In the face of widespread chapter closings and consolidations over the past decade, city officials say it is a small wonder that Scotland County has maintained a thriving American Red Cross community office since 1917.
In proclaiming March 2013 “American Red Cross Month,” Laurinburg Mayor Tommy Parker praised the hard work of Scotland County Red Cross Executive Director Carol Ann Lentz and the nearly 250 volunteers that she oversees in maintaing the local chapter. Parker signed the proclamation at this week’s Laurinburg City Council meeting.
“I know we’re a small county, but we have one of only 550 chapters in the whole United States, and that is due to the perserverance of (Lentz) and her volunteers and the people before her who strove to keep the community Red Cross here,” Parker said. “I don’t think we on a daily basis appreciate that we’re privileged to have a chapter in our community.”
Joined by local Red Cross board member Blake Caldwell and Terry Stewart, the program services coordinator for Robeson County, Lentz stood beside Parker as he read the proclamation.
“(Proclamation signings) are designed to raise awareness,” Lentz said on Wednesday. “People need to know that we are here to help in any way we can and that we are available 24 hours a day to offer assistance.”
Lentz said that the Red Cross depends on the continued support of the community to complete its service mission.
“96 percent of our workforce are volunteers. We are led by volunteers,” Lentz said. The Red Cross will recognize its volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Month in April.
“Time, blood and money — we can’t do it without that generous support,” said Lentz, ecchoing the language used in Parker’s proclamation.
According to the statistics cited in the proclamation, the Scotland County Red Cross chapter responded to 115 local emergencies, assisted 237 military families and trained 1,623 people in lifesaving skills over the past year alone.
Also in attendance during the proclamation signing were local Red Cross volunteers Margaret Dickerson and Bernie Williams.
The Red Cross will host its 17th annual “Celebrity Dinner and Game Night” on March 16, and Lentz said that she thinks it could be one of the most successful in the event’s long history.
Those interested in participating may e-mail email@example.com, call 276-0600 or fax 276-0114.
For information visit facebook.com/arc.scotlandandrobesoncounties or www.scotlandcountyarc.org.