Local Red Cross looks for lifesavers

The American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter opened nominations for the chapter’s 2013 Lifesaver Awards on Wednesday at a kickoff event at Central Bank Financial Center in Jefferson City.

“They help bring awareness to the Red Cross, act as a fundraiser and honor people who go above and beyond,” said Nancy Sell, Lifesaver project manager and chapter community development manager.

The Lifesaver Awards will be from 4-7 p.m. June 25 at North Jefferson City Pavilion.

Award categories include Good Samaritan, Youth, Blood Services, Military, Medical, Law Enforcement, Firefighter and EMT. The chapter will also honor the Volunteer of the Year.

All nominees must have exhibited a heroic effort aiding a victim and must live in the Heart of Missouri Chapter area.

Jimmy Kay Sanders and Amy Berendzen will co-chair the event. Sanders is a chapter board member and Berendzen is director of marketing and public relations at Capital Region Medical Center.

“It’s a great opportunity to honor our lifesavers,” Sanders said. “They live among us and are everyday citizens who step up to the plate and risk their own lives.”

Berendzen said she has the opportunity to see lives saved on a day-to-day basis at Capital Region Medical Center.

It’s an honor for her to be chosen as a co-chair for the awards, she said, because she’s a “lifer” of the community.

“I’ve started here, and I will always be here,” she said.

The Red Cross chapter’s executive director, Dave Griffith, said the event has been in existence for many years, but this is the second year it has been termed the “Lifesaver Awards.”

“They’re emblematic of what we do and who we are,” he said.

Nomination forms for the Lifesaver Awards are available at various businesses around the city, as well as the Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter office at 431 E. McCarty St. Anyone who falls within the award categories can be nominated, and nominations are due to the chapter office by May 1. They may also be e-mailed to Mike.Flanagan@redcross.org. If you have questions, call (573) 635-1132.

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