Bulletin Staff Report

The Pecan Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross recognized volunteers and presented awards at its annual board of directors meeting Tuesday.

“In the past year, our chapter has been through many changes and challenges,” Executive Director Missi Malone said. “It is during these hard times that those individuals with a true heart of the Red Cross and its mission come forward and give of themselves, their time and finances without the expectation of acknowledgment or reward. But, at this time, we would like to recognize those individuals who have given of themselves wholly and unselfishness to ‘Change a Life’ in every community that we serve.”

Jeannette Chesser, secretary of the Red Cross chapter board and president of the Meals on Wheels program, was honored as volunteer of the year for her work in various Red Cross service and fund-raising functions.

Howard Payne University Coach Sam McCutchen was named hero of the year for used skills learned in a Red Cross CPR-First Aid course to save the life of a young neighbor.

Bill Blagg was named board member of the year for his work with the chapter’s finances and fund-raising efforts.

Andy and Kendra Putman were named disaster response team of the year for their work “24 hours a day, seven days a week responding to wildfires, residential fires and major disasters.”

Donna Wilhelm and Edda Ratliff, co-chairs of the 2009 Heroes Campaign, were recognized for their support during and after the initiative.

“In the past year, our chapter has been blessed with many people in the community who not only give of their time, but their hearts as well to serve the mission of the Red Cross,” Malone said in recognizing certain volunteers who “made this past year a success.” They were Dok Woods, Leana Land, Tim Scalley, Duann Jones, Brent Bush, Buddy Preston, Blagg, Chesser and the Putmans.

Malone also thanked the Woodmen of the World, Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat and The Heart of Texas Baptist Encampment for assistance during the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

“Without these organizations’ giving hearts, those displaced by the hurricane would have had no place to go, so thank you again for your hospitality and commitment to this organization,” Malone said.