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Red Cross fundraiser benefits county and mothers

The Marengo County American Red Cross has been very busy lately weaving the biggest Mother’s Day basket ever. For the last few weeks the Red Cross, along with local volunteer fire departments, has been selling tickets for a special drawing to be held Friday May 6 at noon in the office of Probate Judge Cindy Nielson.

The grand prize will be a Mother’s Day basket valued at over $700 with all sorts of goodies inside.

Ticket buyers get a chance to win the basket, but they also get an opportunity to help out their local fire and rescue squads. A portion of the money will go to disaster and fire relief funds so they can continue to be there in times of need.

Marengo County American Red Cross Director Brenda Weaver said the response has been unbelievable so far.

“We started off with it being $500 and before we knew it we had $670,” Weaver said. “We are selling chances for a dollar for the basket and it all stays in Marengo County for disasters.”

Unfortunately, Marengo County has had more than its fair share of disasters in the past year. Weaver said the problems had depleted their funds making the fundraiser even more important.

“We have already had 21 fires right here in Marengo County since January,” Weaver said. “Ivan from 2004 and the tornado just totally took any money that we had left so this was an important fundraiser and it has gone over better than I had ever expected.”

Weaver recently met with all area volunteer fire departments and gave them packets with tickets to sell. She said the departments had jumped on board full force and some had even exceeded their goals.

“Bruce Baker from Dixon Mills called this morning and said he needed more so that is great,” Weaver said. “Everything has been donated and everything we get is just strictly pure profit going into the basket which ups our disaster and fire funds for Marengo County.”

Weaver said the people of Marengo County have also answered the call. She said because of the recent disasters everyone has recognized the need to build up funds.

Weaver has put a lot of work into the effort and it has inspired many local volunteers to jump on board. Denny Bayham, a member of the Marengo County Rescue Squad, said he greatly appreciated the effort Weaver was putting forth.

“She has done an excellent job,” Bayham said. “She has really poured her heart into it.”

Tickets are still available for a $1 donation. They can be purchased from local volunteers or at the American Red Cross Office in Linden by calling 334-295-0805.