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American Red Cross Northeast PA Region’s Preparedness and Resiliency Manager Wins National Award

Northeast Pennsylvania (September 23, 2013) – On Tuesday, September 24, 2013, Gail Toscano, Preparedness and Resiliency Manager for the American Red Cross NEPA Region will be honored with the “Champions of Change for Community Preparedness and Resilience” award. This prestigious award is part of a national initiative, created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses and organizations doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The award ceremony will take place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House and will include the following speakers: Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator; Richard Serino, FEMA Deputy Administrator; and Paulette Aniskoff, Director, White House Office of Public Engagement.

This event celebrates Americans who are preparing communities for disasters and helping them respond and recover and bring members of the whole community together, (private businesses, local government, community and faith-based organizations and individual citizens), to make a difference. Toscano, who has been with the Red Cross for 6 years, developed preparedness programs, led by American Red Cross volunteers preparedness teams, to assist communities in becoming self-sufficient in responding and recovering from an initial impact of a disaster. Additionally, the project includes individual preparedness workshops for youth, adults and seniors. Toscano said, “I am honored to have been chosen as a White House Champion of Change. However, this honor needs to be shared with so many dedicated, amazing individuals I work with each and every day in both the Red Cross and our partners in the community. Empowering resiliency begins with change through working together.”

Jim Rienhardt, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Pocono Chapter added: “The American Red Cross of the Poconos and Board of Directors congratulates Gail Toscano for receiving President Obama’s 2013 Champions of Change National Award. Gail’s innovative and creative Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Workshops for School Children and Senior Citizens have made a difference in thousands of people’s lives throughout Northeast PA. They are now better prepared to handle emergencies, if and when they should arise.”

About the American Red Cross:

You can help people affected by disasters like floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS, (1-800-733-2767). Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross, Northeast Pennsylvania Region, 2200 Avenue A, Bethlehem, PA 18017, or any one of the local Red Cross chapters.

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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.