04/02/06 — Red Cross heroes donate $70,052

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Red Cross heroes donate $70,052

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on April 2, 2006 10:06 AM

Local "heroes" raised $70,052 for the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross during a month-long campaign.

The Heroes Campaign wrapped up Friday with a luncheon at the Red Cross chapter.

A hero is someone who commits to raising $1,000. This was the fourth year of the event. The goal was $70,000, said Chuck Waller, Red Cross director.

During the luncheon, Waller noted that donors don't give to the Red Cross, but through it. He said should someone need blood, chances are one in two that not only did the Red Cross collect it, but also "moved heaven and earth" to make sure the person who needed it received it, whether or not he or she has donated to the Red Cross.

He said the question is not whether the Red Cross will be there when people need it, but whether people will be there for the Red Cross.

Glenn Barnes, who has been a hero for the Red Cross for the past four years, told those attending why he donates.

He said he wasn't sure if he fit the description of a hero. "To me, a hero is the donor who takes his time to give a pint of blood so ultimately it will save the life of someone else," he said. "It's the person who takes a Red Cross course who saves the life of a drowning person. I see myself as playing only a supporting role."

Barnes said the Red Cross staff and volunteers are also heroes.

He has coordinated the Ride For The Red for the past two years. This year, the event raised nearly $7,000 for the Red Cross. He said the Blue Knights members, who sponsor the ride, have adopted the Red Cross as their charity and will continue the ride in the future.

"I know what the Red Cross does, and I've seen it in action," Barnes said. "When the Paramount Theatre burned, the Red Cross was there. They've been there through my 29 years with law enforcement, through minor disasters and even flooding."

Another "hero" was Wayne Alley. When asked why he supports the Red Cross he said "the question should be why not support the Red Cross? And why don't others support it?"

Alley said that attitude starts when a person is young. He said his mother raised him and his brothers to believe that no matter how little they have, there is always someone who has less and someone who needs more help.

"I support the Red Cross because it's simply the right thing to do," he said.

Waller announced that the Pennies For A Purpose jug contest netted more than $5,000 this year.

During each Heroes Campaign, the Red Cross chapter gives water jugs to the schools for the students to decorate. They are judged and prizes given. This year's winners were Eastern Wayne High School, Eastern Wayne Middle School and Edgewood Community Developmental School.

The schools use the jugs to raise money before they are judged.

Also during the luncheon, Robert Mendoza, health and safety coordinator, presented a plaque to Carmen Garcia, a student at Southern Wayne High School. She had taken one of his CPR certificate classes earlier this month and less than a week later saved the life of one of her fellow students who was choking on a piece of candy. The chapter has submitted her for a national Red Cross award.

This year's heroes included Allison Pridgen, Fontaine Swinson, Carlos Cotto, George Whitfield, Joe Smith, Donna Edmundson, Wes Waller, Team Disaster (Robert Mendoza, Dora Perry, Jo Peterson and Durwood Bostic), Wachovia, Outback Steakhouse, Sears, Jessica and Katherine Waller, Glenn Chitty, Chuck Umstead, Samia Garner, Efton Sager, Gail Charles, Casey Nursery, Eastern Wayne Middle School, Arnold Wilbert Vault Corp., Wayne County employees, Massengill Best and Markham, Blue Knights, Alan Plummer, Sharon Britt, Donnie Barnes, David Perry, Judith McMillen, Ann Caver, Brogden Primary School, Convenient Glass Service, David and Danny Jackson, Red Cross board of directors, Mike Davis, Wal-mart, BB&T and Brantley, Jenkins, Riddle, Hardee and Hardee.