Local American Red Cross Chapter Honors Volunteers

SPRINGFIELD — Several volunteers and one staff member were recognized at the recent 99th annual meeting of the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley chapter.

Frank Anderson, chapter chair and disaster team leader, was presented with the Clara Barton Award for Volunteer Leadership, the highest award that can be given by any Red Cross unit. Anderson is a retired MassMutual executive who has given an extraordinary amount of time and talent to support the mission of the American Red Cross in local communities. He has led disaster teams, was just elected to his second year as chairman of the chapter’s Board of Directors, is actively involved in numerous committees, assists with fundraising, and is a diligent goodwill ambassador for all of the chapter’s work.

As an example, Anderson spent his birthday on a New Year’s Eve three years ago helping serve coffee and hot food to emergency personnel at the well-remembered Gemini Manufacturing fire. He is also known as a tireless caretaker for the chapter’s volunteers, calling every one of them every day when they are deployed on national or regional assignment. This gesture is not only appreciated by the chapter’s own volunteers, but it has reportedly impressed other disaster volunteers from around the country and region.

Honored for her support of the Pioneer Valley Chapter and its Disaster Services Department was Kerry Anne Schoeffel of Holyoke. Schoeffel began her volunteer service to the American Red Cross when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf region. She was trained and deployed helping families affected by the aftermath. She has also been deployed to help with regional flooding, most recently in the New York and Pennsylvania regions that were significantly impacted by serious summer storms.

Schoeffel is also an active volunteer with local disaster relief efforts and is often on the scene of fires in area towns, helping families find shelter, clothing, and food in the midst of the tragic loss or displacement from their homes. She was presented with the American Red Cross Exceptional Volunteer Service Award.

Also presented with the Exceptional Volunteer Service Award was Sheryl McQuade of Wilbraham. McQuade has been involved with the Pioneer Valley chapter for more than a decade and has served as a member of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee. McQuade is senior vice president client manager with Bank of America. She has been very helpful with fundraising for the chapter, and was also instrumental in helping the chapter assist families relocated to this area after Hurricane Katrina. She completed a second consecutive term serving on the chapter’s board and will step down for one year as required by bylaw, but intends to remain involved with chapter activities and committee work.

An award for outstanding managerial service was presented to veteran staff member Patricia A. Donahue of Springfield in recognition of her service to the chapter. Donahue is deputy director of the Pioneer valley chapter, and is now in her 27th year of service to the American Red Cross and this community. As a result, Donahue was presented with the Tiffany Employee Excellence Award for 1st Level Management. She currently oversees the chapter’s Human Resources and Health and Safety departments. Her expertise and contributions to the chapter provide her with the ability to provide leadership across various departments and programs.