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Written by Bryan Meyers

The night before the Eagles Super Bowl victory parade, I strolled down Vine Street in the cold and windy rain. Heading for Logan Square, I saw the Jumbotrons with 24-speaker setups. As I walked the Ben Franklin Parkway, dozens of port-o-potties were stationed alongside the stretch of road leading to the Art Museum. Production trucks rumbled as generators offered light to workers drenched in rain. The Eagles flags flew high in the night.

The City of Philadelphia planned for approximately 2 million people to attend the Eagles Super Bowl victory parade — giving public workers the day off and closing schools. In just a few short hours, this area would be packed with rowdy Eagles fans, celebrating their long-awaited Super Bowl victory.

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Anticipating the large crowds and cold temperatures, the Red Cross suggested the public dress warm, prepare for long walks, and bring snacks.

Public transit also geared up for the impending overload to their system. SEPTA’s regional rail sold out half-a-million transit tickets within 24 hours. Independence Blue Cross took on the costs of the Broad-Street and Market-Frankford subway lines.

The Super Bowl champions started from the Sports Complex, south of Oregon Avenue, and headed north up Broad Street.

The Eagles fans were more than ready.

With the warm sunlight pouring onto the Eagles Super Bowl victory parade. “E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!” could be heard throughout the streets of Philadelphia.

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The parade began at 11 a.m. Although, people were gathering around the Art Museum steps some twelve hours prior. They even crossed the Delaware River via the Ben Franklin Bridge through the early morning hours.

There was nothing that could stop riled Eagles fans from participating in a city-wide celebration.

Medic (EMS) tents were positioned in two locations on the Ben Franklin Parkway by the Philadelphia Fire Department. Alpha-numeric “location markers” were also posted along the parkway “to clearly and easily identify a location or section … to facilitate communication in the event of an emergency.”

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Road closures and parking restrictions along the parade route were mandated, while meter and time limit regulations from the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) were not enforced.

Thus the celebrations rang out, wild and free, with the late-afternoon sunshine.

The Philadelphia Eagles were Super Bowl champions.

Written by Sam Antenucci

I was anticipating a rowdy crowd, after all the Eagles just won their very first Super Bowl. My group of friends and I ventured into the massive crowds around the Art Museum and were immediately overwhelmed with the sheer volume of Eagles fans. People of all ages gathered around, cheering to see their sports heroes paraded around after their victorious win against the Patriots.

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Before we descended into the sea of green jerseys, we set a meeting point at a local café on Fairmount Avenue. The Red Cross suggested that groups traveling to the parade designate a meeting point in case anyone got lost in the shuffle. The Red Cross also ran a reunification center at 30th Street Station, assisting families separated by the frenzy of the parade.

With our phones at our side, we linked arms and made our way down as far as we could to see the parade. I was pleasantly surprised by the courtesy and energy of the crowd. Even through their excitement, a please and thank you went a long way. As my friends and I descended into the masses, we had several groups of people help find a good spot for us to see the parade by clearing paths to the procession.

We got as far as we could, when we decided to stay near a mother and her three children. When I asked them how they felt about the crowds, they told me that everyone was very courteous and looked out for each other. The mother told me how she didn’t any trouble getting her young kids to a nice spot to see the parade. Another woman and her friends stood ahead of us and began to explain that even though Eagles fans have a reputation for being a rough fan base, everyone was here to celebrate an amazing victory with their favorite team. That sense of community filled all of Philadelphia and it was apparent in the lively energy of the crowd. Whether you were a stranger or not, the sense of family, community, and security was felt by all that day.

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We found ourselves thoroughly enjoying the parade. We made sure to stand guard and watch after the woman’s children, making sure they wouldn’t get pushed around within the crowds and had a decent view of the show. Once the Eagles arrived on the busses, cheering and waving to the crowd, the fans reciprocated their excitement with cheers. Cell phones flew into the air to take videos and pictures. To be a part of this historical event was an honor that nearly all Philadelphians had the chance to experience as one united community!

While the parade was certainly new and exciting, it is always important to exercise caution when venturing out in crowds. In case you get separated from your group, make sure to let a local police officer know and establish ahead of time a meeting point everyone can go too. Take only the necessities like your cellphone, a small sum of money, water, snacks, and your I.D. card. Most importantly, as a community event, look out for one another, especially the elderly and the children. We are one giant community celebrating the marvelous victory of the Eagles. Philly reintroduced the meaning of our wonderful city’s name; the city of brotherly love.

The people who serve our armed forces are very essential to the safety and protection of the freedom, inalienable rights, and security of our great nation. However, sacrifice for the good of the nation for many soldiers is often one to their own well-being.

15155385434_d93a849b45_m While enduring the horrors of war and living a life estranged from that of a civilian, many develop and suffer from PTSD and lose touch with life outside of war and duty. Furthermore, there are many veterans who still suffer these ills developed from heeding the call to duty. Therefore, it is important that those serving or who have once served be honored today for their selflessness. Veterans Day should not be merely looked upon as just another bank holiday but as a celebration to those who give up their sanity, health, and former existence for the sake of maintaining our freedom.

Through its volunteer work and services given to veterans and soldiers, the Red Cross does just that. The Red Cross provides Reconnection Workshops which help post-deployed soldiers reconnect with their families and reintegrate into civilian life through the help of mental-health professionals. Also, it offers a Coping with Deployment course used to help families of the deployed cope with the departure of their loved ones.

Locally, the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania recently held a Veterans Day Ceremony at the 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia. American Red Cross Divisional Disaster Executive and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, Scott Graham delivered the keynote address honoring all who served in the United States Military. Lt Col Graham said that, while serving in Iraq, he was grateful for a Red Cross Emergency Communication about the passing of his mother in law. In his last tour of duty, he served with several superior officers who were also in Vietnam. He told a story of returning to a celebratory homecoming and how much that meant to his superiors, who had returned from Vietnam to silence and shame.15584753497_2da892a9c8_o

After the ceremony, Red Cross employees, volunteers and members of the Girard Academic Music Program Red Cross Club distributed, 200 “Totes of Hope”(See Photos)to four local veteran’s service organizations that support homeless veterans in the Philadelphia area: Support Homeless Veterans, The Veterans Group, Safe Haven and Project Home. The totes contained items like toothbrushes, soap, dental floss, band aids, t-shirts, socks, rain ponchos and pocket tissues. In addition, there was information about essential support programs offered by local agencies.

It is programs such as these that demonstrate the Red Cross initiative to remember those who have fought and suffered on the country’s behalf. Knowing that such programs exist for these dedicated men and women makes me very proud to serve as a volunteer for the Red Cross.

— Submitted by Communications Volunteer Betty Thomas

Front of City Hall

Capture a waving Red Cross flag in a photo between March 1 and March 6? Post it to Twitter or Facebook to enter a drawing for tickets to the Red Ball!

 

March is designated as the month to recognize the achievements of the Red Cross locally, nationally and internationally.

In the Philadelphia area, we celebrate by flying the telltale red and white flags around Center City, and City Hall. The effect is striking in several ways: the stark red and white of the flags looks striking against the brisk blue sky of early March, they add to the grandeur of Liberty Square, and they remind one and all of the essential role of the Red Cross in our community.

City Hall is not the only place flying flags. Starting Saturday, March 1st, there will be dozens of Red Cross flags flying in downtown Media and West Chester, as well.

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For the week leading up to our 14th annual Red Ball – the Red Cross’s grand celebration party at the Please Touch Museum on March 8 – we invite our social media community to play a modified game of Capture the Flag. If you see a Red Cross flag in your community, take a photo and post it with the location to Twitter or to our Facebook page and mention us (@redcrossphilly) and use hashtag #redcrossflag. Feel free to be creative and by all means, feel free to make them selfies. We’ll RT as many as we can.

We will enter you in a drawing for two Main Event Red Ball Tickets on March 6 for each photo you send. (Maximum of five entries.) We will select one suburban photo and one Philadelphia photo winner. They will be announced on our Twitter and Facebook feeds and the tickets will be available for pick up at the Red Ball. For details on the Red Ball, visit theredball.org.

While you’re snapping those photos, enjoy some of the other ways the Red Cross is celebrating. Look out for lights as well! Even coffee clutches are getting in on the action!

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The beautiful Ben Franklin Bridge will be dressed in red starting March 1st. The red lights can also be seen at One Liberty Place, Hyatt Penn’s Landing, the Cira Center and on the PECO Crown Lights. Wawa coffee will sport the red and white and we all know the coffee at Wawa is HOT! Protect yourself with the help of the Red Cross. Enjoy!BenFranklinBridge

Please TouchIn some ways, the Red Ball, a gala event sponsored by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Red Cross, is as old fashioned as the Red Cross itself.  It takes place in the architecturally stunning Please

Touch Museum, a carefully preserved monument to Philadelphia’s Beaux-Arts heyday.  Guests wear their finest party clothes, as they would have 100 years ago. There is fantastic food from

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Philadelphia’s best chefs and dancing to live music.  And there is profound sense of community:  We come together to support the work of the Red Cross in our City of Brotherly Love because it embodies our most deeply held values. It’s a really special event.

That said, let’s talk about the clothes! How often is there an occasion for a fabulous full length ball gown? What about those incredibly sharp tuxedos with the red satin cummerbund and bow tie? Still yearning to make up for that disappointing prom dress? Now is your chance. Treat yourself to some amazing attire. And guys, this is a formal occasion. Show your date, and the cause, some respect and look in an actual tuxedo. And don’t borrow Dad’s from the 70s. Stop by Black Tie Philadelphia. You’ll be amazed at how comfortable you are in one that actually fits.

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What’s the point in looking incredibly good, if there’s not a way to show off? The Red Ball has its own Red Carpet, and as soon as you place your foot upon it make sure to prepare for your Joan Rivers interview because that’s how stunning you’ll look. Professional photographers will be there to take a picture of your date, your mate, your friends and anyone else in your entourage. Check out some of the fun and finery from last year’s ball here.

Did you know the Red Ball is a place where skilled chefs compete for your approval? They display their comestibles at several tables near the dance floor, and guests have the opportunity to sample, enjoy, and vote for the best by placing a special token in a box by each chef’s table.  If you are a chef or restaurant representative and would like to be involved, check out this restaurant brochure.  In the VIP room, fine Italian cuisine will be provided by Catelli Duo.  At the end of the evening, the winner of the Red Ball Restaurant Award is announced.Red Ball Food

The Red Ball’s Auction and Raffle prize selection will include fitness, beauty, and entertainment packages galore! It’s so satisfying to take home a prize to remember the evening and know you supported a great cause – especially if the prize is something fun like tickets to a local sporting event or a massage at an excellent spa.

Dance the night away at the 2014 Red Ball with the CTO Band. Since our very first Red Ball, the CTO Band has kept the dance floor moving. For those who enjoy softer jazz, George Veasley will return to play the Carousel Room and the ride will be open to Main Event guests. The VIP room will feature not one but two dueling pianists providing light background music.

rco_blog_img_REDBALLBANDMarch is a great time of year for a party. Not only is spring on the way but March is also Red Cross Month. It is a time to recognize the efforts of our volunteers and staff and honor the roll of the Red Cross in our community. The Red Ball is a party with an essential purpose: It raises money for the Red Cross House and directly impacts the lives of those who have suffered devastating loss and who benefit from the kindness and generosity of our donors.

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On your mark, get set, GO!! . . .over to the Philadelphia Zoo on Saturday Morning October 5th for the annual Red Cross Walk/Run! The American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania hosts this crazy fun event to honor the thousands of heroes who help others in an emergency.

Officially referred to as the Red Cross Walk and Run to Save Lives, the walk/run is a 5K event that will take participants around and through the fantastic Philadelphia Zoo. Along the route, there will be water stations and motivational cheering sections. There will even be benches for those who need to rest every now and then.

You can join the event as an individual, or even better, as a team. All you need is two or more classmates, co-workers, family members or friends to receive a kit filled with ideas about how to prepare for the event. Some teams have corporate sponsorship and raise enormous amounts of money. Mere mortals might ask friends to match their donation. Prizes will be awarded for the top three individual fundraisers, as well as the top fundraising team and the top fundraising school.

 Don’t be intimidated by the word run. Participants can move through the course at whatever speed works best. If that means running, shuffling, toddling or veering off course because of a bad case of hippo amazement, we welcome the effort.

That said, the top male and female finishers will win prize money with $250 dollars going to first place, $150 to second place, and $75 to third. Also, awards will be given to the top male and female finishers in the following age groups: 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and older.

Here’s why you should come: Have you ever waved to a giraffe in the midst of your everyday exercise routine? Have you ever passed a zebra? Have you ever stopped to admire a beautiful bird or felt swifter than a leopard? Ever felt superior to a sloth? There are so many fascinating things to see and do at the zoo; it would be hard to pay attention to walk/run itself.

This is a perfect outing for young families. Get out of the house and enjoy this amazing autumn weather; come and push a stroller or two around the zoo for the Red Cross. Participants are invited to stay and enjoy the zoo for as long as they wish after the race.

In addition to the animals, large and furry Fred Cross and Ernie the ERV will be on hand to play with little ones. No longer parenting little ones? The race is a great opportunity to reconnect with a teenage. You’ll both be facing forward, so conversation should be easy. Sadly, pets are not allowed at the zoo… but there will be plenty of animals there to keep you company along the route.

The Walk and Run helps to raise funds for Red Cross House and local families left homeless by a fire, flood, or other disaster. It supports programs and services to help our community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. People are invited to “participate in honor of the hero who saved your life, a family member’s, or a friend’s – to honor the thousands of heroes who, trained by the Red Cross, are ready to help save your life.” The Red Cross would like to extend its gratitude to participants who make it possible to answer the call for help, one family at a time, whenever and wherever disaster strikes.

Blog posted by Communications Volunteer Sarah Peterson.

Red Cross CupBasking in the glow of the U.S. Open that got the entire area excited about golf?

Here’s your chance to get a taste of what Tiger, Rory, and Phil get to enjoy.

Whether you play golf often or your game is of the miniature variety, at the 11th Annual Red Cross Cup on June 24 at Waynesborough Country Club hosted by the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Plenty to do, great people to meet, bucolic PGA Tour Championship golf course setting, beautiful surroundings… your win is just a swing away.

For players, the tournament format is a shamble (Best drive – three drives per player). Traditional tournament competitions such as Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, and the Hole in One Challenge will also take place for awards and bragging rights. For observers, there’s full access to club facilities, lunch, a silent auction and a dinner and awards reception in the evening.

Be A Part of the 2013 Red Cross Cup on June 247339440504_e5c363d426
Just a few days away, the success of special events, like the Red Cross Cup, is directly attributed to the generosity of our event sponsors. You are our 5-to-1 favorite as soon as you register.

How You Help What We Do
The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania relies on individual, corporate and foundation support to help provide compassionate care for nearly 4 million people in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas. In 2011-2012, our chapter:

  • Responded to 733 disasters, including 677 fires; Housed 945 people, including 347 children – for an average 3-week stay – at Red Cross House
  • Supported 1,077 of America’s military families by providing 1,747 Services
  • Lifesaving blood supplier
  • Health & Safety Courses: Trained 113,355 participants in lifesaving techniques
  • As part of international humanitarian network, Traced 15 Cases
  • And much more!

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

submitted by: Fran Lynch, volunteer