American Red Cross aids Misawa Airmen, raises funds Published March 27, 2009 By Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- March is Red Cross month. During this month, the ARC raises public awareness of their activities and promotes fundraising to help those in need. The ARC follows the International Red Cross movement and more specifically provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. At military bases, their role is slightly different, focusing on military members and their families. "The primary mission of the ARC at Misawa is to provide emergency communication services," said Kathryn Lasky, Misawa ARC public relations chair and native of Cheyenne, Wyo. The ARC emergency communications services can be a fast, reliable channel to inform military members about major family issues no matter where an Airman, Soldier, Sailor, or Marine may be. "Servicing our emergency communication messages gives this volunteer job a real sense of purpose," said Erin Leonard, a volunteer since 2007. "We are here to help servicemembers in a great time of need and it is satisfying to know that you have helped them." In addition, the ARC provides and coordinates volunteer opportunities at the hospital, Pets Are Worth Saving animal rescue, legal office, tax center, American Day celebration, and the post office. They also offer CPR, first aid, and babysitting classes. Eligible dependents can even receive dental assistant training through a partnership between the ARC and the 35th Dental Squadron. The Red Cross is not funded directly by the base, so it relies on charitable contributions from members of the community. To help raise funds this month, they organized a pie in the face contest. Air Force first sergeants and representatives from the Army and Navy challenged their units to donate money in their names. The people with the most and least amount of money will receive a pie in the face on April 1 at 12 p.m. in front of the base exchange. Ms. Lasky and the other volunteers added a twist, allowing "winners" the opportunity to buy their way out of a pie by matching their donations, passing the pastry pleasure to the runner-up. Additionally, the honor of throwing the pie will be auctioned off April 1. The Misawa ARC will be accepting donations for the contest at their office in building 674 until noon on March 31.