Press Release Article


Date: Mar 09, 2012
Press Release Number: 35-2012

In honor of Red Cross Month, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey lit the control tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport red through March 14 to salute the disaster relief and lifesaving work of the American Red Cross.

"New York is the crossroads of the world and when you think about how many people come through JFK each day, we are extremely humbled that the Port Authority extended this honor to us," said Dianne Auger, interim chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Greater New York Region.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt first declared March as Red Cross month in 1943. Every president since has carried on the tradition to shine a spotlight on the work of the Red Cross to motivate Americans to support the group's efforts by volunteering, making a financial contribution or donating blood.

"The New York and New Jersey region has seen more than its share of tragedy and disasters, and we at the Port Authority have shared those unfortunate events," said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. "It is comforting to know that the Red Cross continues to assist our community during times of need."

Each year, the Greater New York Red Cross responds to nearly 3,000 local emergencies within New York City, Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley and Greenwich, Connecticut. Last year, responses included Hurricane Irene; a plane crash in Armonk; and multiple floods along the Hudson River. According to Auger, most of the responses are to home fires—which for those who lose everything, is as tragic as any major disaster.

"The Port Authority is pleased to light JFK red for the American Red Cross," said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. "Whether it's responding to communities in need in the wake of a large-scale disaster or assisting families who have lost their homes to fire, the Red Cross is to be commended for the generosity of its volunteers and staff who give countless hours to those in need. We are pleased to honor its long and proud history of public service."

Beyond the greater New York region, the Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in the United States, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes more than 40 percent of the nation's blood supply; and trains more than 9 million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

"Time and time again when disaster strikes and people are in need, the American Red Cross is there to answer the call," said Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. "The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is proud to light the JFK air traffic control tower in red this month to honor the selfless dedication of the men and women who provide support, help and hope to others when it is needed most."

While the Greater NY Red Cross boasts a large cadre of volunteers, it relies on several partners to carry out its work—including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which is a member of the Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC) program. This program trains many Port Authority employees in basic disaster relief and personal preparedness training. RWTC volunteers serve as a reserve task force that can be called upon when a large-scale emergency relief operation requires increased staffing. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey regularly participates in emergency drills with the Red Cross.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping the people the Red Cross services. To learn more about the American Red Cross locally visit or call (877) RED-CROSS.


Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777

American Red Cross, Greater New York Region
Sam Kille, 212 875-2065

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

About the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

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