ANDOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ - "You have the power to change, and touch lives," Jocelyn Gilman, Community Chapter Executive Director told attendees at the HEROES for the American Red Cross breakfast this past Friday, at the Farmstead Golf & Country Club.
The American Red Cross kicked off its HEROES campaign, inviting those participating as HEROES, that are leading the efforts in fundraising.
"I am honored to be this year's chairman of the campaign," said Jason Sarnoski, Warren County Freeholder Director.
"We set a lofty goal this year," said Sarnoski, with a bar last year set high, when Dr. Howard Burrell, last year's chair, led the HEROES, in raising over $100,000.
Sarnoski is a reliability engineer with Jersey Central Power & Light, having worked during major natural disasters, including Hurricane Sandy.
Gilman said in terms of disaster response, the American Red Cross responds to more than 70,000 calls annually, from chemical spills, to fires, to floods, to major disasters, such as the Hurricane Sandy aftermath.
In addition, the American Red Cross supplies 40 percent of the nation's blood needs, teaches life saving courses (which Sarnoski said he learned, and taught to others, as an instructor of First Aid and CPR, while a student at Stevens Institute of Technology), offers special community programs, and provides support to troops.
"One person can make a difference," Gilman added.
MaryAnn Maikisch, Major Gift Officer with the North Jersey Region, said there are some fundraising tools with the HEROES program, including special cans, bracelets, and stickers. Or, there are other ideas, such as bake sales, and more.
Steve Brazankas from the Glen Meadows School, attended with several of his eighth grade students. Some of his students last year raised over $1,800.
Gilman told a story of a mother in Union City who reached out to her about her son's fundraising effort. The child had offered to help, by donating $200, that was in his savings account. Instead, the nine-year-old boy and his mother bought bracelets, and ended up doing a fundraiser that yielded $3,500.
Grand Champion Sponsors for the campaign are: Lakeland Bank, Clear Channel Radio, 102.3 WSUS, wrnj Radio, The Express Times, New Jersey Herald, and The Warren Reporter. Champion Sponsors are: Eastern Propane, Nisivoccia LLP, Jersey Central Power & Light, Farmstead, CenturyLink, Centenary College, Maser Consulting P.A., St. Luke's Warren Campus, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, D. Becker Photo, and Dobbs Creative Group.
The John A. & Margaret Post Foundation will provide matching donations up to $35,000, with the Challenge Grant.
Another upcoming event is the Celebrate Red! Dinner at the Park Savoy, in Florham Park, honoring the Quinn Family, and American Red Cross Heroes, on May 2.
Some of the heroes include: Sarnoski, Stillwater Elementary School, Howard Burrell, Ph.D., Thomas Mastrangelo, Robert B. Nicholson, III, Tammi Sarnoski, Parker Space, Douglas J. Steinhardt, Sussex County Division of Social Services, Pat Day, Larry and MaryAnne Condit, Shirley and Bob Nicholson, Laura DeLea, Joe Bell, David Gallant, Sussex County Youth Council, Doug Radford, Ann F. Grossi, Douglas R. Cabana, Hank Lyon, John Cesaro, John Krickus, Glen Meadow Middle School, Warren County Technical School, Brian R. Tipton, Dr. Sal Sciascia, in memory of Wendi Nicholson, in memory of Debbie Ann Modrow Snook, Fredon School, Warren County Community College, Sussex Wantage School District, Oxford Central School, St. Clare's Health System, Warren County Administrative Offices, and several anonymous heroes.
The closing luncheon for the HEROES campaign is scheduled for April 22.
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