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News and Events for 2008

Archived News for 2006

THE RED CROSS WAS THERE: A Statement from the Regional Executive Director

Along with friends, neighbors and families, American Red Cross chapters were on the scene immediately after the tornadoes on July 24th, offering help and hope to the families and communities who were affected. Disaster relief is at the core of the American Red Cross mission: �a humanitarian organization, led by volunteers, that provides relief to victims of disaster.�   Read more...

Disaster volunteer, Jim Timmins, assesses
thedamage to a home in Epsom
Disaster volunteers, Jim Timmins and Janet Ducharme, look over the property damage in Epsom


The partnership between the United States Armed Forces and the American Red Cross was the theme of the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Granite Chapter of the Red Cross. The keynote speaker at the meeting was Colonel Donald R. Dupuis, Manpower and Personnel Officer for the NH National Guard, with oversight to Air Guard Personnel, Army Guard Personnel and the Human Resources Office. In introducing Col. Dupuis, Tim Murray, Regional Executive Director for the NH Region of the Red Cross, cited the colonel�s decorated military career and the military tradition in generations of his family.  Read more...

Tim Murray (left) welcomed Col. Donald Dupuis to the Granite Chapter for the 2008 Annual Meeting.

More information about the SAF program is available from the Granite Chapter at 1-800-464-6692




Four new members of the Board of Directors for the Granite Chapter of the American Red Cross were approved at the 2008 Annual Meeting.

Peter Brankman, a resident of Penacook, is the founding owner of the accounting firm Peter C. Brankman & Company, PC, in Concord.

Raymond Martin, Senior Vice President Trust Manager at Merrimack Country Savings Bank, has more than two decades of experience in financial services. He is a resident of Warner.

John Porter of Center Harbor is Vice President of USI New England, an insurance and financial services firm based in Bedford. He has been in the insurance business since 1979.

Linda Roche has been with Northeast Delta Dental for 23 years and is currently Director of Strategy Management. She lives in Francestown.

With these new members, the chapter�s board now has 19 members. The other members include lawyers, health care providers, bankers, administrators, and business leaders. For more information about the Granite Chapter, call 1-800-464-6692.

Attending the 2008 Annual Meeting were new and current members of the Granite Chapter�s Board of Directors. In the front are new members (L to R) John Porter, Linda Roche and Raymond Martin; Peter Brankman was not present. In back are current board members - George Calder, Katharyn Hoke, Susan Bryant, Robert Gerseny, Joan Bishop and Donald Gartrell.


MORE classes for LNA's!

The LNA certification program at the Granite Chapter has been growing fast. They have added several new LNA I classes, and now offer an LNA II class. Read more...

Two LNA students practice basic
health care skills on each other

Graduation day is exciting for all involved



Severe storms and heavy rainfall this past spring in the central United States caused serious flash flooding in already saturated areas. The American Red Cross was there to help victims of the flooding and tornadoes through a major disaster relief operation covering several states.

To provide the workforce for this operation, the Red Cross brought in workers from all over the country to these states. Six volunteers from the local Granite Chapter left in June to help with the Midwestern Red Cross disaster relief operation.

Helen Champa from Pembroke and Phil Jones from Gilmanton Iron Works are trained by the chapter in disaster response, and active members of the Concord Area Disaster Action Team. Champa went to Iowa and Jones headed for Indiana.

Peter Fortier of Contoocook left for Des Moines, Iowa, to work with distribution food and bulk items, like cleaning supplies. Laura Volker from Northfield helped with management of a facility in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Two volunteers, formerly of New Hampshire, were sent by the Granite Chapter even though they now live out-of-state. Holly McMeekin from Virginia went to Madison, Wisconsin, to work on communications and other technical support. Denise Smith from Arkansas helped with support of staff services in Wichita, Kansas. Read more...

To make a donation to the Disaster Relief Fund, write a check to The American Red Cross, with �Central US Disasters� on the memo line, and mail it to the Granite Chapter, 2 Maitland Street, Concord, NH 03301, or call the chapter at 1-800-464-6692. For information about the work and services of the Granite Chapter, visit the website


Sherri with one of the many Health and Safety manikins, this one for Pet First Aid.


Sherri Litchfield has been appointed the new director of the Health & Safety program of the Granite Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Sherri first came to the Red Cross as a volunteer instructor. She has been with the chapter for a year as the Health & Safety Quality Assurance Coordinator.

Before that, Sherri served for four years as a Red Cross Authorized Provider for her previous employer.

She is a native from New Hampshire and currently lives in Sanbornton with her husband and English springer spaniel. Congratulations, Sherri!

Red Cross Closed Belmont Branch Office in Belknap Mall

In a move to consolidate facilities and reduce costs, the Granite Chapter of the American Red Cross closed the administrative functions of the branch office in the Belknap Mall effective July 1, 2008.

The space continues to be used for storage of critical supplies for the chapter�s disaster teams in the Lakes Region and northern communities.

The Red Cross will also use the location to hold meetings and mobilize crews during disaster operations. The chapter will continue to hold classes in the space, according to Sherri Litchfield, the chapter�s Health and Safety Director. But classes will also be held at convenient locations throughout the Lakes Region communities, made possible by generous donations of space from local businesses.

�We continue to be committed to strengthening and expanding our disaster response and training capacity in the Lakes Region and North Country,� said Tim Murray, Regional Executive Director of the NH Region of the American Red Cross. �This move will only improve our responsiveness to the needs of residents and communities in the Lakes Region by reducing costs and making our program more effective and flexible.�


Girl Scout Troop 282 from Warner collected stuffed animals for the American Red Cross as part of their �Sign of the World� Badge.

The troop members got help from their classmates at Simonds Elementary School in Warner who joined in collecting new stuffed animals or funds to buy stuffed animals, according to troop co-leaders Amy Juranty and Laurie Collins.

The generous donation went to the Disaster Services program at the Granite Chapter of the American Red Cross in Concord. Disaster volunteers will pass out the stuffed animals to children of families who have been burned out of their homes.

Two members of the Girl Scout Troop 282 from Warner and one Brownie brought piles of new stuffed
animals to be given out to children affected by disasters.  From left to right, Emily Collins, Sarah
Allie, and Abby Collins, all from Warner.


Recently volunteers from the NH State Prison Service Dog Program participated in the Granite Chapter�s Pet First Aid class.

The dogs pictured are pups-in-training that currently reside at and are trained by the inmates to become service dogs. Some of the dogs involved in the program stopped by the Granite Chapter office with program volunteers to get their pictures taken and to have some fun. The dogs that pass this training program will be matched up with disabled people who can be helped by an attentive canine assistant. 

After considerable cajoling, these energetic pups, aka Service Dogs in Training, and their volunteers posed
in front of the Granite Chapter Office with Sherri Litchfield (back left) holding a Pet First Aid manikin.


News and Events for 2007

Fiber Artist Shares Katrina Experience

Photo of one of the 21 3-D panels was entitled 'My Brain and Heart as I witnessed Katrina's destruction.' Concord, NH - November 2007 -- Susan Rock, RN, is a Licensed Nurse Assistant instructor and disaster volunteer at the Granite Chapter in Concord, NH. When she returned from her work in emotional triage with the Red Cross Katrina disaster relief operation in New Orleans, she transcribed her experiences in a set of fiber art collages, entitled "Katrina and All That Jazz".

Recent Fire in Concord Left Family Homeless

Photo of Concord house fire. Concord, NH - October 2007 -- The recent house fire in Concord was a sad and devastating event for 11 people. All of the extended family, including a 9-month baby and one unrelated friend, escaped safety, but a dog and cat died in the fire. Members of the Red Cross chapter's Concord Disaster Action Team were on the scene to help the family. The cause of the fire is not known at this time.

Please check your own home for fire safety features. The American Red Cross gives the following recommendations to make your home "fire-safe":

  • Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.
  • If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas, too.
  • Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
  • Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly.
  • Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
  • Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. Get training from the fire department in how to use them.
  • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.

Red Cross Joins in Ghoulish Fun at Belknap Mall

Photo of Red Cross Youth Board volunteers gave out sweets with safety information at the Belknap Mall to all passing goblins.
Red Cross Youth Board volunteers gave out sweets with safety information at the Belknap Mall to all passing goblins, including this Pink Power Ranger.
Belmont, NH - Oct. 29, 2007 -- Members of the Youth Board of the Granite Chapter of the American Red Cross were at the Belknap Mall on Friday evening (October 26) to join in the Halloween festivities. Youth Board members, in costume, staffed a table where young monsters, ballerinas, space travelers and all other imaginable creatures could get a candy and Halloween safety information from the Red Cross.

The chapter has a branch office at the Belknap Mall that provides Red Cross services primarily to the Lakes Region and north.

News from the California Wildfires

Photo of Disaster volunteer, Linda Shelley. Concord, NH - October 2007 -- Linda Shelley, one of five Granite Chapter disaster volunteers, is on the scene in California. She recently called Kay Mahoney, the chapter's Emergency Services Assistant, and gave us news from the disaster scene.

During the first two days when Linda was at the large food distribution center at Petco Field in San Diego, about 60 volunteers were serving 11,000 meals each day. The numbers went down in the two following days to 7600. Read More »

Update from the American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Washington, D.C. - October 30, 2007 -- The wildfires in CA are being brought under control through the efforts of firefighters and favorable weather. Many evacuation orders have been lifted, and people in those areas are returning to their communities. In all, the fires have affected over 640,000 acres of land destroyed or damaged over 2,000 homes.

The Red Cross continues to operate 12 shelters and evacuation centers, including the Del Mar site with 130 residents. More than 400 evacuees are still in Red Cross shelters. In total, the Red Cross has provided over 24,000 overnight stays in its shelters, 114,208 meals and over 15,000 comfort kits during this incident. We have deployed more than 5,500 disaster relief volunteers.

On Fundraising for California Wildfires from Mark W. Everson, President and CEO, American Red Cross:

"Generous financial contributions from the public, foundation and corporate supporters have made it possible for us to announce that the American Red Cross will no longer engage in new fundraising activities in support of the Southern California Wildfires. We will continue to urge the public to donate to our Disaster Relief Fund, which made possible the swift, effective and compassionate response we saw to the wildfires."

Further donations for disaster services can be sent to the Granite Chapter, 2 Maitland Street, Concord, NH 03301

Red Cross Active in Littleton and Lisbon Areas

Photo: DAT trainee, Holly McMeekin, helped at a house fire with Dan Brennan as part of her training. Concord, NH - July 2007 -- The American Red Cross has been busy recently in the Littleton and Lisbon area to increase their services and presence in these communities.

Staff of the Granite Chapter of the Red Cross, which provides disaster response, relief and preparedness in the North Country, Lakes Region and Concord area, have been in touch with community leaders in Lisbon and Littleton about building Disaster Action Teams (DATs), strengthening Red Cross volunteer opportunities and providing training in disaster preparedness and response. Read More »

Red Cross Youth Board Help in Allenstown Cleanup

Photo of Red Cross Youth Board members.
Red Cross Youth Board members, (from left) Maddie Cole, Matt Rafio, Jim Fallon, Glen Walters and Jette Welch, all from Bow High School, worked with other groups and Allenstown residents to clean up flood debris. (Photo by Erin Kizer, NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management)

Concord, NH - September 28, 2007 -- Flood ravaged Allenstown got some welcome help on Saturday, September 28, from more than 20 volunteers. Most were from the Youth Board of the Granite Chapter; others were from Catholic Charities and Boy Scouts. Neighbors joined the volunteers to fill four trash trucks to overflowing, removing over eight tons of garbage and debris from roads, river beds and lawns.

"Recovery is a long process," commented Andy Labrie, case manager for the Community Action Program of Belknap and Merrimack Counties. "But it has been a really positive day for residents to see that there are still people concerned and willing to help long after the flood." Read More »

Kay Mahoney Receives Recognition for her Work

Photo of Dan Brennan and Kay Mahoney. Emergency Services Director, Dan Brennan, recently presented Kay Mahoney with a plaque for her work as the Disaster Services Human Resources Coordinator in the Belmont branch office. Kay was working with the chapter at that time through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. She has now left that program but continues with the chapter as the Emergency Services Assistant.

Thank you, Golf Tournament Sponsors!

The following area businesses (listed in alphabetic order) supported our recent 2007 Golf Tournament. We couldn't have done it without their generosity. Our grateful thanks to each and all!

  • AAA
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Barley House
  • Canterbury Woods Country Club
  • Cleveland, Waters & Bass, P.A.
  • Cobblestone
  • Combined Services LLC
  • Contoocook Valley Fuel Inc.
  • Echo Communications
  • Golf Country
  • Grappone Automotive Group
  • Hermanos Cocina Mexicana
  • Holiday Inn Concord
  • Isaacson Steele, Inc.
  • Margaritas
  • McLane
  • Merrimack Cleaners
  • Merrimack County Savings Bank
  • MetroCast
  • NH Local Government Center
  • Northeast Delta Dental
  • Ocean National Bank
  • Olivia's
  • Orthopedic Professional Association
  • Panera Bread
  • Pat's Peak
  • Shaw's Supermarket
  • Speedy Printing and Copying
  • The Hodges Companies
  • Verizon
  • Waterville Valley Resort
  • William Steele & Associates, P.C.

Photo of Sherri Litchfield, Quality Assurance Coordinator.
Sherri Litchfield, Quality Assurance Coordinator for the chapter, spent part of a recent weekend at a Red Cross first aid station during the Heritage Harley Davidson in Concord during their 25th anniversary event. There were several heat-related needs during that warm day.
Photo of Youth Board members: Nicole Hemeon, Lauren Francis and Kate Merges.
The chapter's teen leadership group, the Youth Board of Directors, hosted a fund-raising event for the chapter at UNO's Chicago Pizza in Concord on Sunday Sept 16. Members of the Youth Board were at the restaurant throughout the day, talking to customers about their group and offering information on the services of the Red Cross. Shown here are (L to R) Nicole Hemeon, Lauren Francis and Kate Merges, all from Bow High School.

Why Do Chapter Staff Work For and Support the American Red Cross?
"I give because of the awe-consuming relief that we were able to provide through out the recent Hurricanes and Flooding throughout the USA in the last few years, most especially the local flooding, the relief that they provided was awe-consuming." - Peg Sweeny, Receptionist, Belmont Branch Office

Photo of Bill Stamatis, Priscilla Greene, and Becky Coliandris.
Priscilla Greene, former NH Regional Chapter Executive (center), and Becky Coliandris, Financial Development Director, received a check for $5,000 from Bill Stamatis, manager of the Concord Panera's Cafe. The money was raised for donations collected at the register in Panera's on Fort Eddy Road.
Photo of Holly McMeekin and Becky Coliandris.
The Chapter and UNO Chicago Grill in Concord joined forces for a "Dough Raising" event in August. Granite Chapter staff, Holly McMeekin (L) and Becky Coliandris, and other staff and volunteers greeted customers and even help as wait staff and bar tenders. Up to 20% of the proceeds of meals went to the Disaster Relief Fund through the Chapter.

Granite Chapter and UNO's are Raising Dough! (PDF, 44 KB)
Come to UNO's in Concord, NH on Thursday, August 9, for lunch, dinner or snacks to help the American Red Cross. Bring your friends and learn about disaster preparedness. Up to 20% of proceeds will benefit disaster services of the Red Cross. Download the flyer (PDF, 44 KB).

Hurricane Season is Here
July 16 2007 -- Hurricane season officially began on June 1, 2007 and weather forecasters are predicting a high chance of an above-normal hurricane season. They have projected 17 named storms, seven to 10 hurricanes, and three to five major hurricanes in the Atlantic, according to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Our Name Has Changed! Why?
June 29 2007 -- The name "Granite Chapter" is appearing now in newsletters, web pages, news articles, and other information about the Red Cross in New Hampshire. No, there isn't another chapter in the neighborhood. It's the new name for our chapter as of July 1, 2007.

Hands-on Experience with an ERV
June 24 2007 -- Disaster volunteers from the Granite Chapter attended the Touch-A-Truck event during Old Home Week in Ossipee in early July. The event gave local residents a chance to see a variety of large vehicles, including fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, big rigs and last but not least, an American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV).

Join a Disaster Action Team
The Red Cross Disaster Action Teams (DATs) are a group of community-based volunteers who are the core of our all-important disaster response activities. We have a strong and dedicated group of DAT volunteers, and we are looking for more.

Home Depot and Red Cross: Be Prepared for Hurricanes
The American Red Cross has partnered with The Home Depot® to host a series of clinics on preparing and responding to hurricanes. The partnership also calls for the dissemination of disaster preparedness information and tips through a series of national and market-specific educational clinics, online information and in-store materials.

"Save a Life" Golf Tournament - MAY 15
May 15 2007 -- Golfers, it's coming soon! Your chance to have a great day on the golf course - and for a good cause.

Take Care of Yourself During Flood Cleanup
May 15 2007 -- As people clean up their homes after flooding from the recent floods, they may encounter mold, mildew and other health risks caused by standing water. The American Red Cross reminds people to take special care when returning home and cleaning up after flooding.

President Bush Signs Legislation To Modernize American Red Cross Governance
May 11 2007 -- Today, the President signed legislation that will modernize the governance structure of the American Red Cross and enhance the Red Cross Board of Governors' ability to support the critical mission of the Red Cross in the 21st century.

Eat Pizza - and Help the Disaster Relief Fund
May 7 2007 -- Every Tuesday in May, Uno Chicago Grill restaurants throughout New Hampshire will "Raise Some Dough" for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The restaurants will donate 20% of sales when customers mention the "Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund."

Red Cross Disaster Response to the April Nor'easter
May 7 2007 -- In mid April, 2007, New Hampshire experienced a third major disaster in 18 months. As a result of a powerful Nor'easter storm, our State received heavy snow, torrential rain and strong winds over about 3 days.

Spring Showers Bring . . . Flooding
Apr 13 2007 -- The Northeast is expected to be hit with a powerful storm this weekend, possibly rivaling the "The Perfect Storm" from 1992. Heavy rains, snow, flooding, strong winds, and tidal surges are forecast in some areas. The American Red Cross gives the following safety tips.

Red Cross Goes to the State House
Mar 27 2007 -- Leadership staff and volunteers from New Hampshire chapters of the American Red Cross convened at the State House in Concord on Tuesday, March 27 to participate in "Red Cross Day at the State House."

Nursing Students Get Red Cross Disaster Training
March 16 2007 -- The entire graduating class of nurses from the NH Technical Institute (NHTI) learned about disaster response and how to become a Red Cross disaster volunteer.

Red Cross Participates in Mock Disaster Exercise

Photo of volunteers participating in a mock disaster exercise. Disaster volunteers and staff gathered at the Concord chapter office to participate in a table-top disaster exercise and evaluation. The mock disaster was a flood simultaneously hitting Concord and Laconia and resulting in needs for Red Cross services to 250 families.
Photo of Dan Brennan, Chapter Emergency Services Director, and Disaster Action Team members, Laurie Sargent and Susan Cambria, discussing details for responding to the mock disaster. Dan Brennan, Chapter Emergency Services Director, and Disaster Action Team members, Laurie Sargent (L) and Susan Cambria, discussed details for responding to the mock disaster. The Chapter's disaster team did an outstanding job in meeting the hypothetical needs of all the families in the flood scenario.

March is Red Cross Month
Mar 8 2007 -- When neighbors help neighbors in emergencies, there's reason to celebrate. That is why every U.S. president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has declared March as Red Cross Month.

Stay Safe During March Storm
March 2007 -- As a March storm threatens to bring rain, sleet and snow to the Northeast over the next few days, area residents are encouraged to prepare for wintry weather and possible flooding.

Government Relations is Essential
Feb 26 2007 -- Disasters happen at anytime, anywhere to anyone. The American Red Cross needs your help in guiding policy makers to make the best choices when it comes to meeting the needs of our local communities, towns, schools and businesses when disasters strike. Be a Government Relations Advocate and help us - help you.

Important Red Cross Legislation
Feb 26 2007 -- On the national front, we are pleased to inform you that Senate bill,S. 655, the American National Red Cross Governance Modernization Act of 2007, was introduced in the Senate on Friday afternoon. This legislation seeks to create a more efficient and effective governance structure for ARC, and to enhance the Board of Governors' ability to support the critical mission of our organization. Visit our Online Legislative Action Center for the most up-to-date information on the status of this important legislation.

News of Red Cross Response after Florida Tornado
Feb 5 2007 -- On Feb. 4, two days after a devastating tornado served as nature's wrecking crane - knocking down a wide swath of homes in seconds, families and neighbors were rummaging through the rubble that was their former paradise.

Red Cross Continues Aid to Families of Berlin Fire
Jan 5 2007 -- The American Red Cross continues to provide assistance and services to families affected by the January 2 fire in Berlin. All seven families left homeless by the fire were contacted by members of the chapter's Disaster Action Team from Berlin. Six of the families requested assistance and three of those families continue to stay in local motels through arrangements by the Red Cross.

Winter Storm Safety: Be Prepared!
The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors - across the street, across the country and across the world - in emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors familiar and new - the nearly 1 million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross.

Are you Red Cross Ready? How to Prepare for Emergencies
Emergencies usually come with little warning. Being prepared can save you and your loved ones a lot of time, anxiety and hassles. You local chapter of the American Red Cross recommends some simple steps to take before disaster strikes to be ready for most situations and better able to respond.

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