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Anyone can become a hero for the American Red Cross, but it takes a special hero to help raise financial support for Red Cross community services.

Many Butler County residents, from many different backgrounds, will be doing just that when the Heroes for Red Cross Campaign in Butler County begins on June 3rd.

Local heroes will sacrifice their time, energy and resources so that all the citizens of Butler County can more fully enjoy the benefits of having Red Cross services in the area.

"I anticipate that this will be a tremendous campaign," states John Gresham, Red Cross Community Development Specialist and Heroes for Red Cross Campaign Chair in Butler County. He adds, "Considering the support the Red Cross has given to this community, the enthusiasm we are hearing from our local Heroes, who are eager to raise funds that will help support the local American Red Cross, is warranted." Butler County Heroes hope to raise $10,000 in the community over a period of a few weeks.

The concept is simple. People from the community serve as heroes for the local American Red Cross. Billy Baxter, executive director of the American Red Cross of Central Alabama, explains, "For generations, the American Red Cross has been providing heroes to our communities.

In order for the Red Cross to meet our commitments to our neighbors, now and in the future, we need citizens who are willing to be heroes for the American Red Cross."

During the Heroes Campaign, each participant will raise $1,000. These individuals will raise these funds in a variety of ways and may work alone or may choose to involve their company, civic club, church or school in their fundraising efforts.

An individual or business may also choose to donate the needed $1,000. Everyone in Butler County may be a part of this grassroots campaign by purchasing a Red Cross Square for a dollar at various locations throughout the county or by making a donation to any Butler County Hero.

All anyone has to do is follow the numbers from 2001 to know how the American Red Cross of Central Alabama is making a difference in Butler County:

Disaster Services – In 2001, The American Red Cross of Central Alabama provided $7,563.17 to aid single-family-fire victims in Butler County.

Health and Safety Services n 371 Butler County citizens enrolled in Red Cross Health and Safety classes.

Topics included Standard First Aid, Adult CPR, Infant and Child CPR, Workplace Training, Babysitter's Training and Pet First Aid.

Armed Forces Emergency Services n 33 service men and women received messages through the chapter's Armed Forces Emergency Services program in 2001.

Blood Services n 12 blood drives were held in Butler County last year, garnering 260 pints of blood.

Volunteer Services n Volunteer Services trains volunteers in all of the above listed services and allows your local American Red Cross to be there for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

Community Education n Teaching people how to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies has always been 3 of the major goals of the Red Cross in Butler County.

Topics for community education in these areas include Tornado, Hurricane and Fire Safety, Health and Safety for Children and Teens, and Coping with Terrorism.

The Heroes in Butler County strongly wish to support these Red Cross services in the community. John Gresham says of the Heroes Campaign, "We hope there will be many Butler County citizens who will be Heroes for Red Cross. We're asking everyone of this county to become involved."

Heroes Campaigns are being conducted in all seven of the counties which comprise the American Red Cross of Central Alabama Chapter (Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Elmore, Lowndes, Montgomery and Pike).

Hence, Red Cross financial donors from these counties are, together, bearing the expense of Red Cross services in this district.

For more information, or if you would like to become a hero, please call Jennifer Moorer of the Red Cross at 260-4017.