American Red Cross Honors Local Volunteers and Blood Donors

[MUSKEGON], MI ., May 30, 2014 – The American Red Cross serving Muskegon, Oceana, and Newaygo Counties held its annual Volunteer & Blood Donor Recognition Event on Wednesday, May 21.

“Each year thousands of volunteers and blood donors serve our communities through the American Red Cross. We are proud of the unparalleled record that the Red Cross has of helping people and meeting their local needs,” said Tim Lipan, Executive Director, American Red Cross.  “All of the services are made possible by our dedicated team of volunteers, blood donors, and through continuing support from our generous community.”

Recipients of Special Service awards were as follows:
Reese Award for Extraordinary Service and Leadership:  Penny Albertie of North Muskegon received the highest award in the local Red Cross.  The Reese Award honors those that provide exceptional leadership and personal dedication, leading to the establishment, expansion or improvement of service to the American Red Cross and the community.

Volunteer of the Year:  Bill and Sue Gray of Spring Lake received one of the highest honors given to a volunteer in the Red Cross.  Both are involved in the core of Red Cross services, providing relief to victims of disaster and support to members of the military and their families.  For the past year, they have given direction and support to a team of all volunteers at the Muskegon office.  Both also respond to local house fires and other emergencies.  Most recently, they coordinated flood relief efforts and response to Newaygo County. Susan is currently training caseworkers in a new system to assist victims of disaster and Bill is involved with the Legend Flight to honor Western Michigan’s WWII veterans.

Transportation Services Award:  Richard Heisser, Norton Shores
For the past eleven years, Heisser has been a volunteer with the Red Cross. He has driven blood products to hospitals and seniors to medical appointments. He has taken on the responsibility for fleet maintenance, monitoring the vehicle reports, taking cars or vans for oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections.

Community Services Award:  Pete Mulford, Muskegon
Pete Mulford received the Community Service Award for his volunteer work in the Senior Transportation Department. For the past two years, this volunteer has driven 3 shifts a week driving seniors to medical and dialysis appointments. Mulford also developed a business plan coordinating the transportation of dialysis clients for pre-transplant appointments.

Disaster Services Award:  Cheryl Schneider, North Muskegon
Cheryl Schneider was honored for her service for the last nineteen years as a responder for local and national disasters. Schneider, a RN, is one of the volunteer nurses who respond to the disaster calls for fire clients who need medical assistance. She is the Health Services team lead, the person who goes over health histories with Disaster volunteers before they deploy on a national disaster assignment. She has also been instrumental in recruiting and training new nurses.

Blood Services Award:  Jim Kremer, Spring Lake
Jim Kremer received the Blood Services Award for his commitment over the past six years driving blood products that have saved countless lives. Kremer drives the units of blood to Lansing as well as to nine hospitals from Allegan to Cadillac and is available year round to assist the Red Cross.

Recognized for 25 Years of Service with the American Red Cross:

For more information about volunteering with the American Red Cross, please visit:, call 1-800-RED CROSS or contact the Muskegon Chapter Office at: (231) 726-3555.