The Rapidian

Local heroes to be honored at annual Hometown Heroes Celebration

This Thursday, May 1, the American Red Cross West Michigan Region will recognize the volunteerism and civic investment of Grand Rapids' most dedicated volunteers, organizations and community members. The annual Hometown Heroes Celebration will begins at 6 p.m. in DeVos Place's Steelcase Ballroom.
Volunteer Brandon Baird shows off the Red Cross' Emergency Response Vehicle at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum.

Volunteer Brandon Baird shows off the Red Cross' Emergency Response Vehicle at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. /Marjorie Steele

Celebrate your Hometown Heroes:

Thursday, May 1

DeVos Steelcase Ballroom

Sign up online

Dave Kendall has volunteered in the senior transportation department for over 13 years.

Dave Kendall has volunteered in the senior transportation department for over 13 years. /American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids

The American Red Cross' official mission is to "prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors." But what most people don't realize is just how important volunteerism is to the organization. Unpaid volunteers are responsible for the vast majority of the work done by the Red Cross. They're the muscle behind the organization's rapid response to disasters and emergencies; they're the manpower that makes Red Cross blood drives possible; they're the ones teaching countless health and safety courses and they're the ones driving people without transportation to their lifesaving medical appointments. 

Ninety-one cents of every dollar donated to the American Red Cross goes directly towards providing these and countless other critical (if often behind-the-scenes) services - an astronomically high margin in the nonprofit industry. This is made possible by American Red Cross' literal army of local volunteers, like those in our very own community.

To celebrate the powerful service of our American Red Cross volunteers and other civic investors here in West Michigan, our local American Red Cross chapter is hosting their annual Hometown Heroes Celebration this Thursday, May 1 at the DeVos Steelcase Ballroom. After a silent auction and strolling dinner, recipients of this year's "Community Heroes Awards" will be named, and key leaders in our local volunteer community will be honored. 

This year's Community Heroes Awards recipients will include:

  • Jamie R. Mills - Clara Barton Humanitarian of the Year Award
  • Arend Lubbers - Henry Dunant Global Impact Award
  • The Right Place/Brigit Klohs - Caroline Campbell Community Impact Award
  • Spectrum Health AeroMed Team - Jane Delano Lifesaver Award
  • Kate Cragwall - Dr. Charles Drew Health Advocate Award
  • Shelly Loose - Mabel Boardman Spirit of Volunteerism Award
  • Lt. Colonel John and Mrs. Nancy Colburn - General George Marshall Patriot Award
  • and many others

If you're interested in becoming an American Red Cross volunteer, you can easily sign up online, or simply learn more about our local chapter. Please also consider making an ongoing donation of your own to this vital humanitarian organization.

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