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Ragan, Heinze Step Down As Blood Drive Co-Chairs
By Kevin Fox
“After many many years of volunteering here for the Blood Drive we will be honoring today, (November 3) Kathy Heinze and Joanne Ragan who are stepping down as co-chairs,” stated Beth Forbes, Donor Recruitment Representative with the American Red Cross. Forbes continued, “Personally, I will miss them terribly! I have worked with them for two years. It’s always fun to come up here in Kahoka. The food is excellent. Joanne is a character and Kathy is just a hoot! I simply love them and love working with them.
Joanne Ragan and Kathy Heinze serve as co-chairs of the Kahoka Blood Mobile. And when asked what their duties are, Joanne explained, “We organize the local blood drive. My work is basically promoting the blood drive day after day. I also call those names, which appear on my long list and remind them about the blood drive. I usually do the calling on the Monday before the blood drive, which is held on a Thursday. It takes a good day just to call all those names on that list. I get out tents at local banks and stores, which serve as reminders of the blood drive. I also post posters around at the stores as well as single handouts. We do a lot of pre blood drive work, but it continues after the drive is over. It never really stops as you are always promoting the next blood drive.”
Joanne also commented about why she gives of her time to the blood drive, “The reason I am giving of time is because way back when I had children I was in need of a transfusion. I could never give blood, but this is a way that I am giving back. I am also a very civic-minded person as well. I want to promote those things that help our community. I have just been overwhelmed by the kind words and gifts, which Kathy and I have received. I am going to miss everyone. Not just those who donate, but also those who work for the Red Cross, as they are very wonderful and dedicated people and want what’s best for Clark County. All the churches also should be thanked for what they do whether it’s serving as hostess or their donations, which support us. Especially to the Christian Church who allow us to use their building. I will miss all those people, but especially will miss working with Kathy.” Joanne began her duties as co-chair on April 27, 1993. She had been working with the Red Cross previous to that.
When asked about being co-chair of the local blood drive Kathy responded, “I have been involved with the Red Cross for fifty years in the blood part of it prior to coming here as my husband Henry was in the Military. So when I came here I just started asking if there was somewhere that I could help. When I started I used to help record the histories, which included taking histories of blood pressures. But I became co-chair in Clark County in 1991 when Shirley Eckles passed away. While Joanne does the calling and making the appointments I get the church lined up and who will serve as hostess for the event. I also work with the volunteers who come and work here throughout a blood drive and get times set up as to who will be here at what time. These volunteers include those who escort donors to different stations. Without a doubt I will miss the people as over these many years you see the same people over and over again at the blood drive. So when the actual day of the blood drive gets here it is more like a family reunion than work although at the end of the day I certainly feel that I have worked all day. I will miss it and especially the people. I get asked a lot about what my favorite part of working for the blood drive is and that is a very easy question to answer as without a doubt it is working with Joanne and although I will see her when the Cancer Board meets, I will miss seeing her at the blood drives, she is a joy to work with!
In a world where people are looking at things with the angle of, “What’s in it for me”? It is a blessing to live in a community with such women as Joanne Ragan and Kathy Heinze, who give so freely of their time and talents. We thank them for their generosity, which has so greatly enriched our lives and community.
Replacing Joanne and Kathy will be Gloria Allen and Melody Uhlmeyer who will be working the blood drive in January.