Thursday, April 28, 2011



Five years ago today, I walked into the American Red Cross of Central Texas office for my first day of work.  I was so excited and also completely terrified that I might not have what it takes to be a part of such a respected organization.   The last five years here have been full of a lot of hard work, the learning of so many new things, achieving great successes and sometimes feeling a lot of exhaustion and frustration. Our work is often difficult, rarely acknowledged, yet fully critical to our community.  

What shines through for me at the end is the knowledge that the work we do everyday truly matters to this community, this country and the world.  We see it when we respond to a fire in our own backyard or when we help fundraise for an earthquake thousands of miles away.  We help people when they need it the most.  I can’t imagine having spent five years doing anything else.  Thank you to each of you who were there to welcome me that day, to those of you who helped me grow this last five years, and to all of you here today for being part of my Red Cross family. 

Sinclair Fleetwood
Grant Writer and Development Specialist
American Red Cross of Central Texas

Friday, April 22, 2011


A pool or hot tub at your home creates a beautiful environment that offers years of joy and activity for your family. However, along with the joys of pool or hot tub ownership also come many responsibilities.

Home Pool Essentials: Maintenance and Safety is an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners. Jointly developed by the American Red Cross and the National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF), the course teaches pool owners basic information for maintaining and safely using home pools. Enroll and learn the fundamentals to help you maintain your home pool and create a safer pool environment.
In about 2 hours, you can learn more about:
  • Understanding many of the risks of home pool ownership and operation
  • Maintaining a safer and cleaner pool
  • Identifying appropriate safety equipment
  • Preventing pool and hot tub entrapment hazards
  • Responding to an emergency, including reaching, throwing and wading assists
The interactive course is $19.95 and includes video demonstrations, hotwords and links to enhance learning. Upon registration, you will receive a compact home pool owner’s resource guide that you can print out and keep poolside for easy reference. A printable record of course completion is available after completing the course online.

For more information on water safety programs please visit our website or contact us at (512) 928-4271.

Central Texas + Summer Weather = Water Activities

When was the last time you jumped in the lake?  Planning to head out again this summer?  The American Red Cross offers a variety of water safety courses through groups in the community & this season we’re also offering BasicWater Rescue classes.  Maybe you aren’t planning on any emergencies or accidents this summer, but they can still happen.  Perhaps you just want to make sure you’re taking the correct precautions to protect your family & friends.  
Even if you’re simply planning a party at a park or municipal pool, this class can give you pointers about potential issues to watch for in the water.  Regardless of your reasons, come join a Basic Water Rescue class to learn more about boating safety, home-pool safety, simple precautions to take when “in, on, or around the water” so any activities are enjoyable rather than potentially harmful.
It’s fun, provides life-saving information & you’ll get to play in the water to learn new skills.  Come join us!
- Lis Wise, Workplace Training Instructor

Thursday, April 21, 2011


The American Red Cross of Central Texas hosted its annual "Old Hollywood" themed Heroes Celebration on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at Truluck's in downtown Austin, and it was a smashing success!  Guests walked in on the red carpet, enjoyed Hollywood tunes and had photo opportunities with oversized Oscars that flanked the stage and seemingly real clapboards and film reels.  (Thank you Strong Events for your generous donations!) 

We kicked off the evening with a VIP reception for special friends, event sponsors and our Lady Bird Johnson Humanitarian of the Year recipient, Texas Longhorns Football Coach Mack Brown that included appropriately themed beverages like the Red Cross Martini and the Disaster Martini.  Coach Brown was such a gracious honoree!  He and his family greeted and mingled with all of the guests during the cocktail reception, and he posed for photos (taken by Bill Bastas - Photographic Craftsman) and signed autographs, as well! 

K-EYE's Judy Maggio was the evening's emcee extraordinaire and she did a beautiful job of recognizing all of our honorees while making sure the event flowed smoothly.  The highlights of the evening were:

  1. The memorial speech given by Paul Yetter, Yetter Coleman LLP, about our late Board of Directors member, Greg Coleman.  Mr. Coleman was an extraordinary and bright individual who was a born humanitarian. 
  2. Andy Graham's moving story of how his Red Cross training helped save a co-worker's life.
  3. Mack Brown's compassionate, and at times humorous, acceptance speech after the past recipient (and Austin's past mayor) Will Wynn presented him with the award. 
  4. Mack Brown claiming the sports related silent auction items were from the 2005 National Championship game. 
  5. Guests coming together and supporting the Cities of Service project. 
  6. The amazing meal and service given at Truluck's.  It was one of the best filets and THE best carrot cake that I have EVER tasted.

I would like to give an extra special thanks to our Event Chair, Barbara Allen, and to the Chair of our Board of Directors, Stacy Allen, for making our guests feel so welcomed and for volunteering so much of their time to ensure the success of the event.  We truly appreciate theirs and the Advisory Committee's efforts.  I would also like to thank our event sponsors, Yetter Coleman LLP, Jackson Walker, LLP, Pierpont Communications, Randalls, Biggs and Smith Electric and Coats Rose for helping us make the evening possible. 

Now it is time to rest up and start planning the next big thing!