The American Red Cross will be honoring local veterans and active military and treating them, and their families and friends, to a free concert at St. Clair Memorial Hall on Sunday, May 3. Multi-instrumentalist and accomplished composer, singer and U.S. Army veteran Donnie Reis of Tipp City, Ohio will be performing the concert. Reis has traveled worldwide to play music ranging from classical, pop/rock and country for American troops. Reis began playing violin at age 10 and had won his first solo competition by age 13. Throughout his career, he has gained national recognition as a concertmaster of several symphony orchestras and pit orchestras.
In 2013, Donnie toured with singer/songwriter, Caroline Glaser of NBC’s The Voice (Season 4), on the road with a cappella sensation, Straight No Chaser, for their “Under The Influence” tour as well as with Kris Allen of American Idol (Season 9). “The Red Cross has an unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. military, its veterans, and their families. Salute to Military Families is just one way we can show our local heroes how much we value and appreciate them," said Christy Baker, chair of the Red Cross' Mission Committee.
Baker said the concert will also help connect military families and veterans with local and regional resources they may not know are available. American Red Cross provides a number of services to the military and their families. Beginning with an introduction to their loved ones about what services are available, through the Get to Know Us Before you Need Us, the local Red Cross supports the military family with emergency communications, Coping with Deployment Classes and family re-unification.
In addition, Darke County American Red Cross volunteers visit veterans in assisted living facilities on a monthly basis, spreading good cheer, art from local preschoolers and other hand-made gifts. “Beginning with Clara Barton during the Civil War, we have stood by those who serve our country, from giving aid on the battlefield to today’s services,” stated, Lynne Gump, Executive Director of the Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter, “It is our honor, our privilege to serve the men and woman of the United States Military and their families.”
The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need, said Baker. "Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas which include disaster relief, supporting America’s military families, lifesaving blood, health and safety services, and international services," she said. The Mission Committee, at its core, ensures that the needs of the community are being met. That could include making sure there are enough trained volunteers to respond to a disaster or providing CPR, AED, First Aid, and Lifeguard training.
The concert was made possible through a special grant from the Darke County United Way. "We thank the Darke County United Way for their generous contribution to make this afternoon possible,” said Baker. "If you have a passion for helping others, please consider joining our efforts," Baker said. Contact the local Red Cross office at 548-1002 or Christy Baker, committee chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter has 379 volunteers giving of themselves delivering the mission of the American Red Cross, but many more volunteers are needed. If you would like more information about how you can become a volunteer supporting your community, simply reach out online at Redcross.org or call your local Red Cross Chapter office.