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Red Cross honors volunteers in Chautauqua County

January 9, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

CASSADAGA - The Chautauqua District of the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York honored its volunteers recently at the Cassadaga American Legion.

Chapter Executive Director Bill Tucker presented "Highlights of our 105th Year of Community Service" to over 60 volunteers and supporters, thanking them for their tremendous support in carrying out the mission of the Red Cross here in Chautauqua County.

"Volunteers constitute over 90 percent of the total workforce of the American Red Cross, providing the service delivery necessary to carry out our mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in face of emergencies," he said. "We couldn't do it without these wonderful individuals."

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Pictured from left to right are: Vince Horrigan, Board of Directors, American Red Cross of SWNY; Dudley Erickson, recognized for 50 years of service; Kathy Burch, Assistant Executive Director, American Red Cross of SWNY; and Tory Irgang, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County.

There were 22 volunteers who received certificates for volunteering over 200 hours of service between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. In addition, 16 volunteers and staff were honored for reaching an anniversary with the Red Cross. Among those, Kathy Burch, who currently serves as the chapter's assistant executive director, received her pin for 25 years, and Dudley Erickson of Lakewood was honored for dedicating 50 years of service to the Red Cross on the local, regional and National levels.

"Dudley, or 'Spud' as we all know him, exudes a contagious passion for the Red Cross, extolling the importance of our mission to the community, friends, and family," Tucker said. "We are honored to call him 'friend.'"

Donna and Charlie Meder of Stockton were awarded the Distinguished Service Award in Memory of Amy King and were named the chapter's 2012 Volunteers of the Year for Chautauqua County. The Meders have dedicated many hours, both day and night, over the past 15 years to assist victims of disasters, locally and nationally. Charlie continues to travel to national disasters with the chapter's Emergency Response Vehicle, and both Charlie and Donna continue to respond locally to help assist victims of home fires and other natural and man-made disasters. They have participated in speaking engagements about their experiences with the Red Cross, most recently regarding their support of the Katrina relief efforts. Donna assists the chapter with client casework, and has also assisted the chapter with services to Armed Forces. Charlie often drives a van at our blood drives in the Amish communities, serving as a shuttle for donors.

"This award has been presented to many deserving individuals in the past, and this year is no exception," Tucker said. "It is an honor to recognize volunteers as dedicated as the Meders for their years of service."

"The volunteers of the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York contributed over 18,151 hours of service in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties last year," assistant executive director Kathy Burch said. "Our volunteers are priceless to us, and we thank them for everything that they do for the Red Cross and our communities here in Southwestern New York."



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