Classes and activities and parades! Oh my! A note from Michelle Percello

Happy New Year to everyone. 2011 resulted in another quiet year. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for keeping your classes up to date and being available. Even though locally we were fortunate to not be called up, many were deployed across the country and gained great experience. We are very fortunate for that.

Also, there are many health status forms which have not been filled out yet. These are to be revised each year, even though we many have no changes to make. Please see anyone at the office or call and one can be emailed to you.

There are a few classes coming up to which I’d like to draw your attention.

Thursday 2/23 – Mass Care Overview/Lee – This class is necessary to work in any Mass Care Activity and a great refresher which explains all the functions of the group and what we do.

Thursday 3/1 – Shelter Operations/Collier – Self explanatory

Tuesday 3/6 – Disaster Services Overview or DSO – This class is the one you took as your first class. It’s the welcome to the Red Cross 101 class. If you have any friends outside the Red Cross who may be interested in becoming volunteers then this would be the class they can call the chapter and sign up for.

Be sure to go to our web page and try to check it daily. On the right side of the front page is our up to date Twitter feed and you can see on a daily basis what’s going on at the chapter. This is also where you can find the chapter calendar for activities and classes in both Collier and Lee and much more.

2012 Float Project/Parades

What an exciting season this is! I can’t wait until you see the fantastic eagle float! Our theme is: “Supporting Our Military”. We will have only uniformed military members on the float and hopefully walking with us. Our float takes on a little blue to go with our red and white and we again have 2 floats. The second one, that’s the eagle… I can’t give too much away…

Check out the Twitter feed on the chapter web page for a sneak peak!

We will need as many volunteers as possible to participate in the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade – see below.

For more info: Sign up sheets are at the chapter, or email me at

I can forward you a copy of the info sheets/ sign up sheets if you didn’t get one emailed to you. It’s full of more details.

Edison Parades

Junior Parade – Sunday 2/12 at 2pm

This parade focuses on family. We bring the floats and it’s a shorter version of the night parade and includes Moms and strollers and wagons and fun! This is just downtown only. We will be staging on Bay St, probably near Hendry St. We are looking for Grandmas and Grandpas and Moms and Dads or just kids at heart to be with us. It’s a great way to represent our region. Everyone wear you Red Cross shirts, name tags etc and/or your red, white and blue! Also, bring a flag to carry and wave. Decorate your strollers etc!

Grand Parade of Lights – Saturday 2/18 at 7pm

We will again be shuttling people to the staging area from the parking area. We are to park at the American Legion Post 0038 at 1857 Jackson St. and you will be taken to the staging area at Ft Myers High School Edison Stadium. When we finish the parade, you will be at your cars and it’s also where we break down for travel. We are putting the passenger van in the parade and please ask that you ride with us. There are plenty of places to ride if you want to participate but the parade route is to long for you to walk. You can wave from the vehicle to all our southwest Florida folks who see us and know that we are there for them with strength in our numbers, when disaster does strike. It is very gratifying and not to mention all kinds of fun!

We need walkers, banner carriers, flag holders and smiles!

Again, because we are red, white and blue this year to support our military, please bring a flag to wave and very important… bring glow sticks, flashing clip on lights, flash lights, be creative! It’s an illuminated parade and we need you illuminated! Please wear your Red Cross shirts and vests if you have. We will have vests and limited other lights etc. at the staging area. Please arrive to staging area NO LATER THAN 5:30pm! I do not know exactly where we will be at the high school stadium until the event meeting 2/16 but just look for the big lighted Red Cross!

Thank you to all who have helped on the 2012 Float Building Project. We have some great new volunteers who have joined us and excellent veteran float builders. It’s not only a float builder, but a team builder project. It’s also not too late to join us. We will be meeting all year. Chat with someone who is on the project to see if you might be able to become involved too!

The Hot Air Balloon Ride Fundraiser/Raffle to raise money for the float was a great success and we have to thank volunteer and 39 year veteran pilot Dave Bobel for this great fundraiser! The drawing will be held at the volunteer meeting Thursday 2/2. He also gave away a ride to the person who sold the most raffle tickets….. We just don’t know who it is yet as of press time. If you have ever been interested in hot air balloons and want to take a ride, just call Dave at 931-4534.

Thank you again to great volunteers and let’s have a calm fire season too.


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