The American Red Cross celebrated renovations with an open house ribbon cutting on Tuesday, July 9th 2013 and attended by more than thirty members of the Fairfield and Hocking County communities.
Representatives Jo Welsh and Jarod Kehl from the Lancaster-Fairfield Chamber of Commerce assisted Jeff Miller, Executive Director and Jackie Howard, Development Director, both of the Fairfield-Hocking American Red Cross Chapter with the ribbon cutting. The celebration was for the renovation of the chapter due to recent flooding within the offices.
“We were most pleased to have the Burial Detail Committee here to raise our American flag and fire three valley shots,” Howard said. “Most people don’t think about the Service to the Armed Forces that the Red Cross provides…it was important to us that the military be represented,” she added.
Rev. Steve Rauch, pastor at Pleasant Chapel and owner of WFCO, 90.9 FM radio station along with his daughter, Susanna, a senior at Fairfield Christian Academy sang the National Anthem as attendees gathered around the flag.
Earlier in the day, the disaster team was put on “stand by” due to the heavy rains the area has been experiencing. By the time the event had started, two teams were being sent out to respond to flooding in the Perry County area and another team was responding to a house fire in Lancaster.
“It was very indicative of a day at the Red Cross,” Miller stated. “Most people head to work knowing in general what their day is going to look like, but we have to be ready for anything,” he added.
Vicki Hall, a disaster team volunteer, spoke of that readiness during an interview with Rauch on a live remote that day. Hall was assisting with the event, but was ready to respond to the surrounding disasters if needed. Hall started as a volunteer with the Red Cross when she was in the eighth grade as a candy striper.
Another disaster team volunteer and board member, Val Hoffman, was also a candy striper as a teenager.
“Candy stripers were present in the hospitals to take items to patients, fill water bottles and anything else we could do to help out,” Hoffman stated.
Candy stripers originated in mid 1940’s and were predominately females who wore either blue or red striped aprons with an accompanying hat. There was a red striped apron on display at the open house along with several other outfits worn by Red Cross employees and volunteers. Several items of memorabilia were of interest to attendees which included past news releases.
Many businesses contributed to the success of the event including Fairfield Federal Bank, Service Master, Meijer, Kroger, Carnival, Giant Eagle and the Brass Ring Restaurant.