Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Yesterday at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, volunteers of the American Red Cross of Central Texas celebrated another successful year with the Round Rock Express as they took on the Oklahoma City Redhawks. We would like to send out a special thanks to all of the great volunteers and families who attended the event.

Volunteers from the Central Texas chapter’s nine-county jurisdiction joined friends and family to honor exceptional volunteers and their hard work.  Although some of this year’s award recipients couldn’t attend the celebration because they were deployed to South Texas to provide disaster relief from flooding, their efforts were recognized.

Check out this video to see what your American Red Cross of Central Texas has been up to this year:

Here are the biographies of this year’s exceptional volunteer award winners.

Volunteers of the Year, Fred and Marcia Marks - This year’s Volunteer of the Year Award winner is actually TWO people. This married couple teaches some of the disaster services classes offered by the Red Cross. They also are always ready, willing, and able to deploy out of town or out of state to help those affected by disaster.  In the past month alone – they have been deployed 3 different times – once to New Braunfels for the flooding there, last week they deployed to South Texas for Hurricane Alex, and three days ago they headed back down to the area to help those displaced by floodwaters – and so are unable to be here.  The Volunteers of the Year for 2010 are Fred and Marcia Marks.
Ellen Schiver – Military Services has always been a part of this Volunteer’s life. This year’s recipient has embodied her volunteer efforts with our Chapter by being a constant presence at any Military event expressing how vital the partnership between Military Services and the American Red Cross is to our service members. This year’s Service to the Armed Forces is Ellen Schiver.

Nora Druepple – Not only is this Volunteer a full time Social Worker, but she has become one of the Chapter’s most popular instructors because of her contagious personality as well as her compassion towards our clients. This year’s Mental Health Professional of the Year is Nora Druepple.

Mike Wadino
– Reverend Shuler will be so proud to know that this year’s recipient leads with his heart. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday there is no doubt that if you walk into Disaster Services you will be greeted with big smile. His involvement as a Disaster Action Team Member, Service to the Armed Forces and most recently as a Financial Statistical Information Volunteer are a testament to this Volunteer’s dedication. It is with great pleasure to present this year’s Walter Shuler Disaster Services Award to Mike Wadino. Mr. Wadino was unable to make it this evening. The Chapter will make sure he is notified.

Phillip Smith - The Education & Training Award is given to a volunteer who supports it the Chapter in achieving its goals to train new volunteers, teach life-saving skills such as CPR and first aid to the public, and make the department as efficient as possible. This evening’s award winner fits that description to a T.  He teaches first aid and CPR on a regular basis.  And we always know that if another instructor can’t make their scheduled class this volunteer is ready, willing and able to step in. That’s why it is our pleasure to recognize this year’s Education & Training Award recipient, Phillip Smith.

Emmett Eary – Without a doubt being a Disaster Action Team member requires stamina, focus, dedication and most of all compassion. This year’s recipient provides this and so much more when we wake him up at 3:00 am to respond to a local disaster or when we ask him to act as an ambassador for the Chapter, constantly praising the important services the Red Cross provides and modestly leaving out that he is one of the reasons we are able to provide such services. This year he was also recognized with the Querencia Special Service Award only proving that Mr. Emmett Eary is worthy of this year’s Social Services Volunteer of the Year.

Sandy McCoy – This year’s recipient brings a breath of fresh air into our Chapter. Her dedication, compassion and understanding of the Red Cross mission cannot be ignored. Her talents run deep. She has bravely tackled several services the Red Cross offers and always with the most positive outlook. You will normally find her giving water, food or snacks to our clients or first responders and always with a humble smile. Clara Barton would be proud of this year’s recipient, Sandy McKoy. Sandy could not be with us tonight, but she was very thankful for the recognition.

Betty Miskimon – You cannot go a day in disaster services without talking about this vibrant Volunteer. She hails from a different state where she began her extensive career with the Red Cross. Fortunately for our Chapter we inherited her talents and her feistiness! Her involvements with Volunteer Services Committee, Client Casework, and Financial Statistical Information services have proved to be invaluable to the Red Cross. This year’s Cynthia Wedel Award goes to Betty Miskimon. Betty is currently deployed to the South Texas Region where she is sharing her talents and compassion to those affected by the floods.

Tom Davis - In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake the Development Team was overwhelmed with requests for Red Cross staff to attend events, pick up checks, and manage fund raising booths.  We had to reach out to volunteers to attend these events.  Tom was one of our most reliable volunteers in the effort.  He would stay several hours at an event to collect money.  He attended events at all times of the day and night and was careful to handle each one with correct protocol. For a number of years our chapter has relied heavily on Dave Crittenden as our Disaster Training Coordinator.  Dave is now ready to step away from this role and Tom has stepped up to take this huge responsibility.  He has worked with Dave to learn the system and been proactive in helping to keep everything running smoothly.  The importance of this job cannot be overstated and we are very lucky to have Tom will to take on this job. As a public information officer Tom has been extremely dedicated.  He has been on call for 7 day shifts each month.  He has responded to several major events.  He recently volunteered to team teach the PIO class with me.  This means in the future he will be able to teach this class and free me to concentrate on other duties.  This type of volunteer leadership is just what we need to grow our capacity and let volunteers play a larger part in the leadership of the chapter.

Donna Martin – In addition to being an active member of the Nurses Committee, this year’s Nurse of the Year has been a positive influence and reliable mentor for new nurses entering into the American Red Cross Nursing program.  Her decades of experience and Red Cross savvy have allowed Donna to inspire nursing students to volunteer and participate in the Red Cross nurses corps.  Donna also serves as an instructor for the emergency services department and has played a vital role in health related outreach events, like the nurses open house.  Always meticulous, we honor this year’s nurse of the year

Ron Hilliard – This Volunteer is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is he a registered Nurse, he is also the Lead Volunteer for the ICL group within our DSHR system overseeing services such as Client Casework, Disaster Health Services, Disaster Mental Health Services. He plays a very active role in the Chapter’s Nurse’s Committee. He is also a certified instructor for the Chapter as well as numerous certifications outside the Red Cross. His dedication and commitment to the mission of the Red Cross is why Ron Hilliard is this year’s recipient of the Stormy and Betty Davis Humanitarian Award.

Tom Halgash - This year the Volunteer Services Committee wanted to recognize Volunteers who have recently joined the Red Cross team.  The Rookie of the year award recognizes a Volunteer who has been active and has excelled within the Red Cross for at least one year leaving behind a footprint for incoming freshmen. This year’s recipient has left some really big footprints behind and will be in a graduate really soon. His commitment as DAT Captain has inspired many incoming Volunteers to follow in his footsteps making him an up and coming leader with a gentle soul. This year’s first Rookie of the Year is Tom Halgash.

Brian Albright – This year’s winner of the Tex Kassen Health and Safety Award is Brian Albright, a dedicated instructor who has generously donated his time to teaching lifesaving skills in our community.  Each year, the education and training department at this chapter trains more than 20,000 people in first aid, CPR, and other lifesaving techniques and Brian has been a huge part of our efforts.  It is one thing to train students, but Brian trains students and instructors so that others can teach classes on health and safety.  Brian is exceptionally sweet, passionate, and kind and his dedication to saving lives is what makes our humanitarian cause thrive.

Betty Hendrix - The American Red Cross of Central Texas is fortunate to have a Volunteer who has achieved recognition for her immeasurable, inspirational and international humanitarian efforts, decades of service, patience, grace and most of all modesty. She has paved the way for new and experienced Volunteer and Employee Staff to politely follow and absorb the dynamic ways of the Red Cross. Her Red Cross career began at the age of 16 following in her mother’s footsteps. When asked why? Her response: it was my way of contributing to the War efforts. During her summers off from college, water safety instruction kept her occupied and focused garnering her first professional job as a Health and Safety Director with her local Red Cross. Upon moving to Austin Texas with her husband and family, she became an active member and eventually a board member of the American Red Cross of Central Texas. Spouse, Mother and Biology Teacher by day, Humanitarian on her days off. 65 years of dedicated service and counting, there is no stopping this inspirational force. It is with great honor to present Ms. Betty Beau Wallace Hendrix with the Betty Hendrix Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jesus Nunez – The youth leadership award is designed to honor leadership in our volunteers under 25 years of age. This year’s winner is a truly exceptional volunteer.  He has consistently donated his time, energy, and heart to the mission of the Red Cross.  In addition to serving as the president of the Del Valle High School Red Cross Club, he regularly volunteered at the chapter and in the community.  From distributing smoke detectors to at risk neighborhoods, representing us at fundraising events like UT football games, and even babysitting children so their parents could attend our service to armed forces counseling, this volunteer has generously volunteered himself and always been reliable and willing to take on new challenges to help the Red Cross.  The 2010 youth leadership award goes to Jesus Nunez.

Sandy Villetti - The Virginia Horton Award recognizes an exceptional American Red Cross of Central Texas volunteer who has demonstrated consistent dedication and responsibility to a specific job, task, or project throughout the year. Virginia Horton was a longtime volunteer of 15 years before becoming a Board Member of the Chapter in 1980.  This year’s award recipient diligently staffs the front desk of our headquarters each week, managing the hustle and bustle with a smile, Helping to take care of the staff, her fellow volunteers, and clients, this volunteer helps out with special events and community outreach projects.  She is always willing to put her professional spokeswoman skills to the test and represents our chapter with pride.  She has been a vital asset to the volunteer services department and the administrative success of the chapter.

Clarence Cossey - The Martha Townsley Leadership Award recognizes a volunteer who has demonstrated an outstanding and sustained leadership role. For the last 21 years, this evening’s winner has volunteered not only for the Education & Training department but also for our emergency services efforts.  As a CPR instructor, he donates his time to teach vital lifesaving skills to our community.  Without the donation of his time over the past several years, hundreds of Texas residents would not know first aid or CPR.  Despite decades of experience and knowledge, this volunteer continually attends training courses to learn more about how to volunteer with the Red Cross – just a few weeks ago he completed a Psychological First Aid and Critical Incident Stress debriefing course…all in addition to educating the community on Red Cross lifesaving skills.  The efforts of this outstanding instructor are saving lives each and every day here in our community.

At the recognition, we also recognized outstanding corporations who helped the American Red Cross this year. The Good Neighbor Awards are presented to individuals and organizations outside the American Red Cross for having made a significant humanitarian contribution in support of the American Red Cross.  This year Good Neighbor Awards go to the following businesses, groups, and individuals:

·               AT&T
·               Texas Stars Hockey
·               Randall’s
·               Seton Medical Center of Williamson County
·               Pluckers
·               Biggs & Smith Electric
·               Hill Country Electric Supply
·               Core Logic
·               REI
·               GAMA
·               Reddy Ice
·               Round Rock Serving Center
·               Emerson Processing
·               Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity
·               The Baha’i Community of Austin
·               Kayla Iltis

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