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American Red Cross and Unifour counties Emergency Management Announce Winner

The American Red Cross and county emergency managements from Alexander, Burke and Catawba counties recently partnered for a severe weather poster contest for local fourth- and fifth-graders.

The contest came on the heels of a devastating tornado in Burke County, which destroyed dozens of homes and displaced many families.

The contest asked that students create posters around the theme “severe weather,” prompting them to learn more about safety during storms.

One winner from each county was chosen, including an overall winner:

Overall Winner: Mason Strother, Startown Elementary School, Catawba County

Alexander County Winner: Abigail Rodriguez Meneses, Hiddenite Elementary School

Burke County Winner: Rayna Hudson, Oak Hill Elementary School

Catawba County Winner: Cayman Carpenter, Oxford Elementary School

The Red Cross and local emergency management surprised winners at school with a presentation in their classrooms.

The Red Cross also took the opportunity to teach students about preparedness, giving each student the information they need to make a plan with their family in case of emergency. The Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle also went to every school and students learned about the role the Red Cross plays in disaster.

The American Red Cross has severe weather safety information that can be found at

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please join our blog at