Four join Red Cross Hall of Fame

Local American Red Cross volunteers recently gathered at the Port Clinton home of Joe and Deena Camerato for a holiday open house and volunteer recognition. Entertainment was provided by Greg Fox, our local piano-man.Lisa Chura, left, and Lindsey Mortus, right, accept Volunteer of the Year honors from local advisory board chairman and board member Gary Mortus. Lindsey Mortus, who is a certified Red Cross instructor and disaster team leader, said she felt very honored to be recognized and to be able to serve those in need like being part of the response team after tornados ripped through Millbury.  “Just to see how thankful those people are is overwhelming sometimes,” she said. PHOTO BY ANGIE ADAIR ZAM
Diane Dixon, Director of Volunteers for the Northwest Ohio Region, awarded pins for 35 years of service to Jan Overmyer of Oak Harbor, Jean Tucker of Port Clinton and Natalie Twarek of Marblehead. Others earning special years of service pins were: 25 years — Dottie Earls, Marblehead; 20 years — Mike Drusbacky, Port Clinton; 15 years — Dave Baldwin, Oak Harbor, and Debra Garrard, Marblehead; 10 years — Dr. Robert and Maureen Gedert, Port Clinton; five years — Lisa Chura, Bill Lowe and Jim Sass, of Port Clinton, Larry Coats, of Elmore, and Darcene Selby of Marblehead.

Peggy Holewinski, Financial Development Officer for the region, recognized Ottawa County’s first online giving team. Team members receiving an “Extra Mile” award were: Deena Camerato, Chuck and Emily Conboy, John Gibson, Carl Koebel and Jenn Kolar, all of Port Clinton; and Molly Rosiar, Marblehead. Outstanding Community Service awards went to Phil Gravengaard and Bill Lowe, both of Port Clinton.
Next, Ottawa County Director Beth Leggett, announced this year’s Hall of Fame inductees:
• Cynthia Amerine, Port Clinton, who took a weekend of training at the Disaster College set up in Toledo after Katrina struck in 2005 and proceeded to Baton Rouge to help with a shelter set up there. She was inspired to further her work with the Red Cross and the following fall founded Ottawa County Club Red. Club Red currently boasts approximately 60 members, women who help educate the public about Red Cross programs and service and who raise funds to help support the local office.
• Kate Botti, of Marblehead, also started volunteering in 2005 however her deployment was to Hurricane Rita in southern Florida as a Client Services’ caseworker. Botti has continued to train and drill with Disaster Services volunteers here at home and is a team leader.
• Lisa Chura, Port Clinton, began volunteering five years ago and has logged hundreds of hours teaching CPR and First Aid, Babysitting Training, First Aid for Little People, and Aquatics. Lisa has worked on the past three Club Red galas, acting as a past decorating chair. She also helped with the spring golf scramble and has recently taken Disaster Services training and joined the monthly call-out team.
• Kay Ginn, Oak Harbor, started volunteering in 2005 in response to Hurricane Wilma. Kay has continued her training here at home and has been deployed to two other national relief operations away from home. She also helped with the Toledo floods and the Millbury tornado.
Local Advisory Board Chairman and member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Toledo Area Chapter Gary Mortus awarded two Volunteer of the Year Awards. The first award went to Lisa Chura for always stepping up when needed to teach, fundraise and respond. The second award went to Gary’s daughter, Lindsey Mortus. Lindsey is a local Disaster Services team leader and also teaches CPR and First Aid regularly to the public. Lindsey has assisted with the past four Club Red summer galas and also helps with the annual golf scramble. Both of these volunteers have crossed trained and are always ready to help others learn to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

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