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Red Cross to honor volunteers during celebratory event tonight

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GOUVERNEUR — The American Red Cross of Northern New York will honor a select part of its volunteer workforce during a 6 p.m. celebration today at Mullin’s Family Restaurant, 1180 Route 11.

According to an agency news release, volunteers make up 94 percent of the local chapter’s total workforce throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Because the Red Cross is so dependent on people volunteering their time to teach classes and provide disaster relief and office assistance, among other duties, the nonprofit gives back by giving some volunteers special recognition.

“The Red Cross mission is to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors,” Community Executive Jane G. Gendron said in a statement. “We accomplish that mission daily only because of the dedication of our volunteers who make themselves available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies and natural disasters in Northern New York.”

Mrs. Gendron was unavailable for further comment Tuesday.

The following awards will be given tonight:

Blood Services Volunteer Award — to Angela Blair, Norfolk, because she has made numerous phone calls to schedule appointments every other month for the Potsdam Presbyterian Church blood drives. She also has recruited many donors, and assists with registration duties during the drives.

Youth Services Award — to Cheyenne Rhone, Clayton, because she joined the local chapter in August 2013 as an intern, helped establish a Red Cross Club on the Jefferson Community College campus and now serves as an AmeriCorps Preparedness Specialist for the Central New York Region, stationed at the Northern New York chapter.

Service to the Armed Forces Award — to Auzinda S. Mendes, Watertown, because she helped develop the program’s emergency communications team for the local chapter and the entire region, and she manages the program’s caseworker schedule for the region.

Disaster Preparedness and Response Service Award — to Staci Reyes, Deferiet, because she has been an active member of the local chapter’s disaster action team, and responds to those in need even when she is not on call.

Good Neighbor Award — to Price Chopper, Watertown, because the business provided boxed meals for people who were sheltered at fire departments during the December ice storm and at the shelter in Watertown, among similar supports.

Volunteer of the Year for Jefferson County — to Kerry Lawrence, Watertown, because she has assumed many administrative and operational responsibilities at the Northern New York chapter.

Volunteer of the Year for Lewis County — to Dottie Suiter, Lowville, because she has helped strengthen the relationship between the Red Cross and Lewis County personnel, and she is an active member of the local disaster action team.

Volunteer of the Year for St. Lawrence County — to Randy Farmer, Canton, who serves on the agency’s board of directors.

Community Service Volunteer Award — to Leoni Miller, Watertown, because she embraced her office technology skills to improve office functions in the local chapter, and she has volunteered at events, including blood drives.

n Clara Barton Volunteer Leadership Award — to Jim Cayey, Colton, as he has been involved with the emergency/disaster services for many years. He is the government liaison for the Northern New York chapter and the Central New York region, and he recently joined the chapter disaster prevention committee.

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