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Red Cross board hears annual report

The Mid-South Mississippi Chapter of the American Red Crossspent nearly twice what it generated in fire assistance fundingduring the 2007 fiscal year, but it did not prevent them fromcontinuing their mission, an official said Tuesday.

Board members received the annual report of the organization’soperations Tuesday during a meeting at the Brookhaven office. TheMid-South Mississippi Chapter includes Lawrence, Lincoln and Pikecounties.

Layla Case, chapter director, said it spent $31,000 between July1, 2006, and June 30, 2007, on assisting families after their homewas destroyed by fire. The amount was more than twice the $15,000budgeted for those activities.

The Red Cross provides comfort to families displaced by fire aswell as assistance with shelter, clothing, eyeglasses, personalitems and food, regardless of income or insurance coverage.

“We spent more than we received last year,” Case said. “Wealways spend more on fire assistance than we do anything else.”

In addition, Case said the cost of other operations met thebudgeted goals.

“This just illustrates the importance of fundraising,” shesaid.

Case said during a summer meeting earlier in the year, boardmembers and volunteers agreed a more aggressive approach tofundraising was needed and made tentative plans for a series ofevents.

Those events began in September with a booth at the Ole BrookFestival selling snowballs and cotton candy.

“It did really well,” Case said. “We sold out ofeverything.”

The chapter continued to offer first aid, CPR, aquatics andother training during 2007, certifying more than 300 people duringthe workshops. It also trained more than 100 participants indisaster training courses, such as shelter operations.

“There is no revenue off the district training, but it gets itout there,” Case said.

The ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locales hasprompted the local chapter to participate in its chartered role toprovide emergency communications and financial assistance toservicemen and their families, she said.

The chapter provided 114 military messages and made five loansto military families during the year, Case said.