We were honored today to have as our guest speaker, Gary Strong who is C.E.O. of the Gold Country Region of the Red Cross. Being that he is a friend of Gary's, Frank Pease took to the introduction. He said that Gary had worked as controller for the L.A. times, over 10 years as Senior V.P. of Finance for the Sacramento Bee and has spent the last 5 years as C.E.O. of the Red Cross, Gold Country Region.
Gary took to the podium and announced that he also is a Rotarian with the Sacramento Club. He said that the Red Cross is similar to Rotary in that it is run mostly by volunteers, is not for profit and a very efficient organization. He produced a mission statement of the Red Cross:
In Northern California, the Red Cross has helped and is known for it's Disaster Relief. For instance, at the time of the Oroville Dam crisis, Red Cross evacuated 180,000 people and helped them find shelter. Also in the Camp Fire, they sheltered 1000 people for 3 months, and in the recent wild fires, over the period of 4 months, people were given shelter and food. In our times of COVIC-19, people were taken to hotel rooms all over California. In Northern California, Gary says that home fires occur at the rate of 3 times per day and the Red Cross volunteers find a place to sleep and money for the victims. The Red Cross helps people to prepare for disaster, when they are in a disaster, and to restore people to normalcy after the event. 
Above: Even though they are not known for this in Northern California, a slide is shown about the Red Cross program for giving blood,  Nationwide, the Red Cross supplies 40% of the blood donations made and is a 2 billion dollar operation! They have an office across from Cal Expo and have a blood drive there every two weeks.
Although, each country has it's own Red Cross around the world, the American Red Cross helps to re-unify people who have lost family members and in 2001, they have worked to vaccinate people who have measles. Like Rotary, they have helped reduce Rubella Measles deaths from 1/2 million world wide to 100,000 per year.
Gary tells the interesting story of the origins of the Red Cross, how Andre Dunant (early 1800s) noted that injured people were just left on the battle field to die after a battle (during one of the Italian wars for independence) and he arranged an organization to try to save them and then, fast forward to the Civil War when Clara Barton noticed the same thing and with other nurses, established the American Red Cross. Gary says that the American Red Cross helps out the military from "Soup to Nuts" - they will fund bringing a military person home when there is a problem with his/her family, help during during deployment and help getting reintroduced to civilian life. The are there for homeless vets and military burials.
So March is "Red Cross Month" and you can participate in "giving day" on March 24  March was designated as "Red Cross Month" by F.D.R. in 1943. Gary thinks that Rotarians are a good fit to become Red Cross volunteers - you can go to redcross.org/goldcountry. You can do "virtual" training to become a Red Cross volunteer. Gary ended by giving the fact that a number one killer in the U.S. is single home fires. The Red Cross volunteers check smoke alarms to make sure they are working. They have saved over 170 lives this year. 
So, President David, for the 31st time this year, impressed our guest speaker, Gary, by announcing that a book will be donated (in his name) to the Carmichael Library (subsidiary of the Sacramento Public Library.....