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American Red Cross of CNY Postpones Volunteer Salute

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (July 9, 2014) — The American Red Cross of Central New York’s annual Volunteer Salute, which was originally scheduled for 5:30 p.m. tonight, has been postponed until 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 14, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel.

Many of the Red Cross volunteers who would have attended tonight’s event have been working since Tuesday night with residents from Madison, Onondaga and Cayuga counties who needed assistance following the powerful storm.

“Out of respect for the Central New York residents who have been severely impacted by the storm and our volunteers who continue to provide relief efforts to those residents, we have decided to postpone our Volunteer Salute until next week,” said Rosie Taravella, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Central New York Region. “Our first priority now is assisting the residents who need our help.”

The Volunteer Salute acknowledges the humanitarian efforts of Red Cross volunteers and supporters from throughout the American Red Cross of Central New York’s five counties: Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland, Madison and Oswego. Volunteers comprise 94 percent of the Central New York Chapter’s workforce, and the chapter’s success in delivering Red Cross services is dependent on the commitment, energy and enthusiasm of the chapter’s nearly 800 volunteers.

Here is the complete list of Central New York volunteers and supporters who’ll be recognized July 14 for their extraordinary work in the past year:

• Blood Services Volunteer Award: Fran Wadas, of Oswego.

• Clara Barton Volunteer Leadership Award: Renae Rokicki, of Syracuse.

• Community Service Volunteer Award: Steve Puchir, of Auburn.

• Community Service Volunteer Award: Agnes Shaver, of Cortland.

• Disaster Preparedness and Response Services Award: Susan Page, of Marcellus; John and Linda DePugh, of Oneida; Tom Margrave, of Cortland; and Sandi Mettler, of Auburn, accepting on behalf of Charlie Mettler.
• Good Neighbor Awards: National Grid (Onondaga County); Exelon Nuclear (Oswego County); and Madison County Office Building.

• Health and Safety Services Award: Ellyn Lentz, of Syracuse.

• Service to the Armed Forces Award: Joseph Fischer, of Liverpool.

• Special Recognition Award: Madison County Shelter Team, including Bea Angus, John Beckwith, Diane Belusar, Carl Carlstead, Anthony DeFrank, John DePugh, Linda DePugh, John DePugh Jr., Jim Healy, Barb Kinsella, Bill Looft, Bob Maxwell, Jeanne Mono, Karen Nichols,
Judy Parker, Greg Phillips, John Potter, Bill Robinson, Linda Tuggey, James Tuggey and
Dawn Van Dusen,
• Volunteer of the Year Awards: Kevin Wisely, of Syracuse (Onondaga County); Melissa Flask, of Auburn (Cayuga County); Rich Cunningham, of Cortland (Cortland County); John Beckwith, of Oneida (Madison County); and David Webber, of Fulton (Oswego County).

• Youth Services Award: Mindy Striep, of Syracuse.

The American Red Cross has a variety of volunteer opportunities available for adults, youth (under age 18) and youth groups. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should visit or call the American Red Cross of Central New York at 315-234-2200.

Media Availability

The media is invited to attend the event and Red Cross officials and volunteer award winners will be available for interviews.

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
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