12/11/05 — Red Cross honors volunteers for their work with disasters

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Red Cross honors volunteers for their work with disasters

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on December 11, 2005 2:05 AM

Dora Perry received one of the Red Cross' highest honors for disaster services at a recognition ceremony Thursday at the local chapter.

She was presented the Mary Norwood Award for being the Wayne County chapter's volunteer of the year. "Dora has served the chapter and the Red Cross in an exemplary manner," said Teresa Williams, disaster services director. "She does an outstanding job when she goes out on a national disaster and represents the chapter well."

When not out on a national disaster, Ms. Perry staffs health fairs with volunteers, and when she cannot get enough, she staffs them herself. She also handles Air Force Emergency Services calls and is a health and safety instructor.

Chapter Director Chuck Waller said that Ms. Perry "embodies the American Red Cross spirit."

Awards were also given for Hurricane Katrina and Rita volunteers. They were David Pointkowski, Rhonda VanHook, Julian Shelton, Sue Jennette, Tammy Cannon, Sandra Thompson, James Sanders, Charlie Pippin, Christopher Pippin, Charles King, Dora Perry, Donna Best, Karen O'Donnell, Marie Scott, Sara Francis, Jo Peterson, Tino Bell, Eddie McDaris, Steve Brock, Minnie Beverly and Ricky Bell.

Receiving disaster action team captain awards were Robert Mendoza and Durwood Bostic. Presenting the awards, Mrs. Williams said the Red Cross can call them anytime of the day and they will respond to the disaster. "There are no holidays for disasters," said Mrs. Williams.

Media awards were presented to The Goldsboro News-Argus, WGBR and PACC 10.

Mrs. Williams likened the volunteers to snowflakes. "Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together."

Waller related the story of a group of Special Olympics athletes in Seattle, Wash., who were competing in the 5-yard dash. He said that halfway through the run, one of them fell, skinning his face, hands and knees.

All of the other runners turned around and went back to help him up. Then they joined hands and walked across the finish line together.

"When all is said and done, success is not measured in the races we have won or the amount of our bank account, but in the size of our hearts," Waller said. "There are no bigger hearts in the world than those who help others, and that's what Red Cross volunteers do."