Red Cross honors Ray, Newman

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NATCHEZ — The Adams County American Red Cross Director Debra Davis said so many good people helped this year that the chapter had to name two Volunteers of the Year.

The late Claude Ray, 20, and Rosa Newman, who served on the chapter’s board of directors as secretary, received the 2009-2010 Volunteer of the Year honors at the annual report to the community Tuesday.

“C and Rosa had risen to the top,” Red Cross Chapter Chairman Everard Baker said. “They were the cream of the crop.”

In his life, Ray had touched many lives through his work with the Red Cross, Adams County Search and Rescue and the Foster Mound Road Volunteer Fire Department, Baker said.

“C was just special to the whole community,” Baker said. “He did not mind giving and he did not ask for anything in return.

“His middle name was ‘Help You.’ He was a kid to model your own kids after.”

Eddie Ray, Claude Ray’s father, said it was an honor for his son, who was also an Eagle Scout, to receive the Volunteer of the Year award.

“It was not that he was looking to get an award,” Eddie Ray said. “He was just looking to please people.”

Baker said Newman, who works at American Medical Response, was dedicated to the Red Cross.

“If she was not working, she was with the Red Cross,” Baker said. “I’ve seen her come in after a 12 hour shift and teach her health and safety class.”

Davis said Newman was responsible for bringing in 80 percent of the $8,000 the health and safety class made this year and that Newman was an inspiration.

“She has been there to help guide me in my first year,” Davis said. “She is also always willing to come with me if I need to travel somewhere.

“She has done a whole lot.”

Newman said she felt humbled to have received the award.

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above — from God,” Newman said. “I have been very blessed by God and enjoy giving back to others.”

Newman said she would encourage all to join the Natchez chapter of the American Red Cross.

“The Red Cross runs on volunteers,” Newman said. “The laborers are few, but the harvest is plenty.”

Davis also announced that the Natchez Chapter was responsible for $38,000 in the Haiti relief effort by the Red Cross.