June 28, 2016 was officially Vonnie Thomas Day in Minnesota after Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed it so in honor of Ms. Thomas’s sixty-five years of courageous Red Cross volunteer service. Read the proclamation below to learn about this remarkable woman and how she has helped and inspired many people in many ways.
State of Minnesota Proclamation for Vonnie Thomas
Whereas, the American Red Cross depends on the power of volunteers to accomplish its mission of preventing and alleviating suffering; and
Whereas, Nurse Vonnie Thomas has generously volunteered thousands of hours in distinguished leadership service through the American Red Cross over the past 65 years; and
Whereas, she courageously cared for those hurt by more than 40 local, national and international disasters such as the 2012 tornadoes in Minneapolis, the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon, Hurricane Katrina and the 35-W Bridge Collapse; and
Whereas, she has served in many roles on a local, division and national level and is currently a member of the Minnesota Region volunteer leadership team and Disaster Health Services lead and a Staff Wellness Consultant for 13 states; and
Whereas, she is an exceptional leader, innovator, medical professional, skilled instructor, and humanitarian and mentor, and is beloved by staff and volunteers alike; and
Whereas, she is a vibrant, engaged and active volunteer leading a statewide effort to build Integrated Care Teams in Minnesota to help families who’ve lost a loved one, and greatly contributed to the development and implementation of the training materials; and
Whereas, her tremendous voluntary service has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international honor awarded by the International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent, which celebrates the contributions of nurses and nursing aides to the work of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement; and
Whereas, she finds inspiration in the words of the founder of the American Red Cross, Nurse Clara Barton: “You must never so much think as whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it.”; and
Whereas, she embodies the principles and spirit of the Red Cross and is a wonderful example of unselfish, humble and dedicated service, and an inspiration for us all;
Now, therefore, I, Mark Dayton, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim June 28, 2016 Vonnie Thomas Day in the State of Minnesota.