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Local American Red Cross says thank you' to volunteer instructors

By By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
Feb. 7, 2002
The Key Chapter of the American Red Cross held a celebration Friday as a way to say "thank you" to its 232 volunteer instructors.
The chapter covers Lauderdale, Clarke, Newton, Kemper, Neshoba and Leake County.
Refreshments and entertainment were provided. Cheri Barry, director of the chapter, said she hopes the event will become an annual affair.
The volunteer instructors train between 3,000 and 5,000 people a year in the areas of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), HIV and AIDS awareness, babysitting, life guarding, swimming and more.
Tena Eichelberger, of Sebastopol, a registered respiratory therapist, was at the celebration. She has been a volunteer instructor for more than 20 years.
Eichelberger teaches in the Basic Aid Training (BAT) program, that teaches children how to respond to emergencies. She couldn't remember how or why she began as a Red Cross instructor, but she knows why she has remained.
Beverly Keene, of Union, a registered nurse, has been a BAT program instructor since 1986. She also dropped by Friday's event.
The American Red Cross also supplies Armed Forces Emergency Services, which help families locate service personnel anywhere in the world.
Barry said the Key chapter plans to develop Disaster Action Teams for the area it serves, which would be made up of five to six people for each of the six counties.
The teams would be trained to immediately respond to emergencies.
Without mentioning names, Barry told of a family who recently lost their home to a fire.
Disaster Action Teams would be able to take care of those situations.
Barry added that there would be no fee for the Disaster Action Teams, but she said fund-raising efforts will be forthcoming to sustain resources.
Anyone wanting more information about the American Red Cross or wanting to volunteer should call the Key chapter at 485-5151.