By: Duane Blankenship | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: March 2007
Marsha Erskine and Cindy Thomas of Thomas Kwik Kar, along with SOS Man, stand ready to kick off “Heroes” campaign.
Cindy Thomas is the chairperson for the 2007 Rogers/Mayes County “Heroes for the ARC (American Red Cross)” fundraising campaign. Thomas and her husband, James, are the owners of two Thomas Kwik Kar operations located in Owasso and Claremore.
The American Red Cross has been a hero for over 100 years, lending aid during times of disaster to thousands of Oklahomans. The Red Cross has also seen to the welfare of military families and has provided citizens with lifesaving CPR and first aid skills.
Thomas says, “We are now asking for members of our communities to step forward to be ‘Heroes’ for the American Red Cross. Our new ‘Heroes’ are leading the charge by committing to each raise a minimum of $1,000 to help keep the vital services of the Red Cross alive and well in Rogers and Mayes Counties.”
More than 36 Heroes will be joining forces for a three-week period, March 1-23, in an effort to reach their $90,000 fundraising goal. An event kick off is scheduled for March 2nd. According to Thomas, “Our goal is to get the equivalent of $1.00 for each resident living in the two-county area. If we succeed, we will have raised $90,000!”
Poster reproduction featuring Uncle Sam and a Donut Dolly from the 1940’s.
According to Mark Ogle, Director of the Rogers/Mayes County ARC Service Center, “Heroes for the American Red Cross is a grassroots campaign in which local business people, school groups, church groups, civic clubs, and individuals pledge to raise $1,000 through any legal means they choose. All funds raised during our campaign will stay in the Rogers/Mayes area to support local residents. These funds will be used to support Red Cross services including disaster relief, assistance for fire victims, first aid and CPR training and disaster preparedness information for communities in our two-county area.
Thomas adds, “We are asking all residents in our area to support the three-week fundraising campaign by participating in the fun and unique fundraisers that will be announced shortly. Be on the lookout for fundraising events and don’t miss out on the fun and the opportunity to give something back to our communities.”
A World War II Canteen event is being planned to kick off the 2007 “Heroes for the American Red Cross” campaign. It will be held Friday, March 2, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Gun Hill, 20603 S. 4189 Road, Claremore (One mile west of Justus Schools off Highway 20). Local entertainment will be provided. Thomas informs us that, “Participants working the kick off will be decked out in both Military and Donut Dolly uniforms. The original Donut Dollies of the 1940’s were chapter volunteers who set up canteens and gave out donuts, sandwiches, coffee and soft drinks to keep hunger at bay. Red Cross Canteens were also a major presence overseas where they served thousands of American and Allied Troops. Anyone living in Rogers or Mayes County is invited to attend the Canteen kick off Event
“Our Canteen kick off will honor veterans from Rogers and Mayes Counties,” says Thomas. “There will be NO CHARGE for attending the kick off and all food and beverages will be FREE. Anyone wanting to make a donation to the campaign will be permitted to do so at the kick off or by contacting any of the 36 Heroes that will be introduced at the kick off. They may also contact the Rogers/Mayes County Service Center in Claremore to make donations.”
SOS Man of Team Red will be attending the event kick off. Team Red is a program that was developed locally to reach younger children (pre-K thru 6th grade) in Rogers and Mayes County Schools. SOS Man has informed us that a Red Cross Bloodmobile will be at the event for the convenience of anyone wanting to make a blood donation.
Mark Ogle informs us, “During recent ice storms, the Tulsa Area Chapter of the ARC, of which the Rogers/Mayes County Service Center is a part, provided and staffed 21 shelters; supported 5 community shelters with cots, blankets and food; established 16 mobile feeding sites; sheltered over 1,000 residents; served over 42,000 meals and 13,000 snacks; and more! The American Red Cross serviced a total of eight counties during this recent disaster.
“Fires are our most common disaster, but the American Red Cross is also on hand to help during other disasters like tornadoes, floods and ice storms. The Rogers/Mayes County ARC unit responds to disasters in northeast Oklahoma an average of two times per day.”
As Cindy Thomas asks, “Let’s dig deep into our pockets during the three-week fundraising campaign to ensure that emergency services from the American Red Cross will always be available to our friends and neighbors in Rogers and Mayes Counties. With your help, we can do it!”
8091 Owasso Expwy., Owasso, OK 74055
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.