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1:35 am
Fri March 18, 2011

Emphasis - March 18

Keokuk, IA ā€“ Jason Parrott's guest is Karole Smith. She is the Executive Director of the Lee County chapter of the American Red Cross.

They talk about the services offered by the group and how fundraising efforts are proceeding.

Smith says her organization has four priorities.

She says that while the Red Cross is widely known for its disaster response, it also offers health and safety classes, supports the armed forces, and organizes blood donations.

Smith says her organization must raise funds locally to address those priorites. She says no state or federal funding is available, though she is constantly applying for grants.

Smith says fundraising efforts have struggled over the last couple of years because of the economy and disasters across the country.

Smith says the Heroes fundraising campaign kicked off last month with a pool tournament at a bar in downtown Keokuk. Upcoming events includes a raffle at the South Side Boat Club in Keokuk, restaurant donations in Fort Madison, and a poker run through Lee County.

Smith says the Lee County chapter of the American Red Cross is also selling tickets for the Burlington Bees' Community Basket raffle. She says her group earns $1 for each ticket sold.

Smith says if every family in Lee County donated just $5, that could cover 75% of her organization's budget.

Smith says all funds raised are spent locally.