The third annual signature weekend for the Red Cross is almost here and volunteers are busy with preparations for the Paint the Town Red Gala and Swing Red Golf Tournament. The goal is to raise $30,000 for the organization.

“Last year we had a good tournament and this year we are going to have an amazing tournament,” said Jimmy Scales, board chairman for the Orange County Chapter, who like many Bridge City residents learned how vital the Red Cross services are.

“It was a gift of food, cleaning supplies but most of all the smiling faces delivering relief brought hope following Ike and the more commone disasters, home fires,” Scales said.

The festivities begin Friday, Aug. 6, at Sunset Grove Country Club. Features include dinner, the Bayou Breeze Cajun Band with live and silent Auctions. Items for the auction include three autographed guitars from the Eagles, Jimmy Buffet and Carlos Santana along with a drumhead signed by Bon Jovi and various albums (including one by ZZ Top).

“I think my favorite item for the live auction is the autographed Apollo 11 Crew,” said Janie Johnson, Orange County chapter executive director.

As for the silent auction, Johnson said local businesses have offered support through donated items ranging from framed art work to a weekend getaway trip.

“The Pre-Event is perfect for the hollywood and music fan. We also have many local venders that will be highlighted in the silent auction,” said Johnson. “Our hope is to offer a nice evening to relax, dine, enjoy entertainment and support the Red Cross before hitting the greens on Saturday.”

The Swing Red Golf Tournament has 32 teams with 128 golfers.

The title sponsor for Swing Red is Akrotex while the title sponsor for Paint the Town Red is Total Inc., the Port Arthur refinery. This year’s gold gponsors gave $2,000 each to support the local charity, Prescribed Home Health, Bridgefield Electric, Woodmen of the World #32, and Gopher Industrial.

All funds raised this weekend will go to the support of Orange County Chapter programs. Services include utility assistance for the elderly, safety training, disaster training, aquatics programs, hospital volunteer program, disaster response.

The disaster response includes hurricanes, single family fires and apartment fires. Single family fires are still the leading disaster response. Volunteers respond 24/7 to assist families as they face their worst nightmare, home fire. We ask the community to support us in responding to the needs of the residents we serve by participating in the Paint the Town Red Gala, tickets are just $25 for dinner, entertainment, live and silent auction, and a souvenir event wine glass.

To support the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross call (409) 883-2322 or e-mail