Red Cross Honors Heroes and Volunteers at 99th Annual Meeting

Sharon Kennedy is this year’s recipient of the Clara Barton Award, the top volunteer service honor presented by the American Red Cross of Northwest Missouri in St. Joseph.

Hers was among the Red Cross certificates and awards presented at the 99th Annual Meeting and Heroes Campaign Celebration held at Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center on May 17.

More than 80 local heroes raised $105,814 in the campaign, according to officials. All money raised in the only local non-disaster-driven fundraiser supports the operations of the Red Cross office in St. Joseph.

Woman receives an award from American Red Cross
Angie Springs, American Red Cross Northwest Missouri Chapter executive director, presents the Clara Barton Award to Sharon Kennedy as the top volunteer this year in the St. Joseph office. Sharon has been part of the St. Joseph chapter’s operations since 2004. (American Red Cross photo)

“She is truly an example of what the American Red Cross is about — service above self,” said Angie Springs, chapter executive director.

Sharon started as a volunteer in 2004 and joined the board of directors in 2005, eventually working her way up to chair the board. Angie said that she has become one of the chapter’s biggest advocates.

She oversaw the hiring of the new executive director when Kevin Kirby accepted a different position within the organization. Following her service on the board, she was instrumental in developing the Advisory Council, which allows former board members to stay actively engaged in the mission and vision of the Northwest Missouri Chapter.

Sharon currently chairs the Advisory Council and serves as the liaison between the council and the board. In addition to her board service, Sharon was a Service to Armed Forces caseworker and volunteered each year for the Cause for Alarm, the chapter’s Home Fire Campaign.

During times of disaster, she is at the chapter office helping make sandwiches and assisting in office operations. On top of all of this, Angie said, she also is an Annual Hero for the American Red Cross and is a leadership donor.

Other awards and their recipients presented at the banquet include:

Philo Award: Presented to J.R. Roth with the Hillyard Companies. Philo in Greek means “loving,” and the award recognizes the philanthropist of the year who best exemplifies the spirit of charitable giving.

Exceptional Volunteer Awards: For volunteers who demonstrate exceptional performance and extensive commitments to a specific Red Cross service or project. They were given to Theresa Smothers, Lori Harris and Barbara Bigelow.

Spirit of Excellence Award: Given to Red Cross employees who show superior commitment to chapter goals and mission, it was presented to Julie Cobb.

National Certificate of Merit Award: Was presented to Danny Marshall, Markus Owens and Tom Wilson for coming to the aid of Charles “Chuck” Young, who collapsed at Progress Rail Services in Atchison, Kansas. This award is the highest given to an individual or team of individuals who has saved or sustained a life by using skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Preparedness and Health and Safety Services Course. This award bears the signature of the president of the United States, who is the honorary chairman of the American Red Cross.

Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action: Presented to Shawn Kuhnert, who joined his coworkers in aiding Young. The award does not require that its recipient had Red Cross training.

The Newcomer Award: Given to Bill Gatton and Jaime Foster.

Good Neighbor Awards: Presented to Red Cross partners and friends that provide significant humanitarian contribution. Honored this year were the Andrew County Health Department, Clinton County Health Department, Livingston County Community Wellness Committee, Chillicothe Fire Department, King City Fire Department, Savannah Fire Department, Savannah Rural Fire Protection District, Trenton Fire Department and St. Joseph Fire Department.

If you would like to become a Red Cross volunteer, go to RedCross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS.

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