The American Red Cross is launching a year-long centennial celebration to mark 100 years of operation in Lewis County, starting next month.

“March is Red Cross Month, the perfect time to kick off our centennial, honor volunteers, blood donors and financial contributors who bring hope to people facing life’s emergencies,” said Bonnie Bush, executive director of the American Red Cross serving South Puget Sound. “During Red Cross Month, we thank them for 100 years of tremendous support.”

The organization was officially established in Lewis County in 1917, when concerned residents, wanting to ensure the community was ready to help the country during World War I, joined the American Red Cross.

A special event to celebrate the Centennial is being planned for June 24th, 2017, to be held at the Veteran’s Museum in Chehalis.

In fiscal year 2016, the South Puget Sound responded to 266 local emergencies, opened 2,991 cases to assist military families and trained 12,235 people in lifesaving skills like CPR, First Aid and Water Safety.