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Countywide : Red Cross Salutes Its Major Donors

Orange County Red Cross officials rolled out the red carpet Thursday night for companies and individuals who assisted in local disaster relief, including donations for last fall’s Laguna Beach firestorm.

The Red Cross collected nearly $700,000 to help fire victims and more than $500,000 worth of goods including shovels, gloves, food, clothes, sheets, even 800 cameras for documenting fire damage, Red Cross spokeswoman Judy Iannaccone said.

“During the fire our back parking lot here was like Grand Central Station. We had one semi-tractor trailer showing up after another,” she said. “We’re very, very fortunate and glad that these corporations have come forward . . . but we need this support on an annual basis.”

During an awards ceremony at the Red Cross office in Santa Ana, Red Cross officials honored representatives of 160 corporations and 135 individuals. Donors included the L.A. Kings, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, FHP Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente and Auto Trader magazine.

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Those being honored received plaques and chatted with volunteers. In addition to the fire relief money, the Irvine Co. and nine other corporations donated money to help the Red Cross meet a matching grant of $400,000 from an anonymous donor for general operations.

Disaster preparedness is still on the minds of many Laguna Beach residents. Jill Brandenburger, Red Cross Laguna Beach outreach coordinator, said she handed out hundreds of disaster guideline pamphlets this week as rain pelted the area.

Brandenburger will offer a free introduction to disaster services March 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. on the third floor of the Wells Fargo Bank Building, 260 Ocean Ave. To register, call (714) 835-5381, Ext. 140.


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