Local News

December 21, 2012

Red Cross recognizes Cass volunteers, organizations

Mall drive organizer given Outstanding Volunteer Service Award.

LOGANSPORT — Regulars at the American Red Cross blood drive held periodically at the Logansport Mall may recognize Don Conrad, the floating, smiling volunteer whose longtime dedication to Red Cross service earned him a regional award this year.

The Indiana-Ohio region of Red Cross’s blood services gave Conrad one of its Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards at the annual recognition dinner this fall in Fort Wayne.

Galveston United Methodist Church received a regional Creative Genius Award for a promotion that doubled its blood drive yields. Logansport Memorial Hospital was named a Faithful Friend for dependability and dedication, and the Twelve Mile Community Building was recognized for being a first-time sponsor.

“We had quite a nice representation from Cass County this year,” said Sarah Moss, a Red Cross donor recruitment representative who works extensively in Cass County and the surrounding area.

“Don has been one of our greatest volunteers,” she added. “He’s very, very dedicated to the cause. He makes sure that all the volunteers are scheduled, makes sure that we’ve got people scheduled in the various areas.”

But Conrad, a retired machinist and Air Force instructor from Walton, is quick to point out the work of other volunteers, like Tri Kappa members who serve sandwiches at the mall blood drives.

“I was surprised” to receive his award, Conrad said. “You know, I think that other people are the ones who make it happen.”

“No, you’re the one who makes it happen,” responded fellow volunteer Pat Lefebure, a Logansport nurse who has helped out at Red Cross blood drives for more than 40 years.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” she said, “but he has an interaction. He can approach people and they accept it. And he’s always willing to answer their questions.”

Conrad started donating blood in 1958, soon after exiting the Air Force. He was a 1951 Metea High School graduate working at Jackson-Kitchell International Harvester farm implements store.

He didn’t get started volunteering for the Red Cross until nearing retirement about 15 to 20 years ago. Since then, Conrad has done everything from organize blood drives, volunteer on drive days, attend regional meetings and serve about a decade on the local board of directors.

And at 79 years old, he still donates regularly. He’s up to at least 17 gallons.

“It gets you kind of hooked,” Conrad said about donating blood.

That’s exactly the kind of donor other organizations hope to recruit.

Ed “Corky” Cordell, the blood drive coordinator at Galveston United Methodist Church, suggested the most prominent creative recruiting tool the church has implemented this year has been a simple foot-tall trophy that fosters “very friendly” competition among three Galveston-area churches.

“We have a sign-up for each church,” explained Cordell, “and the one that gets the most donors keeps the trophy until the next time.”

The trophy was the brainchild of Cordell’s wife, Jane, and their friend Jeff Merrell. Upper Deer Creek Church, where Merrell attends, and Galveston First Baptist Church are the two other churches that participate in the trophy exchange.

Members at the three churches converge on Galveston UMC for its regular blood drives.

“We’ve been able to almost double our donations,” said Cordell. Usable pints of blood drawn at the drives average 32 to 35 now, although the drive has peaked as high as 45.

The church also serves a southern Cass County favorite at the blood drives — peanut butter and pickle sandwiches.

“There are a few that go for it,” said Cordell, chuckling.

While the Galveston UMC blood drives have been going on for more than a decade, regular drives just started up at the Twelve Mile Community Building last year.

Bonnie Moss, mother to Sarah Moss, the Red Cross coordinator, coordinates a drive every other month at the community building. The Mosses worked with the Red Cross to start the Twelve Mile drives to allow locals a chance to donate somewhere convenient, Sarah said.

“We had never done anything in Twelve Mile before,” Sarah said. And now, the regular blood drives yield and average 25 to 30 units of blood, “which, for a small community such as Twelve Mile, that’s actually really good.”

It’s just slightly below the usual yield at a blood drive hosted by Logansport Memorial Hospital, where donors supply 30 to 35 units on average.

The Red Cross Faithful Friends award recognized the hospital’s consistent willingness to host blood drives even on short notice, helping the organization fill critical needs at times.

Their partnership goes both ways. The Red Cross supplies all of the blood the hospital needs for its medical procedures.

The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region tries to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in 60 hospitals across northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio.

“I think it’s really an accomplishment that we get the public to come up and donate for us,” said Deb Williamson, the hospital’s lab director and coordinator for the blood drives. And the Red Cross has been “outstanding as far as getting our needs and doing it in a timely manner.”

Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at or 574-732-5151.

GET INVOLVED: Interested in volunteering with the American Red Cross? Call Sarah Moss, a Red Cross donor recruitment representative, at 260-450-7636.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT072714 - manhunt pickup - MLK Escapee apprehended in Carroll County w/VIDEO

    The inmate who escaped from the Logansport State Hospital Thursday night was apprehended in Carroll County late Friday morning. Carroll County Sheriff's Department Major Tobe Leazenby said Christopher J. Robbins, 23, Medaryville, was appreh

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police Blotter: July 25, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 25, 2014

  • NWS-PT072514-Begindergarten-BCM Focus on kids: Data shows rising poverty, but better education Indiana and Cass County children are making improvements in education, but the poverty rate still stays high, according to national data. The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2014 Kids Count Data Book released its annual evaluation of the nation’s children

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents oppose proposed gravel pit in Walton

    WALTON — Engineering Aggregates Corp. wants to dig a gravel pit, and residents around the proposed site are worried that it would interfere with what several called a peaceful country lifestyle. Engineering Aggregates has petitioned the Cass County B

    July 25, 2014 1 Link

  • NWS-PT072514 Billeaud Mug Guilty verdict in flag beating A Logansport man was found guilty in a jury trial Wednesday on counts of felony battery after an altercation in which he was charged with beating a man with a board holding an American flag.Jeffrey Billeaud Jr., 39, was found guilty of battery by mea

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072514 Patacsil-kmv Logan coaching legend Patacsil dies at 86 Logansport and Purdue University lost a giant among sports leaders Wednesday. Former Purdue great and former Logansport High School wrestling coach and educator Joe Patacsil passed away in his home.When his sons were leading the Berries wrestling pro

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burlington woman charged in May fatal crash KOKOMO — Police arrested a 26-year-old Burlington woman accused of causing a fatal crash while driving drunk Wednesday.Howard County sheriff deputies served a warrant on Casie E. Johnson charging her with a B felony causing death while operating a ve

    July 25, 2014

  • Robbins Christopher.jpg UPDATE: State Hospital escapee identified

    Police are seeking an escaped inmate of Logansport State Hospital with a history of residential entry and battery.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police Blotter: July 24, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS-PT072414 shrek2.jpg Cast of believers: Children take stage this weekend As almost 50 children and teenagers crowded around the edge of the stage at McHale Performing Arts Center, Dan McDonald counted off: one, two, three... “I believe!”It was the start of tech rehearsal for Junior Civic Theater’s production of “Shrek: Th

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Not sure
     View Results