It’s heroic to be square

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 6, 2002

Features Editor

The American Red Cross is giving no credence to the old adage that it’s hard to be a hero in your own hometown.

"Oh yes, you can," said Jane Thrash, director of the Pike County Branch of the American Red Cross. "By supporting the Heroes for the Red Cross program you can be a hero in your own hometown. And, we expect to have many heroes in Pike County over then next few weeks."

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The Pike County Branch of the American Red Cross is kicking off its Hero program, which Thrash said is similar to Relay for Life and the American Heart Walk.

"The Heroes for the Red Cross program is a fund raising campaign and we are hoping to raise $10,000," she said. "The campaign is directed more toward businesses, but we do have several individuals heroes who are working hard to support the Pike County Branch of the American Red Cross."

The Pike County businesses that have committed to the campaign are being asked to raise at least $750 each by selling Red Cross squares which will be displayed in the windows of the businesses.

"The person who purchases a square of caring may write their name on the square in support of the Red Cross," Thrash said. "There is no limit to the amount a person may donate to the campaign through the Heroes squares. If

a person wants to donate a sizable amount and wants to receive credit for the donation on their tax return, they may also write their address on the square. When we take the squares down, we will make sure they receive the information necessary to use the donation as a tax deduction."

The funds raised through the Heroes for the Red Cross Program have been designated for the purchase of two disaster trailers.

"The trailers will be centrally located – one in Troy and one in Brundidge – so that they may be quickly moved to any area of the county when needed or wherever they are need," Thrash said. "Each disaster trailer will contain 50 cots, 50 blankets, disaster equipment, food canisters and drink canisters. We will be able to move the trailers to any disaster area and set up a mobile unit on site.

"If there is a large-scale fire, such as the one that occurred at Carter Brothers a couple of years ago, we can be on-site with food and drinks for the firefighters and others assisting in the response effort."

Thrash said the trailers can be delivered to tornado or hurricane sites where a large number of people are in need.

"We have several emergency shelters located throughout the county," she said. "We have shelters in Troy, Brundidge, Goshen, Banks, Hamilton Crossroads, Meeksville and Saco. We can pull to any of these sites and set up in a matter of only a few minutes. These trailers will be a big asset to Pike County and far beyond."

Residents are asked to support the Heroes for the Red Cross program by purchasing a Red Cross square at participating businesses.

"We have some commitments already and are expecting others to join this fund raising effort," Thrash said. "In Troy, Byrd and Synco drugs, Car Quest Auto Parts, the Troy Bank & Trust downtown branch, WTBF, The Messenger, the Troy Fire Department and Mayor Jimmy Lunsford are heroes. In Brundidge,

Dykes Drugs and Price Pharmacy, Rue’s Antiques, First National Bank and Brundidge Florist have committed to the program."

Heroes have awareness information available on hurricanes, tornadoes, all types of disasters, terrorist attacks and anthrax.

"When you buy a square, ask for this information because being knowledgeable and prepared in an emergency situation could mean your safety and the safety of your family."