The American Red Cross of the South Central Ohio Chapter honored three Athens County residents in an online event during National Volunteer Week.

Honored were:

  • Jeff Slattery with nearly 48 years of volunteer service, named for Exceptional Service in Disaster Cycle Services;
  • Diane Tong, with 15 years of service, Volunteer of the year in Biomedical Blood Services, and Fred Holmes, 18 years, Volunteer of the Year in Volunteer Services.
  • Mary McCord, Disaster Program Manager, reported that volunteers in the chapter’s counties responded to 127 local fires and assisted 155 families since July 1, 2020.The chapter serves nine counties in addition to Athens County.

David Bradley, disaster program specialist, presented the award to Slattery, saying “Jeff is all: communication services, public services, tech and education. When something needs to be done Jeff is always there.”

In response Slattery replied, “I just do it because I like to help out my community. I’m trying to make a better day for the clients we serve.”

Jordan Fornash-Wellinghoff, a local blood program coordinator who presented the award to Tong, said “Diane works hard, provides other volunteers a way to be helpful in a safe environment, and runs the drive like a well-oiled machine.”

Tong is the lead volunteer for blood drives at Richland United Methodist Church in Athens. She has helped staff the office, provided support for home fire safety efforts, and works to hold safe and successful blood drives at the church six or more times per year.

“I want to give credit to the ones that come every 56 days to give blood and who are bringing in new people,” Tong said.

Holmes was recognized for his dedication to the American Red Cross and was nominated by Rebecca Dungee, Volunteer Recruitment Specialist.

Dungee Wrote, “Fred is recruiting even when he’s not recruiting. He is a super-dedicated volunteer who loves the Red Cross and its mission. He is always stepping up and I appreciate him more than I can express!”

Accepting the award from the site of his deployment for disaster relief in Kentucky, Holmes said “Every time I go on deployment my Red Cross family gets bigger. It is always a privilege.”

Matthew Riddle, Executive Director of the South Central Ohio Chapter, offered sincere thanks to all of the volunteers.

“All of you make my job easy and inspire me to work harder as I see your passion,” he said. “Tonight is your special night.”

For information on the many ways a person can serve their community by being a Red Cross volunteer go to redcross.org/volunteertoday.

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