182.