First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Announces Launch of American Red Cross Campaign for Disaster Relief

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, November 18, 2008  
Contact Information:  Jay Blanton/Susan Rieber, 502-564-2611
Amber Youngblood, American Red Cross, 502-561-3711

Humana’s lead contribution kicks-off initiative

FRANKFORT, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today announced Kentucky’s statewide effort to assist the National American Red Cross (ARC) in its $100 million Campaign for Disaster Relief fundraising initiative.

“I am thrilled to chair the Honorary Campaign Committee and help raise awareness of the unique role Red Cross plays in serving residents affected by disaster,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “This campaign provides Kentuckians with the opportunity to improve disaster preparedness for the Commonwealth.”

The First Lady will serve along with Madeline Abramson, wife of Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and Cheryl Ann Newberry, wife of Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry, as Honorary Campaign Chairs for Kentucky. Along with a group of volunteers across the commonwealth, they will assist Red Cross members in seeking funding to meet Kentucky’s goal of $2 million.

To kick-off the initiative, the Kentucky-based Humana Corporation made the lead contribution of $300,000. In just the past five years, Humana and its employees have contributed more than $1.8 million to the National Disaster Relief Fund, international Red Cross relief efforts and to the Louisville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross for regional disaster preparedness.

All chapters draw money from the National Disaster Relief Fund to pay for services delivered in large disaster relief operations. The Louisville Area Chapter, in cooperation with the Bluegrass Chapter in Lexington will join together to take the lead in the state endeavor to replenish the National Disaster Relief Fund.

The American Red Cross is a nonprofit organization comprised of over 700 chapters, chartered by Congress to provide immediate disaster relief services to all residents of the United States. Red Cross disaster relief services, including shelter, food, water and immediate care delivered free of charge. Kentucky Red Cross chapters have responded to almost 14,000 disasters in the past 10 years.


Listen to the First Lady's remarks at the event (2.19MB MP3)