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American Red Cross Salutes Supporters in Smith County

TYLER, TEXAS, June 12, 2013 — Celebrating the end of another strong year of response, American Red Cross chapters in North Texas recognize the nation’s Everyday Heroes who give of themselves and in some way help their community. The American Red Cross Smith County chapter in Tyler welcomed its volunteers and employees to a special chapter awards event, at 2623 S. Chilton in Tyler, Tuesday, June 18, 6 p.m., to honor its supporters for their dedication and service.

“We enjoyed taking time to recognize those who help all of us here in the Tyler community by giving their time to help a neighbor,” said Tammy Prater, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Smith County chapter. “We wanted to thank our heroes during this meaningful and fun awards ceremony – our volunteers and financial supporters who help us assist those in need.”

The Red Cross Smith County chapter, with help from nominations and the Regional Awards Team, recognized a variety of achievements that occurred throughout the year. The awards and recipients include:

  • Regional Volunteer of the Year – Sherry Miller
  • Chapter Employee of the Year – Diana Hill
  • Chapter Volunteer of the Year – Barbara Brandon
  • Clara Barton Award – Cheryl Thomas
  • Community Spirit Award – Rev. Ralph E. Caraway Sr.
  • Diversity Ambassador – Linda Hartsfield
  • Exceptional Volunteer for Administrative – Larry Davis
  • Exceptional Volunteer for Disaster Preparedness and Response – Diana Cervantes
  • Exceptional Volunteer for Service to the Armed Forces – Amanda Hardisty
  • Mentorship Award – Linda Davis
  • Rookie of the Year – Sandra Watkins
  • Visionary Award – Matthew Brown
  • Certificate of Appreciation – Lifebridge Church
  • Citation for Exceptional Service – Willie Stoglin and Winifred Johnson
  • Volunteers are the heart of the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross North Texas Region is home to nearly 10,000 volunteers across North Texas. In addition, Red Cross community partners – the local companies and organizations that provide physical space, financial support and workers – are critical to the success of our mission. The Annual Awards Night honors volunteers, staff, community partners and neighbors that have provided remarkable service during the last year.

    The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

    Here in the Tyler area, the Smith County chapter has responded to 167 disaster incidents, assisting 511 individuals, thus far in the 2013 fiscal year.

    “From the explosion in West, to the tornadoes and storms in North Texas and Oklahoma,” Prater said, “it is evident strong supporters of the Red Cross Smith County chapter are vital to the successful operation of this organization.”

    The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the American Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.

    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 join our blog at