Red Cross rewards volunteers for their contributions to the community
The American Red Cross of the Panhandle Plains Chapter of the North Texas Region recently recognized volunteers from the Southern Plains and Panhandle for their volunteer contributions to the Red Cross and lifetime achievements.
The Panhandle Plains Chapter recognized 17 individuals from the previously titled South Plains and Panhandle Chapters at their 2022 Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards Ceremony.
Amarillo natives included in the recognition ceremony include Scott Dunn receiving the 2022 Rising Star Award for his enthusiastic commitment to the American Red Cross in the first year of service; Warren Kretzmeier who received The Albina and Bob Young Lifetime Achievement Award for their 15 years of service to the Red Cross and their enduring commitment to community service; Karen Freyer, recognized for her contribution to the business, operations and administration of the Red Cross; Myrl Betts and Marci Rossiter who both received outstanding volunteer awards; and husband and wife duo Ron and Nancy Strader who received the 2022 Volunteer of the Year award for their outstanding performance, improvement and expansion in delivering Red Cross services to the community with dedication to the section .
Ron Strader explained how much the Red Cross’s appreciation of himself and his wife was greatly appreciated, but he said that was not the reason they were volunteering, adding that they hoped to inspire others to do the same.
“The excitement for us, or the fun, comes from our ability to serve the community and help people when they are unprepared and have these unfortunate events or natural disasters affect them. Whatever the situation, we, through the Red Cross, are able to provide some form of comfort to those who need it to give them the chance to get back on their feet and that’s why we volunteer, not to be recognized in this way. While it’s a very nice reward, we’re doing it because we care,” Strader said.
According to Strader, he and his wife started volunteering with the Red Cross about five years ago after retiring from their usual careers. He said they wanted to give their time to those who needed it. The couple now hope their work with the Red Cross will inspire others to volunteer too.
Linn Behling Hughes, Volunteer Recruitment Manager for the Panhandle Plains Chapter, received the 2022 One Red Cross Award and Presidential Pin for completing more than 4,000 volunteer hours. She spoke about the importance of recognizing these individuals for their work in communities across the Panhandle and beyond.
“We hold this awards show every year to show Red Cross members that they are appreciated. We want to show them that we look out for them and care and we know that often they don’t do it for the sake of it. gratitude, but we want to thank them because without them we wouldn’t be the Red Cross and we wouldn’t be able to help people the way we do,” Hughes said.
The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on the volunteers and generosity of the American public to carry out its mission. The association shelters, feeds and comforts the victims; provides about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches life-saving skills; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, service members and their families.
The 2022 awards ceremony also included people from the previously named South Plains chapter, centered in Lubbock, including Thomas Kupfer as Volunteer of the Year, Michael Richards as Disaster Response Award recipient, Amanda Summers with the Rising Star Award, Lydia Cates with the Youth in Action Award, Ben Phillips with the Disaster Preparedness Award, Betty and Stan Foster with the 30 Years of Service pin, among others receiving Business Operations/Administration Awards and Exceptional Volunteer Awards.
The recognition included both chapters due to the new partnership within the Red Cross between the previously named South Plains Chapter and the Panhandle Chapter, combining the two into the now titled Panhandle Plains Chapter.
To register or learn more about volunteering with the American Red Cross, visit them online at redcross.org/volunteer.
For more information about the American Red Cross, visit them online at redcross.org/northtexas or cruzrojaamericana.org, or follow them on Twitter at @RedCrossNTX.