American Red Cross Real Hero Breakfast

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On Tuesday I had the honor of volunteering at the American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley’s Real Hero breakfast.  I had actually been invited to attend this event, as a frequent donor, but instead I was able to give to others who deserved it much more than me.

The food itself was all being catered by the hotel. I had originally been designated to be helping with guest registration, however there was actually no need for me there; four volunteers was enough. However, it was a good thing I was there, as a volunteer designated to hold a flag during the parade did not show up! Before I knew it I was holding a flag to honor a humanitarian award recipient! It brought me back to my old color guard days.

After the procession, I was able to get myself a plate, head to an empty table in the back, and watch the award ceremony. There were quite a few Real Heros being honored, including a familiar face! Gary Johnson and his fiance Lauren McEntire were honored for their pet rescue mission. Gary was the performer at the bar I went to in Oswego! (Click here to read about my Oswego visit)  He also runs Elevated Events, and worked the stage lights and music at the CNY Bridal Expo & Fashion Show with PipLin a few weeks back.  I had not known they had this rescue, so it was very encouraging, especially how they help pit bulls from the City and Base dogs from Afghanistan.

20130606-003452.jpgOne of the award recipients truly amazed me. I have donated 18 times, totaling over 2 gallons. This man donated 208 times! That is 26 gallons of blood. I can only hope that I can continue to donate until I reach half of that. Although he wasn’t able to come be at the ceremony, they played a video with him describing his motives and responses to the award. He was so cute and made so many jokes for a 30 second video. I wish he could have attended to receive his award.

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An event isn’t complete without SWAG: stuff we all get. I am addicted to free stuff from vendor shows and career fairs. I have so many pens with logos and banners on them that I have a separate pencil pouch for them. But of course, I can’t deny myself another one. I snatched a pen off the registration desk, and got a free pack of tissues from the spot at my table. I won’t deny I almost needed to open them and use one during some of the stories. The jackpot was mini Dunkin Donuts coffee bags! There were 4 on each table, and my table had no other guests! So, I am ashamed to say. I left with more than one. They are in my freezer ready for me to get energized when needed.

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