03/05/10 — Local Red Cross kicks off fundraiser

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Local Red Cross kicks off fundraiser

By Laura Collins
Published in News on March 5, 2010 1:46 PM

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Clarence King, left, Lillian Pittman and Marian Everhart talk at the Red Cross fundraising kickoff luncheon Thursday. All three have been helped by the Red Cross, and they told their stories at the luncheon. Ms. Everhart's son is battling cancer and has to have blood transfusions. King and Ms. Pittman were helped when the house in which he lived was destroyed by fire.

The American Red Cross of Wayne County kicked off its annual campaign Thursday, with about 100 people attending a luncheon at Red Cross headquarters on George Street.

This year's theme is "Heroes Grow Hope" and, like last year, this year's goal is $85,000.

"And it's going to take every nickel of it to meet the needs in the county," said Chuck Waller, executive director of the local Red Cross chapter. "The American Red Cross is not the handful of staff we have in the county. It's the people in the community. It's all of you."

He reminded those present that the Red Cross is not government funded agency.

"We cannot do what we do without people rising to the occasion, providing the funding," Waller said. "The Red Cross services are free, but the pipeline that provides those services are not free."

At the event, Lillian Pittman shared her experience with the Red Cross. In February, a home she owned caught on fire, killing one of the occupants.

"We lost the house, but the house wasn't really nothing to me, one of the tenants died in the fire," she said. "I didn't know what to do. All of them were devastated. But the Red Cross showed them love, showed them comfort and have them a fresh start."

She said the Red Cross helped them find shelter, gave them blankets, towels, sheets and most importantly, moral support.

"I never experienced a fire and I pray to God this will be the last one I experience," she said. "If it weren't for you all that night .... I wanted to let you know that y'all are God-sent people."

To help raise money for the event, the Blue Knights NC is holding a "Ride For The Red" and barbecue plate sale March 27. Registration and breakfast starts at 9 a.m. and the ride starts at 11 a.m. Tickets for the barbecue plate are $6 and must be purchased in advance by calling 919-735-7201. All proceeds from the motorcycle ride and barbecue sale will benefit The Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross. The money will be used to aid victims of single-family fires.

There will also be a sports memorabilia auction April 8 at 5:30 p.m. The auction will be an evening of entertainment, dinner and a live and silent auction of collectibles, sports memorabilia and other items. Individual tickets are $30 and tables, which seat eight, are $300.