Fundraiser makes big strides for Red Cross

Published 4:46 pm Saturday, December 10, 2011

Once again, members of the American Red Cross, Mower County, are happy that the Holiday Tour of Homes was a success.

The fourth annual event, which saw several hundred visitors, raised $2,500 from ticket sales for the local Red Cross. And when people are in need, that money will go a long way.

“This fundraiser has positioned us to be able to respond to five single family fires, providing for the immediate needs of the families or to train 25 volunteers as Disaster Action Team members,” said Elaine Hansen, executive director for the Mower County chapter. “When disasters happen, members of the Chapter’s DAT, a group of specially trained volunteers, respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.”

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Hansen was impressed with how well-decorated the homes were this year, and even more impressed with the homeowners’ hospitality.

“It’s wonderful that people would be willing to open their homes to help support this Red Cross,” she said. “If you weren’t on the tour this year, you really missed it.”

Though it’s not the most successful year the Holiday Tour of Homes has ever pulled off, people can still make donations to the Red Cross or step up and volunteer. Because many of the volunteers are retired and go south for the winter, the Red Cross’ bulk of volunteers is in constant fluctuation. Furthermore, the Red Cross is not a government-funded entity but is still called upon by a congressional charter to provide disaster relief when it is needed.

“So without gifts of people’s time, money and blood, the American Red Cross would not be able to help our friends in need,” Hansen said.

Next year’s holiday tour of homes is already scheduled for Dec. 2. For more information about the American Red Cross or to volunteer, call 437-4589.