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Danielle Wolfe
Danielle Wolfe ()

Danielle Wolfe, the American Red Cross station chairwoman at RAF Mildenhall, has been busy putting together baskets filled with donations to auction off at this year’s American Red Cross Basket Auction on Friday.

The auction allows people to bid for baskets filled with such goodies as an iPod, cookware, golf equipment, sweets and other items.

Auction registration and viewing starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Galaxy Club’s Suffolk Room. The auction starts at 6:30 p.m.

What is the American Red Cross Basket Auction?

It is our major fundraiser for the year and basically what happens is we ask all of the area or all of the base agencies or spouses groups or private organizations to donate baskets and then the night of the auction we actually auction off the baskets. It’s all different kinds of baskets. I mean just loads — we will have up to 50 baskets.

How does the Red Cross use the money?

The money goes toward our volunteer fund, so it is a fund that helps the Red Cross train all of our volunteers to help the community. We need instructors for the community to teach CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). ... We are responsible for over 5,200 military members on the base, so we want to get as many volunteers out there as we can.

How many years has the auction been held at RAF Mildenhall?

This is our eighth year. We have tried different things over the years; it has gotten bigger.

How much money do you want to raise in the auction?

Last year we raised $6,800, so we would love to exceed that.

How many fundraisers does the Red Cross at Mildenhall do each year, and where does this one stack up?

This is our main one. We also do, if you noticed in the BXtra, the (holiday) gift wrap … private organizations sign up through the Red Cross ... and they wrap gifts, but it is through the Red Cross and the private organization gets the bulk of the money (to wrap gifts) and we get a small percentage.

How many people usually turn out for the (auction) fundraiser?

Between 100 and 120, but there is always room for more.

What are your expectations this year with the economy being as bad as it is?

I’m hoping people can give what they can; you know it is a hard economic time right now. But really, everyone has been super-generous with the private organizations and even the base agencies. Individual people have been super-generous in donating baskets.

How did you spread the word about the fundraiser and encourage people to participate with the economy being in the dumps?

We put out ads. We got the big signs out there and word of mouth, as well.

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