PARKERSBURG - Four area mayors joined forces with the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross March 8 to recognize March as Red Cross Month.
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell and Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz met with the chapter's executive director Sharon Callow to sign a proclamation.
"I invited the local mayors to join us for Red Cross Month to celebrate the work we have done together for the communities," Callow said. "The Red Cross is very excited the cities support our organization and the services we provide."
Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp and Williamstown Mayor Jean Ford were unable to attend the event in the Parkersburg City Building, but signed the proclamation at another time.
Newell and Lorentz cited the June 29, 2012, derecho that hit the Mid-Atlantic region and left nearly 4 million households without power and damage to homes, businesses, roads and communications infrastructure for days and weeks as a reason they and their communities support the organization.
"The American Red Cross was a huge benefit to us during the storm last June and we in the communities are proud to support them in any way we can," Newell said.
Belpre and areas of Parkersburg were without power and other issues for several days following the storm, which left many people in need of a safe place to stay, food and water.
"Last year was the second time we in Belpre had to call on the Red Cross for help and no matter what they are always there," Lorentz said. "We are grateful to them for everything."
March has been Red Cross Month since President Franklin D. Roosevelt first proclaimed it in 1943. Since then, every U.S. president has designated the third month of each year to recognize the organization that has been synonymous with helping people with a variety of services for more than 130 years.
The Red Cross responds to roughly 70,000 disasters a year nationally, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected.