Red Cross Chapter Gets National Honors

When a worthy cause comes along, how deep do you dig in your pockets? One community did more than any other in the country. Last night, members of the Evans County chapter of the American Red Cross picked up unique national honors.

You could call Evans County the little engine that could, or just call them heroes. The Red Cross does. The community recently outdid the rest of the country in the Heroes campaign to benefit disaster relief efforts.

Chairman Martin NeSmith says people here know a good cause when they see one. "The Red Cross is a terrific organization," he said. "In addition to collecting blood, what they're known for, they do a lot in disaster relief work and aids to families that may be burned out."

With 190 chapters in 32 states participating in this campaign, Claxton, Evans County, came out on top. "They take the dollar amount raised and divide that by the population and you get your dollars per capita," explained Catalina Garcia-Quick with the Savannah chapter. "Then compare that to other counties in the country that are doing the same campaign."

Campaign leaders say the recognition is more about the community than individuals. "I'm a newcomer to Evans County, but it sure impressed me and I'm just glad I could be a part of it," Ron Gilliard of Evans Memorial Hospital said.

The Red Cross also named NeSmith their Fundraiser of the Year.

Nationwide, Red Cross volunteers raised more than $8 million during the Heroes campaign.

Reported by: Dal Cannady,