Monday, July 17, 2017

East Tennessee Letter from Executive Director, Sharon Hudson - July 2017

As another fiscal year comes to a close and new one begins, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each volunteer for your time and dedication to the Red Cross.  I have had the pleasure to meet many of our long time volunteers in the office and in the community, and I love hearing stories about why our volunteers engage with the Red Cross and our mission.  We have had a lot of activity while painting and cleaning up our building, serving the community and preparing for events, such as Pedal for the Red and Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.

Last month, the East Tennessee Chapter for the American Red Cross opened for the National Championship Cycling Weekend with Pedal for the Red, a family friendly ride.  We partnered with Visit Knoxville, USA Cycling, Medalist, and Blackberry Farm.  It was a phenomenal weekend and very rewarding to form new partnerships in the community.  We also marked the weekend with our 100 Year Centennial celebration.  It was an incredible weekend for all who participated and volunteered.  This was the first year for Pedal for the Red and with a lot of sweat and hard work…the event surprised all.

We are very grateful for our Presenting Sponsor, Phillips and Jordan, Event Chair Christy Phillips, Board Members Joe Thompson and Melissa Sykes, and former University of Tennessee quarterback, Heath Shuler.  Several of our board members and volunteers flipped pancakes, provided food, and a few of our volunteers rode the 4.8 mile course along closed Knoxville streets.  It was a great representation of the spirit of the Red Cross!

With our Pedal for the Red behind us, we now shift our energy and focus to Sound the Alarm. Save a Life, a recurring national signature event this October tied to installing smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods.  This is a big step for us, and will get everyone involved in our mission, drive community connections, and most importantly—save more lives!  Our national goal is to install 100,000 smoke alarms—including our 1 millionth smoke alarm during the period from September 30 through October 15th.  Gary Dakolios and Kendra Taylor have already completed a lot of the planning, and I am thankful for this groundwork.   This event will require a lot of volunteer involvement to make it successful and we need your help.  If you have an interest in marketing, fundraising, and community outreach, please contact me.  We have many roles to fill, and I would love your support and participation in this incredible opportunity.

Thank you,

Sharon Hudson

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