An open letter to Toastmasters:
My sincerest thanks to the Rim Country Toastmasters Club No. 6532 of Toastmasters International for selecting me as the recipient of their Community Leadership 2004 award. What an extraordinary and unexpected honor!
Since the Rodeo-Chediski fires of 2002, a group of us, who were at the time, spontaneous local volunteers, have been dedicated to preparing ourselves for service through training to bring American Red Cross resources to the Rim Country, immediately, in the event of a similar disaster. It has been a true calling for us, its success made possible, in large part, by the American Red Cross' aggressive training program, in which they brought the training to us, and their commitment to establishing a Rim Country Service Delivery Branch.
Local efforts on the part of volunteers included outreach, cross-training, organization, pre-planning and exercises, all of which have gone very well. During the Payson Police Department's evacuation exercise on May 1, we were able to open a shelter within 45 minutes of call-out. We, your American Red Cross Local Disaster volunteers, are ready to bring disaster services to you, our community, in record time!
Thank you again for your recognition of time, service and dedicated efforts.
Lynda Papaioanu, coordinator, Rim Country Service Delivery Branch, American Red Cross