Friday, July 22, 2011

Berlin Mall Raffle Raises $3,000 for Disaster Relief

Less than two months ago, the communities of Central Vermont were devastated by flash flooding. Despite recent hot and dry weather, members of those communities have not forgotten the destruction wrought by those storms. To support the relief efforts of the American Red Cross, who has been at the heart of the flood recovery, the Berlin Mall held a fundraising raffle. Yesterday, the winners were awarded their prizes and the Red Cross received over $3,000.00.

The owners and management of the Berlin Mall saw the impact of the May 26th storm and decided there was something they could do to help. “Once the streets are clean it’s easy for the rest of us to just forget about the damage, but there are still people hurting out there,” said Mall Manager Gerry Hanifan. “People affected by the flood are members of Berlin Mall’s community, so we decided to help,” he added.

Over a ten day period, raffle tickets were sold at Bath and Body Works, the mall’s management office and by Red Cross volunteers from the Central Vermont/New Hampshire Valley Chapter. Yesterday, the two winning tickets were drawn, with the first prize being a $500.00 shopping spree at the mall and the second prize being $450.00 in merchandise and gift cards donated by many of the stores within the mall.

Just over $1,500.00 in $1 raffle tickets were sold. In addition to the Berlin Mall and its stores, the raffle was supported by local radio stations FRANK FM and FROGGY 92, part of Nassau Broadcasting. Both stations also broadcast live from the Berlin Mall yesterday to capture the final hour of the raffle.

At yesterday’s drawing, the owners of the Berlin Mall, Lerner Heidenberg Properties, represented by owners Robert Heidenberg and Ken Simon, announced that they would match the $1,500 raised through the raffle, bringing the grand total to over $3,000.00. (Pictured above, from left to right, are Ronnie Ruby and Ken Simon of Lerner Heidenberg property, Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon, TJ Michaels of FRANK-FM and Larry Crist, Regional Executive for the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross.)

“The Red Cross can provide disaster relief because of wonderful partners like the Berlin Mall and the generosity of giving individuals,” said Larry Crist, Regional Executive for the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross. “To see a community so devastated by flooding rally like this is truly remarkable,” Crist added.

Friday, July 15, 2011

People's United and VPT Provide Generous Support

Recently, People’s United Bank found a way to help not just one local non-profit, but two. Today, one of those organizations, the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross, received $10,000.00 from People’s United to support local disaster relief.

During Vermont Public Television’s (VPT) June fund drive, People’s United Bank challenged viewers to support the station and enticed them to do so by pledging to make a donation to the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross for each pledge made to VPT. VPT viewers jumped at the opportunity and today, People’s United presented a $10,000.00 check to the local Red Cross officials.

Pictured above, left to right, are Larry Crist, Regional Executive of the VT & the NH Valley American Red Cross; George Hauenstein, Chief Development Officer with VPT; and Michael Seaver, Officer, People's United Community Foundation and President, People's United Bank Vermont.

“This spring, the Red Cross responded to record flooding across our region,” reported Larry Crist, Regional Executive for the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross. “The support of community partners like People’s United Bank ensures that the Red Cross is able to respond during times of such disasters,” Crist added. “The generosity of People’s United allows the Red Cross to provide assistance to our neighbors when disaster strikes and to support the dedication and compassion of our volunteers.”

The Red Cross response to spring flooding included opening 6 shelters, serving over 12,000 meals and snacks, deploying 15 Red Cross response vehicles and utilizing the services of over 130 American Red Cross disaster services volunteers.

“Through our customers and our employees, we knew that the need was great in the wake of the spring flooding,” said Michael Seaver, Officer, People’s United Community Foundation and President, People’s United Bank Vermont. “People’s United recognizes just how important it is to invest in our communities and we are pleased to support the work of the American Red Cross,” he added.

“We know that the passion that our viewers have for Vermont extends beyond Vermont Public Television and we saw this as a great opportunity to put that generosity to work for the American Red Cross,” said George Hauenstein, Chief Development Officer at VPT.

Vermont Public Television also supported the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross through the use of its studio phone bank during a disaster relief telethon sponsored by FOX 44 and ABC22 in early June.

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Vermont

Members of the Vermont Guard and other Vermonters serving in the military, along with their families, had a special visit from First Lady Michelle Obama yesterday. The Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross was there to help. Introductions of the First Lady were made by Marcelle Leahy (seated to the First Lady's right with her husband Senator Patrick Leahy) and Vermont's Adjutant General, and VT & the NH Valley Red Cross board member, Michael Dubie (to First Lady's right).

In preparation for the event, the Guard contacted Service to Military Families Volunteer Randy Zeno and requested that the Red Cross provide support through a water station to help keep the hundreds assembled hydrated. Pictured at left with Randy Zeno (second from the right) are (L to R) volunteers Jack McNight, Tonya Hannon, Jesse Hannon and Hugh Williams.

Service to the Armed Forces is part of the core mission of the American Red Cross. We proudly assist with emergency communications, health and welfare inquiries and provide emergency financial assistance. Each year, 1000's of members of the military and their families attend events in our region at which the Red Cross participates to ensure that the services we provide are known to all.

At times throughout the year, the Red Cross is also called upon to lend a hand with special events such as yesterday's visit by the First Lady. It was an honor for our volunteers, like Hugh Williams (pictured right), to help yesterday and every day.

Senator and Mrs. Leahy Thank Volunteers

Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama was in Vermont. Her trip included a visit with the Vermont Guard and other members of the military, along with their families. Also in attendance were Senator Patrick Leahy and his wife Marcelle, who introduced the First Lady.

Before the First Lady's remarks, the Leahys took a moment to say hello to volunteers with the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross. They conveyed their thanks for all the work performed by Red Cross volunteers during the spring flooding that has battered Vermont.

On hand to help supply water to the hundreds that turned out, and pictured here with the Leahys, are (left to right) volunteers Hugh Williams, Jesse Hannon, Jack McNight, Randy Zeno and Tonya Hannon.