Red Cross hosts Marshall themed fundraiser

Published 10:22 am Friday, August 21, 2009

The Red Cross will be hosting its fourth annual Thunder on the River on Saturday, August 29, in order to raise money to use for the assistance of victims around Lawrence, Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, and Mason counties.

The event is Marshall University themed and is being called a “herd rally.” Event coordinator Becky Howard said they thought Marshall was a good choice since it is local and an element of interest for most people.

“Basically, we and our sponsors are having this event to kick off Marshall’s football season,” she said.

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The event is the main organized fundraiser of the year for the Red Cross. Money is collected by way of tickets costing $75 per person. Howard said the money is well spent since there will be a dinner, an open bar, dancing, a silent auction, and a raffle ticket for the chance to win a two person all inclusive cruise to the Bahamas. Additionally, tickets are tax deductible.

Howard said more than 400 people attended last years and they even had to turn some people away. She is hoping it is the same this year.

“This is the only disaster benefit we do,” Howard said. “It’s a once a year thing. It’s crucial that we raise money for these victims.”

Emergency Services Coordinator Kelli Mease said that in 2008, 68 cases and 148 individuals were assisted by the Red Cross in Lawrence County alone. She said 42 cases have been taken up by the Red Cross in Lawrence County just between January and June of this year. These 42 cases cost the Red Cross about $18 thousand.

“We can easily spend $13 thousand a month in assistance,” Mease said. “It’s just really important for people to come out and support us.”

Lawrence County has the most house fires of any of the five counties, Mease said. She also said that Pedro tends to have the most flooding problems.

“We have had a lot of house fires in the tri-state,” Howard said. “It’s unbelievable how many small house fires occur.”

Although both Howard and Mease hope to raise a lot of money at the Thunder on the River, Mease said donations are needed constantly.

“We really count on people who send in money throughout the year,” Mease said. “It’s really essential to our program so that we can provide necessities for our clients.”

Tickets can be bought online at or by calling (304) 526 – 2907. The event goes from 7pm till 11pm. Parents should leave children at home – this event is only for those who are 21 and up.