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First responders, volunteers to raise funds for Red Cross


Off-duty firefighters, police officers and volunteers will take their hats off this weekend to raise money for the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The annual Hats Off event starts Friday at the Kona Walmart where volunteers will be collecting donations from 3 to 6 p.m. for the nonprofit. The event continues at Walmart in Kona on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Firefighters will also be stationed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at KTA Kailua-Kona and Lanihau Center off Palani Road.

In 2013, the American Red Cross on the Big Island responded to 23 disasters and assisted 69 family members in getting back on their feet, according to Red Cross. During Tropical Storm Flossie, the Red Cross opened nine shelters on Hawaii Island.

The organization on Hawaii Island has also taught 163 volunteers free disaster training, reaching 1,620 individuals in the community. Red Cross also taught 3,214 individuals critical skills like first aid, CPR and aquatics.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

Donations can also be made online at redcross.org/hawaii, call 739-8109 or send a check via mail to the American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter, 55 Ululani St., Honolulu, HI 96766.