Every time our region suffers a fire, hurricane or other disaster, the Red Cross is on the way. This year the Cape Fear chapter celebrates a milestone: its one-hundredth anniversary. From disaster relief, to blood donations, the local chapter has left its mark. Alice Snead has devoted 65 years of her life to the Red Cross, and is one of many celebrating the Cape Fear chapter's one-hundred years of service. "When World War II started, I wanted to do something on the home front and I tried to think of what I could do, and I read something in the paper about the Red Cross having a volunteer nurses aid core," Snead said. She volunteered for years as a young woman and eventually became a staff member. "We did so much to help so many," Snead said. The local chapter has had a couple of headquarters over the years. This South Front Street home became the headquarters at the end of World War II, until it moved to its current location in 1986. Now the chapter is housed on South 16th Street, and Vicki Labelle is the executive director. "The most prevalent thing we have done in this community is provide relief to disaster victims from the onset of our charter days in 1908," Labelle said. Just weeks away from her 86th birthday, Snead still volunteers and looks back on decades of memories with the Red Cross. She was the first person to give blood at this chapter in 1976. Snead said, "I don't know when I've ever felt so good. I was just so thrilled that when I went home, it was the middle of July, and I started my fall cleaning." Countless people have followed her lead. Many hope they will continue to do so for another 100 years. The chapter's actual anniversary isn't until November 10, but the celebration is already underway.
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