Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Southeast Tennessee Chapter Update - April 2014

Southeast Tennessee Chapter Update
From the Desk of Greg Waite, Chapter CEO

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my last update – my apologies for being silent when there is so much going on.  March wrapped up Red Cross Month and April is in full swing as we honor volunteers this week part of National Volunteer Week. March and April are my favorite times of the year, because it helps us showcase everyday the work that you our volunteers, donors and partners help us to carry out the other 10 months of the year. Some may choose the holidays as their favorite but I like these months most, because you're  the backbone of our organization.
  • On Monday, we honored leadership volunteers at the 2nd Annual Leadership Luncheon and recognized Johnny Hooker & Will Rowe as this year’s Outstanding Volunteers. We also bestowed upon T. Arnold Ferguson, Mary Pomerance, Art & Nan Schumacher. See photos from the outstanding luncheon, plus I invite you to watch a great video put together by volunteer Hannah Courtney looking back at 12 months of the Red Cross serving Southeast Tennessee.
  • On Tuesday, we were honored to watch Rosemarie Asia & Ellen Valovcin represent us at the Greater Chattanooga United Way Volunteer Center – Volunteer of the Year Reception. Both women were honored for their outstanding service to the American Red Cross .Rosemarie in the Youth category and Ellen in the community category. We are so proud to have been represented by two great models of volunteerism. Congrats to both and thank you for what each of you do and how you inspire others to serve others in need. Photos are posted on Facebook, Twitter & Flick as always.
Plus, Thursday night the fun continues as we are hosting our first Red Cross Family Game Night and invite you to join us 6-8pm at our Chattanooga Office. Join us for food, fun and most of all door prizes. Yet another awesome event being put together just for you, our inspiring volunteers thanks to our #1 Volunteer Supporter, Faith Garner.
Volunteers & Agencies Respond to Jaycee Towers
March also was a very active month for local disasters including the Jaycee Towers response, aiding 80 of the 150 senior citizens with functional needs that were evacuated from the towers due to a fire that caused power to be cut to the building. Within 51 hours, 110 volunteers, 11 different agencies band together to aid those 80 residents with 2+ nights of shelter, food, medical & emotional care and more. It was a truly inspiring site to see unfold. I was truly impressed at how our entire disaster team took the lessons learned from Patten Towers and put them into action to better serve the residents of Jaycee Towers. Special thanks to John Hitchens, Glenda Bobalik, Will Rowe, Emily Fish, Jamie Lewis, Andrew Stephenson and the host of others who worked tirelessly on this event. In case you did not see it, I want to ensure you see two things: an article written about one of those shelter residents named Lili and a video that was captured from another shelter resident expressing their sincere thanks to all involved.

Dine Out for Disaster Relief was a Huge Success
22 restaurants in Chattanooga, Hixson and Cleveland took part to help make the inaugural event a huge success. We are projecting that more than $5,000 was raised on this day, plus an even larger impact made to our local economy. What I loved most about this event was the social media conversation, local media conversation, blog conversations and patrons at local restaurants all talking about the RED CROSS. It was truly inspiring to take part and watch unfold. Special thanks to Meredith Bullock & Jillian Ellis who spearheaded this event with the help of Community Development Manager Julia Wright. Way to go ladies – you rocked the restaurants. Looking forward to the next dine out event. Hopefully by then I can work off the RED CROSS calories I ate because hey it was for charity.

Nominate a Local HERO before April 15th
We are still searching the community for local heroes to recognize part of the 2014 Hometown Heroes Luncheon on Wednesday, May 14th. There are 8 categories available and we need your help to find those everyday folks doing extraordinary things in our community. Help us spotlight someone you know by submitting an online nomination form online, by e-mail to  or by calling (423) 265-3455. All nominations are due by April 15th in order for our independent panel of volunteers to review each for merit and choose the best finaliists for each category.

 2014 Hometown Heroes Tickets Going Fast
We are very excited to announce that the 2014 Heroes Luncheon Speaker will be former UT Coach Phil Fulmer. Fulmer will join us for a VIP cocktail hour on Tuesday, May 13th and the luncheon on Wednesday, May 14th. Sponsorship packages including tickets to the VIP cocktail party are available now by contacting me or (423) 265-3456. Be sure to mark your calendar and join us to hear Phil Fulmer and honor everyday heroes from our local community. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased online and remember, all proceeds benefit the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee.

Fill Up & Fuel Disaster Relief Launched
Now through December 31st, fill up at participating Raceway Gas Stations at the Red Cross logoed pump and one cent of every gallon pumped on that pump will be donated to support disaster relief in Southeast Tennessee. Everyone needs gas – our goal is to ensure everyone knows we want them to consider filling up at Raceway Fuel Centers and especially look for the Red Cross pump. Need help finding locations click here.

Lake Winnie opens April 12th & Your Admission can help us raise $$$
Beginning Saturday, April 12th, Lake Winnie opens for weekends and by using our exclusive Red Cross coupon, you can save $5 of each persons’ admission in your party but also net the Red Cross a $2 donation. So if you take 4 people to the park, you save $20 and the Red Cross gets an $8 donation. Learn more about the promotion and get a copy of the coupon by clicking here.

10th & Newest Mobile App released: FLOOD APP NOW AVAILABLE
The Red Cross has its newest app available on both ITUNES & ANDROID phone platforms, the Flood app features immediate alerts to dangerous conditions and is a must download for anyone that lives near any body of water. Ironic, as I am writing this, my FLOOD app is going off to continue alerting me to the ongoing FLOOD WARNING for Hamilton County & the South Chickamauga River (ironic, I think not, download a copy today!

Upcoming Events (including some events many months away)
·        April 6-12th – Volunteer Appreciation Week events continue
·        April 12th – Lake Winnie Opens (download your coupon to save & help us raise money)
·        May 3rd – Regional Board Member Retreat (Location TBD)
·        May 13th – 5 to 8pm Exclusive VIP Reception for Phil Fulmer, Chattanoogan Hotel
·        May 14th – 11:30am 2014 Hometown Heroes Luncheon, Chattanoogan Hotel

As always, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all you do to support the Red Cross in each community we serve. We are on the path for great things to come and couldn’t do that without each of you, your support, time, sacrifice and dedication. Thanks!

Greg Waite  |  Chief Executive Officer
American Red Cross
Southeast Tennessee Chapter
4115 S. Access Road, Chattanooga, TN
Office: (423) 265-3455

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