Red Cross Cape Cod Tornado Response

by Susan Gilbert, American Red Cross

After a series of tornadoes on July 23 left areas of Cape Cod in disarray, and nearly 53,000 people without power, the Red Cross was there to help. Approximately 63 people, including a small number from Metro, were dispatched to provide shelter and nutrition.

“The team did a great job ensuring that the clients’ needs were met despite the very unusual circumstances ̶ three tornadoes in one day, and during the summer when tourists significantly increase the population,” said Disaster Program Manager Larry French.

Lee Gjersten and Brian Michaud served as shelter supervisors, who activated the Harvard Pilgrim shelter team for the first time.
“The shelter was thankfully not busy, despite the many thousands of residents without power.

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“The shelter was thankfully not busy, despite the many thousands of residents without power.

It thus provided us an opportunity to activate and work with Harvard Pilgrim employees who had been recently trained in sheltering. I was impressed with all the Harvard Pilgrim workers; they were enthusiastic and eager to do whatever needed to be done, and were interested in learning as much as possible about how Red Cross shelters operate,” said Gjersten.

 

“This shelter was a good example of how the Red Cross partners with others in the community during a disaster. Not just the Harvard Pilgrim team, but also the school staff, local emergency response personnel, law enforcement, and everyone else involved in the sheltering operation. I suspect a lot of people outside the Red Cross don’t realize just how much coordination is necessary to make an emergency shelter work well,” Gjersten added.

Brian Michaud also supervised the Harvard Pilgrim team, providing meals and hydration to the many workers cleaning up the trees and other damage caused by the storm. “We served hundreds of meals and provided water as needed,” said Michaud.

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Tornadoes are very rare on Cape Cod. This twister was just the fourth on record to strike the area since 1850, and the first time Cape Cod had more than one tornado in a year.
The tornado’s maximum wind speed was 110 mph, which equates to a strong EF1 tornado, and can cause extremely dangerous and destructive wind gusts. Damage was reported in Brewster, Chatham, Harwich, Hyannis Port, Mashpee, Sandwich and Yarmouth, and the town of Harwich, which sustained the most damage, was declared a state of emergency.

 

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MA Region Recognizes Outstanding Volunteer Service with Annual Awards

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The American Red Cross honored 17 volunteers from across Massachusetts for their service to local communities and the mission of alleviating human suffering.

Also honored was Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare disaster volunteers for their commitment to make their local community more resilient to disasters.

At the region’s annual meeting in Medford, MA, as well as at a volunteer appreciation event in Worcester, MA, members of the senior leadership staff and the region’s board of directors recognized outstanding achievement by our region’s volunteers.

Holly Grant, the CEO of the Massachusetts region, recognized each of the 17 volunteers and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare with the help of Board Chair John Stadtler.

The honorees are:

Susan Gilbert – Communications Volunteer of the Year

Susan Gilbert edits the monthly Communications newsletter, editing and writing information regarding all departments – Biomedical Services, Development, Service to the Armed Forces and International Services, Disaster Cycle Services, Communications and Marketing, Training Services, as well as regional news. Her articles include such topics as deployments, our Annual Heroes’ breakfasts, the food pantry, and our mentoring program.  

Susan has volunteered with the Red Cross for four years. In addition to her current roles, she has participated in the Home Fire campaign, Sound the Alarm campaign, and written numerous volunteer bios.  

Lexi Ashraf – Youth Programs Volunteer of the Year

Lexi is an outstanding volunteer and a role model for all. She is a rising senior at Wellesley High School where she is the president of her school’s Red Cross Club. Lexi became interested in the Red Cross when she volunteered at the Red Cross Food Pantry in Boston and has expanded her club so that others can have the same experience. Lexi continually involves herself in the Red Cross mission and participated in this year’s Sound the Alarm. Her goal is to continue the club’s growth and lead others to make impacts in their local communities. 

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Peter Schubert – Herbert Cook Award

Peter began as a volunteer in early 2017, and now is involved heavily in our Disaster Action Team, taking a few shifts a week. Hes also on the Regional Mass Care Leadership TeamBioMedical transportation volunteer and part of our Community Disaster Education Team. Because of his love for the Red Cross, and for our volunteers, he also joined our On-Boarding Team, supporting new volunteers during the first months of their time with the American Red Cross. His cheerful attitude and willingness to always support our mission is ever present and a valuable member of our Massachusetts team. 

The Herbert Cook Award recognizes volunteers who demonstrate dedication, skills and excellence in a leadership role through Disaster Services. 

Charlie Vose – The Jerry Tice Award

Charlie Vose has spent his life educating and caring for others with a humanitarian spirit that continues to shine after nearly 40 years of Red Cross service. Charlie was a middle school teach for 34 years, focusing on science and mathematics. He brought his passion for teaching to the Red Cross as well, teaching first aid and CPR to the community. A long-time disaster responder in the Northeast, Charlie served as emergency service director, as well as being a member of the board of directors in the Northeast. He was instrumental in training local school staff in CPR and first aid, knowing its importance when teaching children. 

The Jerry Tice Award recognizes volunteers for education, skills, excellence and service to others through Disaster Services in addition to another area of service.

Regina MacKenzie – Mass Bay Disaster Services Volunteer of the Year

Regina MacKenzie has made a significant impact in the Mass Bay Chapter since her start in 2017. She serves in various capacities in the Boston Metro area, as a Metro 2 DAT responder, a health service team member, deployment coach and as a Boston Marathon medical tent volunteer. Regina has also worked locally with the Home Fire Campaign, installing alarms in Quincy.  

She is known across the Metro area for her willingness to support all functions within disaster services, and her compassion toward clients to ensure their success is incredible.  

Renee Charpentier – Dorothy ‘Dottie’ D’Ambrosio Award

Renee Charpentier began volunteering with the Red Cross in November of 2017, but in that short time she has become an important part of the Metro Disaster Action Teams. Responding to local disasters from Quincy to East Boston, Renee’s leadership role has increased to include working closely with the Disaster Program Manager to ensure adequate Red Cross response to local disasters.  

Renee Charpentier is this year’s recipient of the Dorothy ‘Dottie D’Ambrosio Award, given to a volunteer who has shown a compassion for assisting and caring for families following a disaster and demonstrates a passion for mentoring new volunteers. 

Steven Latasa-Nicks   - Cape, Islands and Southeast Massachusetts Chapter Disaster Services Volunteer of the Year

Steven Latasa-Nicks joined the American Red Cross as a CPR instructor to assist in his local community of Provincetown. While conducting his train-the-trainer session at the Hyannis Chapter office, he realized there were other opportunities within the organization. Steven started out as a DAT trainee and worked with Eddy Blanchard to speed through the program. He is now the captain for the Lower Cape and supervises a team of twenty volunteers. Through his efforts and positive spirit, the Red Cross has strengthened its relationships with local fire departments, police and emergency management agencies.  

Steven has been a force, helping to recruit new volunteers to respond to local disasters and emergencies. 

Stephanie Walsh – Chief Executive Officer’s Award

Stephanie Walsh is being honored with the Chief Executive Officer’s Award. Stephanie started as a Disaster Action Team volunteer with the Red Cross. One of her first responses was to the Boston Marathon bombings. Throughout the year following the bombings, she went on to become a DAT captain and assisted a national team in virtually assessing areas impacted by disasters. She also helped create reports for the Region. Through her continued work at the Region, she was nominated to fill the role as Course Medical Coordinator for the Red Cross work with the annual Boston Marathon. 

She graciously accepted this role and has just completed her sixth marathon leading the Course Medical Team. She continues to work full time at MEDITECH, now as a Manager of Corporate Technologies, and is the proud mom of two children.  

David Reed – Northeast Massachusetts Chapter Disaster Services Volunteer of the Year

David Reed joined the Disaster Action Team of the Northeast in September 2017.   His warm and caring personality makes him a perfect caseworker on scene, always meeting client needs with a friendly smile and an encouraging words. He was extremely helpful during the gas explosion in the Merrimack Valley where he worked at the various evacuation centers in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, as well as the Multi-Agency Resource Center. A fluent Spanish speaker, Dave was instrumental during the Sound the Alarm events in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. Dave called and coordinated appointment with Spanish speaking clients to ensure the event was a success.   

Jo Fitzgerald – Volunteer Services Volunteer of the Year

Jo Fitzgerald joined the Red Cross in March of 2017 as a Blood Donor Ambassador and went on to join the Recovery Casework Team and the Regional Volunteer Screening. Jo continues to enjoy her work in all three roles. In the past two years, she has given more than 1,350 hours of her time. She is a valuable and reliable team member, helping onboard and place new volunteers into positions they will enjoy and where their skills are best used. Most notable, Jo was assigned to the Merrimack Valley gas explosion response for 10 days, giving 100 hours of her time. She worked tirelessly to call the increase of new applicants, and place them into meaningful roles. Her efficiency, professionalism, and can-do spirit contribute directly to the success of screening and placement of volunteers in Massachusetts. 

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Dorothy Cichonski – Western Massachusetts Disaster Services Volunteer of the Year

Dorothy Cichonski joined the American Red Cross of Western Massachusetts Chapter in 2013.  She quickly became an integral part of the Disaster team, where she stood out as a leader.  Dorothy is a DAT Supervisor, Duty Officer, Pillow Case Project presenter, Home Fire Campaign educator and she coordinates all the community preparedness events in the Western Territory.  She is a wonderful mentor to the trainees assigned to her and can be counted on to run the Disaster office when staff is called away, and is highly respected by her peers for her knowledge of the Western Territory. 

Robert Adamski – Training Services Volunteer of the Year

Robert Adamski is a Volunteer Instructor in Eastern Massachusetts.  He teaches community level and professional level Basic Life Support, First Aid and CPR classes in the American Red Cross Blood Donation facility in Dedham, MA.  He has been a nationally registered paramedic and firefighter for over 20 years.   

 He started volunteering with the Red Cross in Pennsylvania in 1988, and became an instructor in 1993.  Rob has said ‘an instructor can make a real difference in peoples’ lives, can save lives and exponentially increase the acquisition of lifesaving skills across his community.’  He fervently believes in giving something back to your community and helping others. 

Joel Janovsky – Service to the Armed Forces team as the Volunteer of the Year

Joel Janovsky is retired from a 30-year career in information technology in which he held positions in software engineering and project management for a variety of Massachusetts employers, including Biogen, Harvard University, Fidelity Investments, and Iron Mountain. He attended the University of Massachusetts/Amherst where he received an undergraduate degree in computer systems engineering, and he has a graduate degree in computer science from Boston University. Joel served in the Marine Corps during the 1970s in a military police/corrections unit at Camp Pendleton and as a Marine embassy guard in Vienna, Austria.  Joel and his wife Amy are long-time residents of Andover Massachusetts.  

Robert Campbell – Service to the Armed Forces team as the Volunteer of the Year

Robert Campbell is retired from a 30-year career in defense contracting, where he was responsible for contracts valued at about $500 billion at 18 major contract management offices.  He attended the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where he received an undergraduate degree in business management, and he has a graduate degree from the U.S. Naval War College with a in National Security and Strategic Studies.  Bob is a veteran of the U.S. military and currently is working with the American Red Cross to provide service to our military via the military entrance processing stations.  

Leonard Harris – Central Massachusetts Disaster Services Volunteer of the Year

An accomplished Emergency Medical Technician, Leonard Harris joined the Central Massachusetts Disaster Action Team in 2013.  He has been an invaluable member of the team, reliably willing and able to mobilize in support of an incident – whether scheduled to do so or not.  His service to the community includes extensive work with the Home Fire Campaign, and most recently with the teams efforts to strengthen partnerships with all 62 emergency management departments in Central Massachusetts.   

Jim Niedzolkowski – BioMedical Services Volunteer of the Year

Jim Niedzolkowski has been a positive fixture in Blood Services since 2010. He began working blood drives and quickly took on training new donor ambassadors. New ambassadors described Jim as a person who generated positive energy and enthusiasm for new volunteers. 

Jim went on to join the Donor Recruitment Team, putting up signs for upcoming blood drives around the region. He would also go on to join the Transportation Program, delivering new donations to the Dedham facility for processing. He also helps coordinate vehicle scheduled maintenance for the fleet of transportation vehicles here in Massachusetts. 

With all his volunteerism, Jim’s proudest accomplishment is the 107 times he has donated platelets. 

His nearly 1,000 hours of volunteer service since 2010 shows his commitment to the Red Cross mission. 

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Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare – Chandler Blackington Award

What started as a small group of volunteers trained to support local shelters expanded to a much larger group of disaster volunteers. In the past year, the Harvard Pilgrim Team has trained over 50 employees in sheltering, installed smoke alarms and built comfort kits for children. Although the shelter team hasnt yet been activated, every time there is a significant disaster in Eastern Massachusetts the team reaches out, eager and ready to help. In the meantime, they are eager to continue to train and become more informed on how they can support the American Red Cross and our clients in times of disaster.  

Betsy Eggleston – Boston Food Pantry Volunteer of the Year

Betsy Eggleston has volunteered in the Boston Food Pantry since November 2017. It did not take Betsy long to transition from first-time, Thanksgiving volunteer to core every day volunteer.   

Betsy is a Wednesday morning regular, recording more than 260 volunteer hours this past year. She also volunteers many Thursday mornings, serving income eligible seniors in the Commodity Supplemental Food ProgramBetsy displays a great ability to teach how to use our database and bar-code system to new volunteers just learning. She is the go-to person for the training function because of her abilities, patience, cool-head and trustworthiness.  

The Red Cross has been helping Massachusetts residents for more than 100 years, bringing aid and comfort to those affected by disaster. One of the largest missions of the Red Cross in Massachusetts is the response to homes fires, which affected nearly 700 homes last year. Volunteers respond to assist residents displaced by home fires, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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A Humanitarian Path Discovered in Retirement Through the Red Cross

article by Karuu Kamau, University of Massachusetts, Boston

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Ken Boyajian began volunteering with the American Red Cross in November 2018. A recent retiree, Ken was looking to stay busy in retirement, as well as working in his local community. Remembering the recent gas explosions in Lawrence, Ken knew helping with the Sound the Alarm campaign would help families be ready in the event of another local disaster.

 

Question – What region were you volunteering for the Sound the Alarm campaign?

Answer – Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover Massachusetts.

Q – Was this After the gas explosion disaster?

A – Yes, the gas explosion was a year before, last September.

Q – What is your background?

A – I am retired, I retired last July and joined the Red Cross in November

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Q – Are you a member of the Disaster Action Team?

A – Yes, it is a team of first responders with the Red Cross, responding to a disaster scene in your local area. You volunteer by registering online and committing 4-to-6 hours, several times per month. In case of a disaster, these team members respond by providing comfort and necessary resources, like finding a hotel, food, clothes – anything to help the victims of the catastrophe until they can recover.

Q – Are most disasters fire related?

A – Yes, most of the tragedies in the area are fires, but in other parts of the U.S., such as the Midwest and Southern States, there are hurricanes, tornadoes, and other major national or regional disasters. I am in the mailing list of those too. They mainly occur in June, July, and August. I help in setting up shelters for the victims, for two weeks at a time.

Q – Is there anything that surprised you, or you unexpectedly encountered during the Sound the Alarm smoke detector installations?

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A – Yes, I thought you had to be an electrician to do so, but I learned they were battery powered and not connected to electrical wires. So, you don’t have to be an electrician to do the installations, and it was an easy activity.

Q – What was your assessment of smoke detectors in homes, are there many homes without them?

A – In most instances, the smoke detectors are old and therefore malfunctioning or not working at all. Smoke detectors have a 10-year life span, and therefore, people quickly forget about them. We were, thus, going in and checking if the ones installed are functioning. It was beneficial to many that needed new units. People were very appreciative of the campaign.

Q – What challenges did you encounter doing the installations?

A – It was an easy straight forward process. We were well prepared beforehand, and the campaign was professionally managed

Q – Why do you volunteer?

A – Two reasons: keeps me busy, and I love helping other people. I have made many friends from the Red Cross, and our efforts and contributions are well appreciated. Sound the Alarm was an excellent service that hopefully will prevent significant disasters and unnecessary deaths from fires. I applaud the Red Cross for this service, and I am happy to help.

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We Salute the Massachusetts American Red Cross Volunteers Celebrating Milestones in Service

It’s sort of like a birthday. Every year, some of our volunteers celebrate the anniversarymilestones of service logo of their volunteer career with the American Red Cross. And in Massachusetts, our volunteers have a lot to celebrate.

Throughout our region, we have volunteers working tirelessly every day to ensure that our services are delivered to the residents of Massachusetts who need our help. From Service to the Armed Forces, to Disaster Response, to Blood Collection, volunteers make up 90% of our workforce.

Our Massachusetts region is split into 5 chapters, and each chapter has volunteers who are celebrating a milestone year of service this year. Please comment below with your thanks to them and spread the word of volunteerism to your friends.

Cape, Islands and Southeast Massachusetts Chapter:
Volunteer Years of Service Hometown
Margaret Tompsett 20 Chatham
Patsy Bruce 20 n/a
Cathy Hatch 15 West Yarmouth
Deborah Medders 15 Vineyard Hvn.
Carol Bliss 10 Chatham
Robert Fichtenmayer 10 West Wareham
Sharon Friendman 10 Mansfield
Ken Armstrong 5 Bee Cave, TX
Donn Burgess 5 Halifax
Charlotte Carneiro 5 Mashpee
Mark Cook 5 Laekville
Ronald Derr 5 Seekonk
Kathleen Donelan 5 Hanover
Jennifer DuBois 5 Wellfleet
Robert Kessler 5 Charlestown
Lisa Maiden 5 Centerville
Vickie Manning 5 Pocasset
Kenneth McGuire 5 West Yarmouth
Mark McLoughlin 5 Fall River
Peter Prestoy 5 Rehoboth
Laurel Ryan 5 Abington
Kelly St.Romaine 5 Cummaquid
Teresa Temple 5 Aquinnah

 

Mass Bay Chapter (Greater Boston area):
Susan Berger 25 Brookline
Larry Berkowitz 10 Lexington
Anthony Gray 10 Malden
Mustapha Sama 10 Dorchester
Taleb Abdelrahim 5 Waltham
Ken Armstrong 5 Bee Cave, TX
Melida Arredondo 5 Rsolindale
Daniele Baker 5 Waltham
Lawrence Bergstresser 5 Concord
Johanna Carregal 5 Charlstown
Timothy Castano 5 Boston
Giulia Ciaghi 5 Brookline
James Clorite 5 Foxboro
Wilberta Davis 5 Natick
William DiCarlo 5 Heyde Park
Alyssa Dion 5 Cambridge
Lauren, Peter Duffy 5 Franklin
Denise Duggan 5 Auburndale
Matthew Eidukinas 5 Boston
Jill Ginsburg 5 Waltham
Eleanor Glidden 5 Somerville
Kushal Gohil 5 Waltham
Evelyn Green 5 Boston
Elizabeth Kastner 5 Boston
Helene Lieb 5 Cohasset
Daniel Lochmandy 5 Nashua, NH
Carol Madigan 5 Weymouth
Judy Maloney 5 Dedham
Neha Malrani 5 Lynnfield
Keith McAuliffe 5 Quincy
Geeta Mehrotra 5 Arlington
Karen Murray 5 Lexington
Sheila O’Connor 5 South Boston
Lauren Pizzi 5 Quincy
Kathy Plett 5 Quincy
Gregory Solomon 5 Silver Spring, MO
Erin Stickney 5 Windham
Paul Stramaglia 5 Flemington
Max Weng 5 Malden
Charles Whiting 5 Dorchester
Semage Wijeyewardena 5 Boston
Craig Wolfe 5 Hull

 

Central Massachusetts Chapter:
Robert Warfield 40 Sutton
Jeanine Swick 25 Lunenburg
Ralph Swick 25 Lunenburg
Charles Grosvenor 20 Worcester
Linda Bourque 15 Lunenburg
Peter Caruso 10 West Boylston
Elizabeth Levison 10 Harvard
Alice McGovern 10 Templeton
Elaine Sanborn 10 Westboro
Pat Starr 10 Gardner
Pedro Aldahondo 5 Charlton City
Amber Ali 5 Shrewsbury
Wendy Burley 5 Marlborough
Susan Dion 5 Paxton
Kathryn Fugatt 5 Winchendon
Barbara Gray 5 Framingham
Amelia-Jae Le 5 Worcester
Owen Mangan 5 Hopkinton
Joanne Martinec 5 Lunenbureg
Margaret O’Meara 5 Whitinsville
Gurlie Perron 5 Spencer
Kaz Sawicki 5 Webster
Christopher Shea 5 Worcester
Dorothy Sweeney 5 Worcester
Erica Wood 5 Worcester

 

Western Massachusetts Chapter:
Lisa Martin 15 Springfield
Ivy Ward 15 Wilbraham
Donald Cawrse 10 Southampton
Cheryl Clayton 10 Westfield
Leonard Finkowski 10 South Hadley
E. Gordon 10 Wilbraham
F. Green 10 Ellenton, FL
Kenneth LaBonte 10 Feeding Hills
Raymone Plate 10 Springfield
Sondra Wolf 10 Agawam
Grace Barsalou 5 Longmeadow
Rebecca Boulin 5 Feeding Hills
Shirley Brouillette 5 Springfield
Ann DeRode 5 Bernardston
Barbara DuCharme 5 Pittsfield
Linda Glenn 5 Longmeadow
Schuyler Goodrich 5 Pittsfield
Terri Grzybowski 5 South Deerfield
Prudence Maloni 5 Springfield
Carolyn McDonald 5 Holyoke
Anne McManus 5 West Springfield
William Miller 5 North Adams
Danielle Palmieri 5 Pittsfield
Teresa Palmieri 5 Pittsfield
Anthony Stirlacci 5 Longmeadow
Bill Trudeau 5 Agawam

 

Northeast Massachusetts Chapter:
Peter Carlin 10 Raymond
Marie Larose 10 North Reading
Beverly Broderick 5 Burlington
Brian Coolidge 5 Georgetown
Margaret Davis 5 Amesbury
Kathleen Erkkila 5 Peabody
Andrea Florentino 5 Lynn
Robert Heffernana 5 Townsend
Maureen Karabatsos 5 Dracut
Ann Kelleher 5 Westford
Elaine Lafratta 5 Peabody
Pat LeComte 5 Dracut
Lindsay Morand 5 Townsend
Bonnie Norton 5 Salem
Stan Sleppy 5 Lynn
Elizabeth Stanton 5 Lowell
Jean Tearno 5 Methuen

 

Thank you to all our volunteers who so graciously give their time and talents to ensure that, when the time comes, the Red Cross will deliver our Mission here in the Commonwealth!

 

 

 

 

 

Luncheon Highlights Inspirational Work to Ease Hunger in Massachusetts

On Friday May 10, nearly 100 people from across the Commonwealth gathered for the eighth annual Women of Inspiration Luncheon to honor the work of the American Red Cross and celebrate the time, talent, and treasure that our Tiffany Circle Society of Women leaders bring to the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross. Along with those in attendance were our sponsors, General Electric, PwC, Commodore Builders, and the Hailer Family Foundation.

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Vanessa Welch, Boston 25 news anchor, emceed the luncheon that focused on the Massachusetts Region Food and Nutrition Program that reached 185,000 people and families last year. Keynote speaker Catherine D’Amato, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank, spoke passionately about her early years of advocacy for the hungry and the vital role that the Red Cross plays in distributing GBFB food to keep families in the area nourished.

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Nayla Bezares, doctoral student at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition, Science, and Policy shared the challenges facing her native homeland of Puerto Rico—where the island’s access to secure food systems after hurricane Maria were threatened. That storm inspired Nayla’s entrepreneurial spirit to co-found, Baravena Helados, a healthy and sustainable ice cream alternative.

 

Among those present was First Lady of Massachusetts Lauren Baker who is a Regional Board member and founding Tiffany Circle of Massachusetts member along with our Co-Chairs, Suzanne Stadtler and Patti Glassford. The luncheon was also an opportunity to recognize an extraordinary food pantry supporter Donna Stearns and volunteer Deborah Spirio who dedicated almost 500 hours of service since she began volunteering with her family in 2009. In fact, the Tiffany Circle members will devote considerable time to the Boston Food Pantry in the coming year with a Back-to-School distribution on Saturday, September 7.

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The Tiffany Circle is a community of women leaders who advance the American Red Cross mission through a focused investment of time, talent and treasure by engaging women locally, nationally and internationally.  The Tiffany Circle takes its name from the historic stained-glass windows in the Board of Governors Hall at Red Cross national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Installed in 1917, the windows were commissioned from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Studios. The windows cost $10,000 and were jointly purchased by the Women’s Relief Corps of the North and the United Daughters of the Confederacy of the South as an act of reconciliation and hope. Tiffany Circle members from across the country, each donate $10,000 or more annually to support the American Red Cross.

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Running Boston is Another Way Local Woman Supports Red Cross

As Boston finally starts to see some warm weather, it’s looking like marathon time and Ashli Lamattina is nearing the end of preparations for the 2019 Boston Marathon.

Ashli, 31, is the Director of Sales at the AC Hotel by Marriott in Station Landing, in Medford, Massachusetts.  Ashli already supports the Red Cross by holding quarterly blood drives at the hotel and donates blood whenever she is able.

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This year’s Boston Marathon is going to be Ashli’s first marathon!  She chose to run with Team Red Cross in order to raise more awareness and bring hope to people in need.

Ashli has thrown herself into the Red Cross mission, well beyond Team Red Cross. The Red Cross Food Pantry in Boston supports thousands of area families with healthy, nutritious food. Ashli was at the Food Pantry in late November 2018, on the busiest day of the year, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. She helped bag groceries and assisted clients to their cars.

Help Ashli meet her fund-raising goal here..

Ashli’s commitment to the Red Cross truly makes her a Runner On A Mission!

Marathoner’s Inspiring Red Cross Story, 44 Years in the Making

Ann Hirakawa ran with Team Red Cross last year, helping residents of Massachusetts by raising life-saving funds to support disaster response.

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Ann Hirakawa, 49, first came to the United States from Saigon in 1975 when she was six years old. Ann was traveling with her mother (whom she calls her hero), grandmother, sister and brother.  She remembers the Red Cross being at Camp Pendleton the three months that they were there, and all they did to make her and her family feel comfortable and safe. According to her, the Red Cross “bridged her existence to her second country” as she was able to take English classes provided by the Red Cross to the refugees.  She is running not only for the Red Cross, but also in the memory of her mother.

She believes that “in order to succeed you have to feel the pain,” and boy is she succeeding. This is the second year Ann is running for the Red Cross, but it will be her 27th marathon overall.   She even helped a person last year that collapsed and took them to the medical tent. Ann also runs races at Camp Pendleton each year as a way to give back to the Marines that made such a big impact on her early years.

We want to wish Ann good luck and thank you for all you and your husband Howard do to support the Red Cross!  See you at the finish line!

We are down to four weeks before runners make their way 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston. Team Red Cross runners are on a mission to build stronger, more resilient communities in Massachusetts. Did you know the Red Cross responds to a disaster here in the Commonwealth every five hours, on average.

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