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.
One 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.
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.