03/01/09 — Wayne Red Cross kicks off annual heroes fundraiser

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Wayne Red Cross kicks off annual heroes fundraiser

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on March 1, 2009 2:00 AM

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Red Cross staff pose next to a race car at the Heroes Campaign kickoff. This year's theme is "The Race is On." Pictured are, from left, Tammy Forrester, Teresa Williams, Cindy Umstead, Samia Garner and Chuck Waller.

The race is on as the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross starts its seventh annual month-long Heroes campaign for local services.

This year "heroes," anyone who pledges to raise at least $1,000 for the Red Cross, are attempting to meet a goal of $95,000.

Samia Garner, director of development, said it will take that amount to do what the Red Cross needs to do.

Citing seven local fires this past week, Mrs. Garner said it takes a lot of money to help these victims. She told about one woman who called and said she had only her pajamas and no other clothing and not even any diapers for her baby as a result of fire.

"She was hysterical," said Mrs. Garner. "She didn't know what to do or where to go."

Mrs. Garner said that some former heroes have had to decrease the amount of money they were raising, but there are people who have offered to be heroes for the first time stepping up to help the fundraising effort, too.

"People give in tough economic times because they care," said Mrs. Garner.

She listed some of this year's activities for the Heroes Campaign, including the sixth annual sports memorabilia auction Thursday at Lane Gree Golf Club and the second annual Tennis Classic May 8 at Goldsboro Country Club.

Heroes Work Here signs are available for those wanting to display them at their business or home during March.

Red Cross director Chuck Waller spoke Friday during the kickoff luncheon.

Waller said the Heroes Campaign is not about raising money; it's about helping people when the storms of life happen.

He quoted a Holocaust survivor who said "the opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference."

"How do we move people from indifference to making a difference?" Waller asked. "Through enlightenment, once we can see and feel what someone we know is going through."

Mrs. Garner concluded the kickoff with a quote from racing great Dale Earnhardt Sr., who said, "The winner is not the one with the fastest car; it's the one who refuses to give up."