Monday, May 14, 2012

Good times, for a good cause

These are busy days in our Development office, as we gear up for multiple events over the next several days. It all starts tomorrow, with the 21st Annual Reverse Draw & Dinner, when dozens of Red Cross supporters from Niagara County will gather at the Seneca Niagara Casino for food, music and the chance to win up to $3,000 by being the last number draw during this unique raffle.

Just over two weeks later, over 4,000 of our closest friends will be marching on Red Cross headquarters in their best military gear for BASH*2012 on June 1st. Food and drink from some of WNY's finest restaurants, the music from the DJ's of Signature Entertainment and a live performance by the one and only Lance Diamond, the opportunity to bid on auction items from trips to jewelry to sports memorabilia and more, the chance to win up to $10,000 in the BASH raffle...There's a reason The BASH is a finalist to win Best Annual Fundraiser for a sixth consecutive year at Artvoice's Best of Buffalo awards tonight!

Then on June 7th, we are proud to be the beneficiary of this year's JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, as over 10,000 runners descend upon Delaware Park.

But even as we throw these amazing parties and enjoy a nice jaunt through the park, it's important to remember why we put these events on in the first place. On Friday afternoon, staff member Jose Latalladi and myself responded to the scene of two separate fires, one in the Town of Tonawanda and another on Rawlins Ave in Buffalo. Different people, different circumstances, but they all needed help.

Then, while most people were in bed on Friday night, volunteer Pete Swales left me a message that he and another DAT member would be heading to a fire on Bailey Ave. Unfortunately, Pete left another message a couple hours later that a resident in that home had passed away. Pete and his fellow DAT members were able to assist another resident on the scene, and our Disaster Mental Health team will offer counselling to him and all responders as needed.

DAT volunteer Diane Sargent on the scene of
a fire on Hill Street in Buffalo Sunday
Yesterday, our volunteers were called to Hill Street in Buffalo. It only takes one look at the damage that fire caused to know that anyone who lived there would need a place to stay, clothes to wear, and something to eat.

We spend an average of $1,100 assisting a family of four after a single-family house fire, and we respond to an average of a over a fire a day. In each of this weekend's four incidents, the Red Cross was able to provide food, clothing, shelter and support to those who lost everything in the blink of an eye, thanks to the money raised at events such as those coming up in the next few weeks. So we hope you enjoy tomorrow's Reverse Draw, the party of the summer (otherwise known as BASH) on June 1st and the Corporate Challenge six days later, and we thank you for allowing the Red Cross to always be there in times of need.