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Junior Red Cross honors disaster responders with good old cook out

The Pike County Junior Red Cross hosted at cookout Monday for all those who respond to any disaster situation in the county.

"We wanted to so something to say thank you to those who respond in times of disaster," said Savannah Hughes, vice president of the local Junior Red Cross. "We invited people from the utility companies, the EMA, E-911, firefighters, Red Cross, law enforcement – everyone who helps get things back to normal after a disaster."

Savannah said so these people go far beyond what is required of them in an emergency situation.

"They don't stop until the job is done and we wanted to show them how much we appreciate them," she said.

She also expressed appreciation to the businesses that donated items for the cookout-Garrett's IGA, Winn Dixie, Food World, Colonial Bread, Kelly's Meat Packing Company, Ingram's Curb Market, Crowe's/Brundidge, Subway/Brundidge and St. Paul AME Church.

"Without their support, it would be hard for us to do something like this," Savannah said. "We raise our own funds, so it would have been hard."

The Pike County Junior Red Cross has more members now than ever before.

"We have 52 members and 41 of them are active," Savannah said. "I think the reason is that we all like to do things for other people and things that make a difference. And, too, it's fun."

The Junior Red Cross is fun, but it also takes a lot of dedication and commitment.

"It's not a club that you go to a meeting once a month and that's it," Savannah said. "We are very active and there's always something to do or something to think about."

Most recently, the Junior Red Cross participated in the Independence Day celebration in Brundidge with an entry in the parade and sponsoring kids games afterwards.

"We put together 'Care' packages for our soldiers in the Persian Gulf and cleanup kits for fire victims. The fire kit contained mops, brooms, paper towels and other things that would be needed. We sponsor the Back to School blast, which is a day camp for kids, and also Coats for Kids were people donate used or new coats for children who need them. This year, something new for us was the Miss Independence pageant and we hope to that will become an annual event."

The biggest event for the Pike County Junior Red Cross is the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Murphree Park.

"That's always a lot of fun for us and the kids," Savannah said.

The Junior Red Cross members recently won a state award for the coloring book they created to teach children what they should do in the event of a disaster. The coloring book has been nominated for a national award.

"We are proud to be members of the Pike County Junior Red Cross," Savannah said. "We are learning a lot about disasters and how a community responds to them. And, we're doing something for our community and that make you feel good."