Red Cross recognizes volunteers at annual meeting

Since the founding of the Northern Miami Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross 100 years ago, volunteers have been the heart of everything the chapter accomplishes. In May this year, the organization took time at its annual meeting to recognize those volunteers who go above and beyond their call of duty.

On Saturday, May 20, six deserving volunteers were presented with awards in honor of the chapter’s centennial.

Those honored include:

• Centennial Clara Barton Award: Myrna Yoder, a retired teacher from Troy, was named as the winner of the Clara Barton Award. This award is given to the volunteer who is inspirational and iconic, and who volunteers with passion and clarity of mission.

“Myrna is the type of volunteer that goes the extra mile in services for the Red Cross Disaster Mission,” said Northern Miami Valley Ohio Red Cross Chapter Executive Director Lynne Gump.

Other nominees for the Clara Barton Award included Mary Lane of Greenville; John Gross of Troy; and Cindy Long of Tipp City.

• Centennial Henry Dunant Award: Wendi Coffelt of Springfield was chosen as the winner of the Henry Dunant Award, which goes to the volunteer who is willing to volunteer without being asked, is always there when needed, and does whatever the task may be.

“Wendi first got involved with the Red Cross as a volunteer CPR instructor, and today she’s involved in multiple programs, including Services to the Armed Forces and our Disaster Action Team,” Gump said. “She’s been on national disaster deployments as well. She has personally reached out to more than 1,000 family members to provide them with comfort, information and referrals and a pleasant, friendly voice telling them we are here to help and everything will be ok. There is no act too small for her to do in order to help those going through unthinkable distress.”

Others on the ballot for the Henry Dunant Award were Lowell Williams of Union City; Rita McManis of Greenville; Ray Smith of Piqua; and John Gross of Troy.

• Centennial Dr. Charles Drew Award: Betty Hunt of Bellafontaine, receive

d the Dr. Charles Drew Award, which is given to the volunteer who is selflessly giving in the Red Cross Blood Services Mission. “Betty Hunt is one of our state’s most dedicated biomedical ambassadors,” Gump said. “She is the smiling face who greets donors as they enter the blood drive, learns returning faces and is a calming influence for new donors. Our blood donation program is stronger because of Betty.”

John Wright of Greenville was the other nominee for the Dr. Charles Drew Award.

• Centennial Maj. Charles Lynch Award: Stephan Biawitz of Enon was chosen as the recipient of the Maj. Charles Lynch Award. This award is given to the volunteer who exemplifies the high standards of our first aid and CPR classes, and encourages us to care for and save lives.

“Stephan teaches our classes with enthusiasm and knowledge,” Gump said.

Others in consideration for the Maj. Charles Lynch Award were Sandra Dunn of Greenville and Donna Siegrist of Greenville.

• Centennial Janet Wilson Award: Christina Chalmers of Greenville was presented the Janet Wilson Award, which is given to the volunteer who sets an example by their work of One Red Cross. “Christina has carried the local chapter throughout the melding of six counties into one chapter,” Gump said. “Her strong leadership has made this possible.”

Other nominees for the Janet Wilson Award were Paul Jenkins of Springfield and Tom Oliver of Union City.

• Centennial Commodore Wilbert E. Longfellow Award: Mary Lane of Greenville was selected as the recipient of the Commodore Wilbert E. Longfellow Award, which is given to the volunteer who advocates for the American Red Cross mission, who carries our story into action and who energizes others to join us.

“Mary is active in our Home Fire Campaign, has taught as an instructor and is a Board Member,” Gump said. “She is always thinking about what she can do for the American Red Cross. She shares our chapter’s posts on her Facebook page and engages her company with the work of the Red Cross. Mary is a strong and caring advocate for the American Red Cross mission.”

Others in consideration for the Commodore Wilbert E. Longfellow Award were Emerson Behee of New Madison and Rachel Brubaker of St. Paris.

Chapter leadership also presented an opportunity to share how the American Red Cross was delivering their mission in the six counties it serves. In Logan County for example, 582 third-fifth graders participated in the Pillowcase Project, while Clark served the most members of the community in responding to house fires, over 213. Miami was noted for teaching over 900 people in Health and Safety classes, while in Shelby volunteers installed over 200 smoke alarms and lastly Darke County was noted as using over 9,000 volunteer hours to aid in the delivery of the mission. Overall, 2016 was a good year for program delivery and saw an increase in both volunteer hours and people served.

The Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross has taught lifesaving skills, and provided disaster prevention, relief and recovery services to the Northern Miami Valley since 1917. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @NMVORedCross or on Facebook at American-Red-Cross-Northern-Miami-Valley-Ohio. In many of its communities the Red Cross is a participating agency with United Way.