Friday, October 21, 2011

A celebration of giving!

Working here at the Red Cross, I am constantly amazed by the sacrifices people are willing to make to help others.  Whether it be volunteering to get a call in the middle of the night to help a family whose house has just burned down, or making the financial donation that allows us to provide that family with the food, clothing and shelter they need, the people of Western New York constantly show us that Buffalo truly is "The City of Good Neighbors."

Earlier this week, at this year's "In Celebration of Giving" dinner at the Twentieth Century Club (which is every bit as beautiful as our Clement Mansion) we had the opportunity to say "thank you" for these gifts of time, talent, and treasure.

After honoring Calspan and Matrix Direct, our BASH Commander-in-Chief sponsors, Executive Director Nancy Blaschak told the dozens of Red Cross supporters in attendance the story of Ruth Roberts.  In the 1990's, Ms. Roberts made the largest single donation to the captial campaign that allowed us to renovate our administrative headquarters at 786 Delaware Avenue, but refused to allow us to name anything in the building after her.  She did, however, allow us to present and award in her name. 

Murray Covello holds the Ruth C. Roberts Award with some
of his Praxair, Inc. colleagues
This year, the Ruth C. Roberts Award, recognizing an exceptional contribution to our success in a singular year, was presented to Praxair, Inc.  Often led by Vice President, Global Operations Murray Covello, who serves on our Chapter's Board of Directors, Praxair was one of the first organizations to make a $50,000 leadership gift to support our on-going flooding relief efforts in Connecticut, and has provided a total of over $105,000 to support the work of the American Red Cross.

Sr. Director of Emergency Services, Ken Turner presents
the Clara Barton Award to Diane Sargent
Of course, we would not be able to do perform our life-saving mission without the amazing gifts of time and talent from our volunteers.  The American Red Cross was proud to honor Diane Sargent with the Clara Barton Award, the Chapter's highest honor, presented to an individual whose volunteer accomplishments have made a positive and profound impact on American Red Cross services.  Diane has been deployed to work on a dozen Red Cross disaster relief operations, including two weeks following this spring's devastating tornadoes in Alabama.  Diane volunteers with the Disaster Action Team in both Erie and Niagara County, responding to four separate fires in 24 hours over the Labor Day holiday.

The American Red Cross is proud to recognize our generous donors and volunteers with this great evening of fun, food, and friendship.  Thank you, again, for all that you do! 

To find out more about the many different ways you can share your gifts of time, talent or treasure, please visit our website.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winning for the ARC

Are you looking for a night filled with hockey, Chuck-A-Puck, fun, and the chance to win some cash? Then mark your calendar for October 20th, Canisius College Golden Griffins Hockey vs. RIT Tigers Hockey!

Photo courtesy of
The American Red Cross Club of Canisius College is partnering with Griffs Hockey to sponsor their home opener at Buffalo State College.  

At the game, you can purchase tickets to "Chuck-A-Puck" ($3 for 1 ticket, $5 for 2 tickets).  Proceeds will benefit the College's club.  In addition to getting a chance to win this contest, you'll also be entered to win some great prizes like an autographed Buffalo Sabres hockey stick, an autographed Buffalo Bandits program, a Buffalo Bisons merchandise basket, or a Canisius College merchandise basket!

Not familiar with "Chuck-A-Puck"? 

Chuck-A-Puck is a foam puck game that acts as a 50/50 drawing.  The person who can throw their puck closest to a designated area wins half of the proceeds raised.  In this instance, the other half of the money will be donated to the American Red Cross, Serving Erie and Niagara counties to help with local disasters.  

To get more information about the game and to purchase tickets, visit

For directions to the arena, click here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Four Stars!!

Those of you old enough to remember the show "Star Search" probably know the goal of every contestant was to hear Ed McMahon tell them they received four stars from the judges after their performance.  Well, the Red Cross hasn't been on any reality shows lately, but we've still received a four-star rating we're pretty excited about!

Charity Navigator is an independent watchdog organization that rates non-profits on their financial health, accountability and transparency, and they recently gave the Red Cross their highest rating, four stars. 

In a letter to our President and CEO, Gail McGovern, the President of Charity Navigator, Ken Berger, said, “Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that your organization adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities, and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Approximately a quarter of the charities we evaluate have received our highest rating, indicating that the American Red Cross outperforms most other charities in America.”

When you are donating your hard-earned money to charity, you want to know the organization you choose to give it to will be putting it to good use.  With this four-star rating from Charity Navigator, you can rest assured that when you support the American Red Cross, you'll be helping turn Heartbreak into Hope for our neighbors in need.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Volunteer, and still sleep in!

When you think of a Red Cross volunteer, the first image that pops into your head is most likely that of a person in a red vest, helping the victim of a recent fire or serving a meal out of an Emergency Response Vehicle during a disaster.  We could not perform our life-saving mission without the dedication of these Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers, but you can still serve the Red Cross even if late-night phone calls to head to the scene of an emergency aren't your thing!

At our administrative headquarters at 786 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, we are currently looking for help at our front desk.  These volunteers greet and direct our guests, answer phones, sign for deliveries and generally support our daily operations by being the friendly face welcoming people as they come to the Red Cross.  It's a great way to learn more about what we do for the Western New York community while spending a few hours a week inside the beautiful Clement Mansion!

Reception shifts are typically four hours, one day a week, either in the morning or the afternoon, and we are always willing to work with everyone's schedule.  If you're interested in joining our wonderful group of front-desk volunteers, please contact Christine Petre, Volunteer Coordinator at 716-878-2140 or

Of course, if you're looking for a little more action than sitting behind the front desk, we're always looking for new volunteers to join our DAT team, help deliver important messages to members of our armed forces, be an advocate for seniors in long-term care facilities and much more.  Click here to learn more about how to Join Us as a Red Cross volunteer, and we look forward to welcoming you to the family!