March Is Red Cross Month

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Feb. 27, 2014) — March is Red Cross Month, and Central New Yorkers can help support the American Red Cross by attending a benefit concert or Great Chefs dinner event,  joining the “Heroes for the American Red Cross” campaign, or patronizing local businesses that are supporting the Red Cross.

“Red Cross Month is a great time for people to support the Red Cross of Central New York and this year we have many different and fun ways to do that,” said Rosie Taravella, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Central New York Region. “Whether you attend a concert, enjoy fine food, or raise money through our ‘Heroes’ campaign, your support will benefit your friends and neighbors through Red Cross services.”

Here’s how residents can support the American Red Cross during March is Red Cross Month:

• The Baby Boomers Band will perform a benefit concert for the Red Cross at 7:30 p.m. March 8 at May Memorial Unitarian Church in Syracuse. The seven-member band, which has a history of performing concerts to aid non-profit organizations, plays popular songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s by artists such as The Beatles, Eagles and Billy Joel.

Tickets are $15 and include food and drinks. To reserve a seat, call the Red Cross of Central New York at 234-2225. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/cny.

• After a two-year hiatus, the Great Chefs dinner to benefit the American Red Cross of Central New York is back and returning to its roots. The 28th Great Chefs will start at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the Skaneateles Country Club – the site of many past Great Chefs’ events.

The Great Chefs dinner features an all-star roster of Central New York’s best chefs who’ll prepare a classic seven-course dinner. For ticket information, chef bios and a menu, visit www.redcross.org/ny/syracuse/great-chefs.

• “Heroes for the American Red Cross” is a grassroots campaign where businesses, school clubs, church groups, civic organizations and individuals seek pledges to raise at least $1,000 for the American Red Cross of Central New York, which covers Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland, Madison and Oswego counties. The campaign runs through June, and all of the money raised supports Red Cross services, including disaster relief, assistance for fire victims, emergency military communications, and first aid, CPR and other lifesaving classes.

Individuals who want to usual social media to help raise money can become an “Online Hero” and utilize peer-to-peer fundraising with their own “Heroes for the American Red Cross” team.

Among the fundraising efforts from last year’s “Heroes” campaign: Constellation Energy raised $1,000 by selling “hero squares”; Cayuga Community College students raised $1,300 through bake sales and pizza sales; and the Oswego Classroom Teachers Association raised $2,121 with a district-wide “Jeans Week.”

To learn more about the “Heroes” program, contact Danielle Hayden, Manager, American Red Cross of Oswego County, at (315) 343-0967 or danielle.hayden@redcross.org.

• From now through June 30, anyone who brings scrap metal to the Ben Weitsman location at 333 Bridge St., Solvay, can donate the money they’ll receive for it to the American Red Cross of Central New York. The donor needs to mention the Red Cross, and 100 percent of the donation will go to the Red Cross.

The Royal Auto Group in Cortland, which sells Buick, Chevrolet, Nissan, Subaru cars, will make a donation to the Red Cross every time someone visits the dealership in March. The donation will go up for every person who buys a car.

Also during March, Zerodraft of Central New York will donate $100 to the American Red Cross of Central New York for every completed residential energy evaluation. The free evaluation is for owner occupied housing only. For more information on the evaluation or to schedule an appointment, call Zerodraft at (315) 456-9376 or visit www.getzerodraft.com/red-cross-cny.

Red Cross Flag Raising at Syracuse City Hall

On Tuesday, March 4, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner will proclaim March 2014 as American Red Cross Month during a ceremony at City Hall, 233 E. Washington St., Syracuse. Mayor Miner will read a Red Cross Month proclamation and be joined by Central New York Region CEO Rosie Taravella and Red Cross volunteers as Mayor Miner raises a Red Cross flag at City Hall.

Why March?

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 71 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month.

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 also 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 annually in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills.

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.