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Letter: Retiring Red Cross leader will be missed

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Kate O’Halloran


This letter is to thank Mary Ellen Anable for her leadership of the local chapter of the American Red Cross for the past decade. From her attention to detail, to her generosity, to her sense of humor, she made sure the organization could meet the needs of those members of our community who would wake up to the worst day of their lives — from fire, tornado or flood.

Mary Ellen not only was an at-the-scene disaster volunteer, she also synched policy updates with the national organization, raised funds and trained volunteers. Her persistence and dedication created a likewise dedicated team of volunteers.

She joined with local businesses and organizations to make sure there was coffee, water and food for emergency responders at a scene; safe lodging for individuals who had lost a home; and emergency shelters and food should many hundreds need shelter.

That last need was merely a hypothetical until June 2008. Mary Ellen’s years of effort ensured there was a terrific response by the American Red Cross at a very intense time of need.

Throughout these last 10 years, the American Red Cross has experienced many changes at the national and state level. The local coverage area has grown from two counties to, most recently, nearly a dozen. Such reorganizations can create a daunting and confusing time, but Mary Ellen rose to the occasion at every turn.

Our region has a terrific group of American Red Cross staff and volunteers ready to meet disaster relief needs as they arise —in no small part because of Mary Ellen Anable’s efforts.

I am so proud to have been a volunteer for the American Red Cross, and I am so proud to call Mary Ellen my friend. Congratulations to her on her retirement.

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