Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Red Cross Receives $50,000 From CommunityAid

The American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region received $50,000 from CommunityAid during a special presentation held at their Lancaster store on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. The Red Cross is one of several organizations to receive a gift during today’s event.

“We are extremely grateful for our partnership with CommunityAid,” noted Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Regional CEO Jeri Sims. “Their support improves our ability to serve people in our community whose lives have been impacted by local disasters.”

CommunityAid seeks to raise funds for distribution to local schools, churches, synagogues, temples, and nonprofit charitable organizations by partnering with area businesses and organizations that agree to host clothing collection bins. Items donated through the bins are then sold at one of four area CommunityAid thrift stores, with the proceeds being returned to the community in the form of grants.

“Since all Red Cross disaster assistance is provided free of charge, we rely on the generosity of our corporate and individual donors to provide the resources necessary for us to support the community during disasters big and small,” added Sims. “Thank you, CommunityAid, for all you do to support our mission and the people we serve.”

Pictured Above: CommunityAid Executive Director Glenn Chandler (second from left) with Red Cross staff members l-r Tom Szulanczyk (North Central Pennsylvania Chapter Executive Director), Jenn Wiggin (Major Gift Officer), and Jeri Sims (Regional Chief Executive Officer).

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Red Cross Mid-Central Pennsylvania Chapter Honors Heroes at State College Event

The American Red Cross Mid-Central Pennsylvania Chapter honored local individuals and organizations for their heroic and selfless acts during the Spirit of the Hero Reception held at Celebration Hall in State College on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

This year’s nominees include:

Pennsylvania State Police Rockview Criminal Investigator Trooper Brian Wakefield and Trooper Trevor Danko (category – Law Enforcement)
Pennsylvania State Police Rockview Criminal Investigator Trooper Brian Wakefield and Trooper Trevor Danko were quick-thinking and quick-action during an investigation into a reported natural death at a home in Brenner Township this past June. While removing the body from the residence, area funeral director Mark Heintzelman became short of breath and incoherent before slipping into unconsciousness. Both troopers were already springing into action to assist Heintzelman when he stopped breathing and lost his pulse. Without hesitation, the troopers administered CPR until an EMS crew arrived to transport Heintzelman, who has since made a full recovery, to Mount Nittany Medical Center. By providing lifesaving CPR to Heintzelman at the first sign of his distress, Troopers Wakefield and Danko played a pivotal role in the man’s ultimate survival.

Penn State LionCare (category – Medical Professional)
Amidst clinical rotations and long days of studying, third-year Penn State College of Medicine students at the University Park Regional Campus are putting their education into practice in a new setting. They have spent the last several months preparing for LionCare Tyrone, a student-run free clinic, which opened its doors to the public in March. “This is reminding me why I went to medical school in the first place – to help people who really need medical care,” said Clay Cooper, co-director of the clinic. “There’s definitely a need for this type of service in Tyrone, and it’s an exciting opportunity to help start this from the ground up.” To start, the clinic will be open the first Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and will treat acute care needs and general health and mental health needs, as well as offer work and driver’s physicals and blood pressure checks to adults over age 18. Childcare will be provided during appointments. The clinic, a partnership between the College of Medicine University Park Regional Campus, Penn State College of Nursing and Tyrone Regional Health Network, operates out of the Tyrone Hospital Rural Health Clinic building.

Harvey Corrigan (category – Adult Good Samaritan)
As he pulled behind the Subway on West College Avenue, Advanced Disposal truck driver Harvey Corrigan noticed a pickup truck blocking the roadway. Approaching the vehicle he found a man unconscious and unresponsive in the driver’s seat. Corrigan pulled the gentleman from the truck, placed him on the ground, and attempted to resuscitate him using the CPR skills he had learned the year prior. A short time later he was joined by two Ferguson Township Police Officers, who used their AED to restart the man’s heart just as Centre LifeLink EMS was arriving to transport the gentleman to Mount Nittany Medical Center. Corrigan’s CPR training, coupled with his willingness to help a complete stranger he found to be in distress, worked together to keep a man alive until first responders were able to arrive at the scene with advanced life-saving equipment.

Pet Recovery Centre County/Susan Harpster (category – Animal Rescue)
Serving Centre County lost pets and their owners, Pet Recovery of Centre County is a volunteer organization that provides information and access to resources that help to bring missing pets back home. Using the power of social media, Pet Recovery of Centre County is able to turn a truly traumatic experience into a less-stressful situation that most times results in a happy ending. By encouraging its clients to stay calm and act quickly, they are able to blanket their extensive network of followers with pictures and other important information concerning the missing pets. They also work with area agencies to cast an even wider net in the community. Since its inception, Pet Recovery of Centre County has successfully reunited countless pets with their owners, creating happy endings for many area families.

Bob Perks Cancer Fund/Doreen Perks (category – Community Impact)
The Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund helps to ease the financial burden of individuals and families in our community who are battling cancer by providing funding for basic necessities such as rent, utilities, and food so the families’ focus can be on treatment and recovery. The Fund was established in 2006 in memory of Bob Perks, a State College native, who passed away in 2005 after a long battle with melanoma. Devoted to helping cancer patients long before he faced his own challenges with the disease, his wife, Doreen, family, friends and colleagues founded the Bob Perks Cancer Fund to fulfill his wish of making a difference in the lives of those who faced cancer. Over the past ten years the Fund has raised and allocated over $1 million to local cancer patients who have encountered financial hardships in Blair, Centre, Clearfield and Huntington Counties.

Brent Andrews (category – Miltary)
Brent Andrews has served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard since March 1990, and continues to make a difference in the lives of the next generation of soldiers. While deployed to Iraq on combat operations in 2009, he served as the mounted vehicle commander for his platoon. It was during enemy actions on more than two occasions that he directed the mounted element to provide security for the dismounted squads while maintaining communications with higher headquarters to provide necessary support.

Katherine Spicer (category – Youth Good Samaritan)
As Katherine Spicer approached her tenth birthday, she decided she didn’t need things for herself and set out to raise money to help animals. With the help of her mother, Christina, she started a GoFundMe page called, Katherine’s 10 Years for $10,000. Katherine decided to raise the money to benefit Centre County PAWS, an organization that has been committed to finding forever homes for cats and dogs and educating citizens on responsible pet ownership for over 30 years. Her goal was to raise $5,000 by her mid-April birthday, and the rest as the year progresses. Katherine exudes a wisdom beyond her years. Her desire to help others over gaining material things for herself humbles us all, reminding us of what is really important in life.