Red Cross honors county volunteers and blood donors

CASSADAGA – The American Red Cross of Southwestern New York honored Chautauqua County volunteers and blood donors recently at the Cassadaga American Legion.

Chapter Executive Director Bill Tucker presented “Highlights of our 106th Year of Community Service” to more than 70 volunteers, blood donors and supporters, thanking them for their tremendous support in carrying out the mission of the Red Cross here in Chautauqua County.

In his opening remarks to attending volunteers and donors, Chapter Chairman John K. Plumb noted that, “As a direct result of your contributions, we have continued to deliver essential disaster relief and preparedness services and military family support services, provided needed blood for local and national emergencies, and trained thousands through our life-saving health & safety classes. Thank you!”

A total of 19 volunteers were honored for reaching an anniversary of service with the Red Cross. Among those, Janet Anderson of Jamestown received her 35-year pin for service to the Red Cross at WCA Hospital.

A group of 21 individuals were inducted into the Century Club, an elite group of voluntary blood donors who have donated 100 units of blood, a milestone requiring at least 16 years of dedicated and consistent giving. Those inducted this year were John Ames, Mary Bednarick, Paul Bell, William Brosius, Robert Carlson, Thomas DeJoe, David Detweiler, James Enser, Raymond Flagg, Steven Hazen, Helen Leonard, Nancy Nolan, Allen Parker, Peter Pinkoski, Bruce Sievert, Charles Stafford, Brian Stimson, Jerry Stimson, Jeannette Turner, Patricia Westley and Paul White.

Three chapter donors were inducted into the Second Century Club, whose members have donated over 200 units of blood. This is a rare lifetime achievement that takes 33 years for even the most dedicated donor to accomplish. Those inducted were John J. Bellardo Jr., Kim Finch and Timothy Fagerstrom.

The Chautauqua County Dedicated Blood Volunteer Award was presented to Christina Jones. Jones is a great asset to the chapter, volunteering in the canteen at the Fralick Donation Center as well as performing free blood pressure checks at the Chapter House on the second and fourth Mondays of the month.

“Chris is an invaluable supporter to those who come and take advantage of her expertise, friendly smile and listening ear. She is a great volunteer, and her dedication is very much appreciated at the Chapter and in our community,” Tucker said.

The Distinguished Service Award in Memory of Amy King was awarded to the Chautauqua County Volunteer of the Year, disaster responder Lin Baylis. Since joining the Red Cross in 2005, Baylis has served as a trained disaster responder, answering the call 24/7 to help those in need of American Red Cross emergency assistance. Baylis also provides extensive administrative support to maintain the Chapter’s Client Assistance System, properly documenting all responses and all aid rendered by the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York. Tucker commented, “Lin is always here for our local community, ready and willing to respond to house fires, floods, tornadoes, or any other disaster-related event which may strike our area.”

Chairman Plumb also thanked the volunteers and donors on behalf of the board of directors and the community saying, “Our volunteers and donors all give willingly of their time, talent, blood and money to ensure that we can fulfill the Red Cross mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies. Please accept our thanks for all you do for your neighbors; we are a better community because of you and your contributions.”