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Red Cross fund-raiser eyes storm preparation

American Red Cross volunteers are working to raise funds inanticipation of hurricane season, which begins June 1.

Local chapter Red Cross funds are low this year because of theflood of evacuees fleeing coastal areas in the last hurricaneseason, when Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne devastated largeareas from Florida to Mississippi, said Layla Edwards, president ofthe local chapter.

In response, the local chapter is holding a raffle to replacedepleted funds.

“By buying these tickets, people are donating to the local RedCross,” she said. “This money will be spent here, not nationally orelsewhere in the state.”

Items being raffled include a football autographed by themembers of the 2004-2005 Brookhaven High School championship team,a $50 gift certificate from Dixie Springs Cafe with round-triplimousine service provided by Tyler Limo Service, a framed magnoliaprint from Southwest Framing, a 10-quart cast iron pot set withcooker from Herring Gas and $100 cash from 48 Salvage.

Winners will be able to choose prizes in the order they aredrawn.

Tickets will be available until the day of the drawing, Aug. 12,and can be purchased at the organization’s office or by callingEdwards at (601) 833-2771 or Kim Carr, disaster chair, at (601)757-2869.

“We encourage any businesses who are interested in helping theRed Cross to contact the office,” Edwards said.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1 and endsNov. 30. Expert hurricane predictor William Gray forecasts theAtlantic will spawn 14 named tropical storms this year and thateight of them will grow into hurricanes.