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Tribute To The Grand Canyon Chapter Of The American Red Cross

Rep. John D. Hayworth

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor and recognition of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross as they celebrate 90 years of service in Arizona.

Since 1916, the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter, headquartered in Phoenix, is where the people of Arizona come together to help one another. The passionate volunteers and staff who make up the Grand Canyon Chapter provide care, comfort and lifesaving skills to millions of people in Arizona. Volunteers serve their neighbors throughout the 10 counties in the northern two-thirds of Arizona, a population of 4.5 million.

Arizonans benefit from programs that provide meaningful assistance and lift the spirit of individuals and families throughout our communities. The chapter is a leader in water safety instruction. I am particularly proud of their ``Water Whiz Kids'' program, which teaches backyard pool safety to children and also provides infant and child CPR training to their parents.

Within my district, the Grand Canyon Chapter is there when a disaster strikes thousands, and when it strikes only one. In May of this year, in the wake of the Tradewinds Apartment fire in Mesa, Red Cross volunteers assisted 34 families, served 400 meals, and distributed 125 comfort kits. Another local emergency response was the Cave Creek Complex Fire last year where 36 Red Cross volunteers opened a shelter and provided 23 residents with meals and comfort kits.

The American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter has also played an instrumental role in assisting after national disasters outside Arizona, including Hurricane Katrina. Last year, over 100 Red Cross volunteers from Arizona deployed to the gulf voast to help with the disaster response. The Grand Canyon Chapter also operated a national call center for disaster victims throughout the country. Impressively, with only 30 hours advance notice, the Chapter organized ``Operation Good Neighbor Shelter'' at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, helping more than 1,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees in our State last year. These evacuees were displaced and relocated from the gulf coast, suddenly finding themselves hundreds of miles from their homes, yet upon their arrival, they were the recipients of the warm ``compassion in action'' that exemplifies the Red Cross volunteer and the spirit of Arizonans: good neighbors helping new neighbors during drastic times.

Mr. Speaker and colleagues, please join me to honor and recognize the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter on its 90th birthday. With congratulations and gratitude for the excellent work they do to enrich our lives, I am pleased to recognize their service to our communities throughout the great State of Arizona.