South Georgia Red Cross Honors Volunteers of the Year

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

The American Red Cross in South Georgia held its Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner and Business Meeting on June 26 at the Valdosta City Annex Multipurpose room.

“This is our annual event where we recognize those volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty,” said the group’s executive director, Terri Jenkins. She outlined the chapter’s highlight over the year noting that over 900 individuals were assisted due to losses from home fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes and over 300 cases were opened to assist members of the armed forces.

“More telling, though, is that within our 20-county region, 1,528 volunteers received training in First Aid, CPR, babysitting, aquatics, and instructor training,” Jenkins said, adding,” and our loyal blood donors donated over 7,600 units of blood in the region.” Jenkins also noted that the chapter surpassed its volunteer hours goal by “logging in 8,678 hours which was above and beyond our projected 7,666.” This was due to the efforts of 169 active volunteers.

“Our ‘Sound the Alarm, Save a Life’ program resulted in 782 smoke alarms installed in multiple counties and 347 homes were made safer,” Jenkins said, “And 517 3 rd – 5th graders received disaster education training through our ‘Pillowcase Project.’

The chapter, entering its101st year, tapped Valdosta native Gary Wisenbaker, CEO of Blackstone, LLC, a corporate communications and political consulting firm, to replace outgoing board chair, Jennie Boyer as the FY 19 chair.

Award recipients included: Jake Dixon for Outstanding Bio Med Coordinator of the Year; Al Jacobson of Waycross for Outstanding Bio Med Volunteer, Willie Leggett for Outstanding Service Award and Tom Shapard for Board Member Leadership & Service Award. The Tommy Miller Disaster Preparedness and Response Volunteer Award went to Marlene Thrawley for her countless hours in the Disaster Cycle Services Program and Robinson Broadcasting Company (WPAX-WTUF), located in Thomasville was recognized with the Good Neighbor Award for their media support. Pepi Nelson received the Nurses Award for her outstanding work in the shelters last hurricane season.

Three new board members were inducted, and they are: Chat Duboise, Owner of Du Mealz, Valdosta attorney Paul Hamilton, and June Mercer, broker at United Country Real Estate.