Central New York Chapter Salutes Volunteers

Thank you for what you today and for what you’ll do tomorrow.

The Central New York Chapter of the American Red Cross recognized the humanitarian efforts of several Red Cross volunteers and supporters from throughout Central New York at the chapter’s Annual Meeting and Volunteer Salute July 18 at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel.

Volunteers comprise 97 percent of the Central New York Chapter’s workforce, and the chapter’s success in delivering Red Cross services to residents in Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Madison counties is dependent on the commitment, energy and enthusiasm of the chapter’s 588 volunteers.

“The Red Cross mission is to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors,” said Rosie Taravella, Chief Executive Officer of American Red Cross Central New York Region. “We accomplish that mission only because of the dedication of our volunteers who make themselves available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies and natural disasters in Central New York.”

The Central New York Chapter also presented Years of Service pins to volunteers who have been with the Red Cross for five, 10, 15, 20 (Mary Pat Gnatowsky, Jane Simkin, Paul Simkin), 30 (Henry James), 35 (Thomas Brown, Mary Ann Stirling), 45 (Bernard Stolusky) and 50 (Allen Glover, Mary Ann Warner) years.

“Your commitment to help at a convenient – or inconvenient – time is just phenomenal,” said Rita Reicher, the new president of the Central New York Chapter Board of Directors. “Thank you for what you today and for what you’ll do tomorrow."

Here is the complete list of Central New York volunteers and supporters who were recognized July 18 for their extraordinary work in the past year:

•Blood Services Volunteer Award: Diane Burrell, of Cazenovia; and Jack Miller, of Auburn.

•Board Chair Award: Dorothy Hall, of Fayetteville.

•Board Member Award: Deana Michaels, of Fulton; and Lynn Steenberg, of Syracuse.

•Clara Barton Volunteer Leadership Award: Rita Reicher, of Syracuse.

•Community Service Volunteer Award: Sandi Mettler, of Auburn.

•Disaster Preparedness and Response Award: May Becker, of Fayetteville.

•Good Neighbor Award: Raymour & Flanigan, of Syracuse; and Tioughnioga Ruritan Club, of Deruyter.

•Health and Safety Services Award: Kerland Ritchie, of Syracuse.

•Service to the Armed Forces Award: Nancy Mack, of Liverpool.

•Special Recognition Award (Madison County Shelter Survey Team): John Beckwith, of Oneida; Barb Kinsella, of Oneida; Fran Panek, of Canastota; and John Potter, of Canastota.

•Special Recognition Award (Syracuse Office Move): Paul Francher, of Syracuse; John Hennessy, of Clay; John Rapacke, of Marcellus; and Bernie Stolusky, of Syracuse.

•Volunteer Leadership Award (one for each county): Dan Harmony (Onondaga County); Deana Michaels (Oswego County); Charles Mitchell (Cayuga County); and

Patrick Powers (Madison County).

•Youth Award: Meagan Bridges, of Syracuse; Mallory Lang, of Saugerties; Adyna Lungu, of Millville, N.J.; and Shweta Shreyarthi, of Clifton Park.

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 the volunteer page or call the Central New York Chapter at 315-234-2200.