Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 2, 2013

Carter honored for 75 years of volunteering at Red Cross

ASHLAND — World War II was still in Europe and the 1937 flood was waiting to happen when Virginia Carter began as a volunteer for the American Red Cross in Boyd County.

Through the years, she has done everything from sort clothing to baking and shipping cookies to service members around the world. On Friday morning she was given the key to the city, proclaimed a “Hometown Hero” on local television and shown appreciation by a small army of friends and supporters.

“If I had a hundred Jennys, I’d be a happy girl,” said Vicki James, Northeast Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross executive director, as a steady stream of donors arrived at Ashland’s Central Fire Station for a blood drive.

“To stay with one organization for 75 years is an amazing feat.”

Born in Bath County, Carter moved to Ashland in 1937 and was almost immediately involved with a friend who asked her to help pack boxes for servicemen. Soon, she was participating in the “Knittin’ for Britain,” program, making sweaters and rolling bandages for the war effort.

She remembers packing boxes of relief items for flood victims in Whitesburg during the 1940s, and is perhaps best known for the batches of chocolate chip cookies she shipped to soldiers as far away as Vietnam.

At 92, she continues to be an active Red Cross volunteer and assists donors during monthly blood drives.

“She takes her job very seriously,” said James. “So much so that she has shown up to volunteer with a broken wrist and another time a walking cast on her foot.”

James said she is amazed Carter has been able to devote so many years of service to a single organization.

“There is no way to put a monetary value on her gift to our chapter and the community through service to Red Cross,” James said, noting Carter is a perfect example of the “Everyday Heroes” theme for March, which has been declared American Red Cross Month.

“She is our everyday hero,” James said, adding she hopes Carter’s story will inspire younger people to get involved with community organizations.

The volunteer seemed caught off guard Friday morning as the Red Cross boss directed the attention of everyone in the room toward her. Her initial look of disbelief soon melted, however, as old friends bearing bouquets and other gifts began to file in from one side expecting hugs and handshakes. Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles read a resolution honoring her and asked the audience to imagine what the city could accomplish if it had a hundred Virginia Carters. City Commissioner Marty Gute presented Carter with a key to the city.

Drawing the most applause during the ceremony, James read a letter to Carter offering the regards of the “Big Blue Nation” and signed by University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari. James explained Carter “is a diehard UK fan,” who enjoyed meeting the coach when he visited Ashland after the Wildcats won the NCAA tournament.

Smiling throughout the ceremony, Carter said she has also benefited from her longstanding relationship with the Red Cross.

“I’ve enjoyed it ... all these years. I’ve enjoyed every bit of it,” she said.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

Text Only
Local News
  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723copshots1.JPG Focus on law enforcement

    Members of several local and regional law enforcement agencies hit the streets of downtown Ashland Tuesday armed with digital cameras and assignment sheets as they completed in-service photography instruction through the Department of Criminal Justice.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Obama admin. says health subsidies will continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • State’s longest trail system turns 35

    The Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the National Recreation Trail system in 1979. After 35 years, the trail remains Kentucky’s longest distance trail, estimated at 307 miles.

    July 21, 2014

  • Pancake releases new album

    The top of the Sky Tower in downtown Ashland was booming Saturday night with music from Larry Pancake’s new album “Fair Weather Friend.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Telephone scammer fleeces man of $5,000

    A telephone scammer claimed another area victim when a Williams Avenue man paid $5,000 after the con artist told him he had won a sweepstakes but had to pay taxes on the prize money before collecting it, according to Ashland Police Department reports.

    July 21, 2014

  • Murder defendant pleads guilty on lesser charge, sentenced to 8 years

    One of four charged with murder in a 2008 double killing pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday just before his trial was to start.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014

  • Morehead gets Trail Town status

    It has been two and a half years in the making and it happens today.
    Morehead will officially be designated a Kentucky Trail Town following Dawson Springs and Livingston.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fallsburg’s traditional haunt attracts unique talents

    Brian Cassidy said there is no substitute for individual talent while tackling tasks ranging from sculpting a massive hillbilly to inventing paintball gun brackets capable of withstanding the pressures caused by an incoming zombie attack.

    July 21, 2014