(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Rose Mary Polston, one of the Red Cross Chickasawba District Heroes in the Manila and Leachville area, asked for volunteers to help in the fundraiser and issued their warrants.
The Heroes agree to raise $1,000 each for the local Red Cross Chapter and Polston decided on an "arrest and bail" project as one of her projects.
Constable and Manila City Councilman Larry "Whiz" Davis was one of the 10 volunteers.
"It has been almost six years to the day when the devastating tornado came through Manila on April 16, 1998. I know how the Red Cross helped me and my neighbors. Without their help, I don't know what we would have done. They fed us for almost a week. The tornado came in the middle of the night and by day light, volunteers from the Red Cross were here knocking on our doors," Davis said. "We had no electricity, lines were down and trees and debris covered our property."
Polston said it was the tornado experience that also prompted her to become a Red Cross Volunteer. She became a volunteer six years ago and has served as a board member for the last four years. She also is chairman of the financial board.
"We have to raise $50,000 a year to function," Polston said. "The Heroes campaign is one way that we raise money. The money from this campaign stays in the local Chapter. The Heroes campaign is a grassroots project that gives people the opportunity to help the Red Cross help when and where we are needed.
"Last quarter we had 40 military cases. It is expensive but we are the link during emergencies. Whenever there is a residential fire in our area, a Red Cross volunteer is there to make sure the families' immediate needs are met. We are fortunate to have the regional structure in our area. It is important to the entire community to keep our Chapter.
"I appreciate all of the volunteers that came out today to help in this project. We appreciate all that contribute," Polston said.
Volunteers joining Whiz Davis to raise money were Tammy Johnson, Liz Shaneyfelt, Ferrel Duffel, Danny Robbins, Brenda Watson, Donna Jackson, Denny Farmer, Tracy Reinhart, William Davis and Craig Russell.
Several of the volunteers paid their "bail" up front. Others were allowed as many telephone calls as they needed to raise their "get out of jail" money. Whiz Davis's son-in-law came to his rescue.
William Davis, manager of Sonic in Manila, called his young employees for help and they did make him wait until after the "rush" before coming to his rescue. They raised $51 to get their "boss" back at work.
Craig Russell, Manila Methodist minister, called on several of his members for help raising his bail. He was one of the last to get "bailed out" as he finally made contact on several of his calls.
One of his church members agreed to pay part of his bail but asked him if he could wash windows.
They did manage to get him out in time for his Sunday morning sermon.
The Saturday fundraising project was one of several that Polston had sponsored.
"We thank everyone that supported our Heroes Campaign 2004. Without the volunteers and the support of the communities, the work that is done would be impossible," Polston said.