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Apr-21-2007 15:55printcomments

American Red Cross Willamette Chapter Celebrates 90 Year Anniversary

Volunteers and staff gathered to celebrate the American Red Cross Willamette Chapter’s 90th year of service in Marion and Polk Counties.

Red Cross volunteers
American Red Cross Willamette Chapter

(SALEM) - Twenty three volunteers and three area businesses were specially honored, by the American Red Cross Willamette Chapter, and an 8-minute video featuring local volunteers was shown at the event. The video briefly details the 1917 origins of the local Red Cross and moves to present day services.

90 years of faithful service to the community.

Two AmeriCorps members were among the honorees. The AmeriCorps network of local, state, and national service programs engages more than 70,000 Americans in intensive service each year. AmeriCorps members serve through more than 3,000 nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based and other community organizations, helping meet critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment.

The AmeriCorps Award was presented to Christine Rich of West Salem, a First Year AmeriCorps Member for 1700 hours of service to the Red Cross during a 11-month service period. Rich has provided American Red Cross youth classes to 2,400 local children, facilitated Badge Day events for both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, given safety-related presentations and attended youth-oriented health fairs in Marion and Polk counties. Partners and beneficiaries of this project include elementary, middle and high schools, college students, Boys & Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, church groups and childcare sites.

The AmeriCorps Award was presented to Corey Howe of West Salem, also a First Year AmeriCorps Member, who has been serving as the chapter’s Volunteer Coordinator since September 2006. She coordinates an average of 400 volunteer service hours per month. She spends 40 hours a week working for the chapter.

Gary Geerhart of Monmouth received one of the highest honors, the Joe Pope Life Time Achievement Award. This is only the second time the chapter has given this life-time achievement award. A minimum service criterion for the award is 25 years. Geerhart has 58 years of service with the organization. He is currently Chair of the Volunteer Committee, a first aid & CPR trainer, a disaster preparedness trainer and a Disaster Action Team (DAT) Captain

Scott A. Smith of West Salem received another of the evening’s highest honors, the Clara Barton Honor Award, which recognizes meritorious service in volunteer leadership positions held over a period of years. Smith has been active with the Red Cross both locally and nationally for six years, after a 28-year career with the Salem Fire Department. He is currently serving on the board of directors, as the Disaster Action Team (DAT) Coordinator and as a national instructor in International Humanitarian Law.

The video can be viewed at

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