DuBocage ABWA hears speaker from local Red Cross chapter

Bettye Carter Johnson, public affairs director of the American Red Cross Southeast AR Chapter, was guest speaker for the DuBocage Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association at their meeting held recently at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Bettye is considered a full time volunteer, she is Vice President elect of Jefferson County Extension Homemakers Council, Vice President of State Association of Arkansas Highway and Transportation Dept., and serves on the Shepherd Center Board. She also serves on the boards of Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission, Jenkins Center/Industries, Pine Bluff Clean and Beautiful Commission, and the United Way Allocations Committee. Bettye has three daughters and five grandchildren.

She spoke about the Red Cross being the best service to volunteer with to make you feel good as well as useful. Volunteering is good for young people to teach them to help others. The Red Cross office is in the Reynolds Building on 2nd and Walnut. Anyone can volunteer to answer the phone, work on the computer, or if you have a medical background, you can volunteer in that area. Red Cross nurses have always been there to help the military during several wars or work with fire victims. The Red Cross can give food or a room for the night, or emergency personal hygiene kits which can contain toothbrushes, shampoo, even washcloths. They also provide coffee and snacks for firemen.

The Red Cross gives personal emergency preparedness training, first aide and CPR, training for lifeguards, and baby-sitting training. Bettye stressed the importance of personal emergency preparedness such as contact numbers, contact information, and an evacuation plan in the case of fire, tornado, flood, or earthquake. She passed out pamphlets for fire prevention and safety, flood safety, tornado safety checklist and how to make an emergency plan and emergency kit with the basic supplies.

She praised the volunteers who were going to work the Red Cross bucket drop the next week. The buckets were to be placed in front of Cranford’s, Fred’s, Brookshire’s, and the Pines Mall. The money collected will go to help with the local Jefferson County services that are provided through Red Cross

During the business meeting a guest was recognized for the Spring Enrollment, Suzanne Archer, an employee from Simmons First National. Suzanne was the guest of member Allison Yaney. Corresponding Secretary Joyce Ann Green read a letter from ABWA National Headquarters acknowledging the chapter’s donation to the Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund. Reports from each of the committee chairs were given for the guest’s benefit. President Donna Renfro introduced three charter members, Hellen Kennedy, Ruth Morris, and Elaine Roan. Roan has 37 years perfect attendance.

Baxter as chairman of fund raising announced she was assembling a basket and taking donations for chances on the basket, which would be given away in July. The basket will contain several gift certificates, jewelry, lotions from Bath and Body Works, note pads and pen, specialty hot chocolate with a cup, gas card, as well as lots of other interesting things. To obtain chances on the basket, contact anyone in the chapter or Baxter at 534-1919. The money collected from the donations will go into the scholarship fund. DuBocage gives two scholarships each semester of $750.00 each. Each recipient usually requests to be continued each year if her grades are kept at the required level and is sponsored through her college years.

Donna Kerr, Scrapbook Chairman from 2012, presented Renfro with the scrapbook from her year. The scrapbook contains pictures and news articles from the year the president serves. Renfro announced the May speaker will be the granddaughter of member Donna Kriner on her community involvement and the June meeting will be Business Associate Night.

Green won the Dollar Pot. Tammy Kiff won the birthday gift. Ruth Morris, DeWanna Walters, and Marnelle Clements won the door prizes.