The above image is of World War 1, Allen County Red Cross volunteers from the surgical dressing corps on the steps of Memorial Hall in Lima. (Submitted photo)
The above image is of World War 1, Allen County Red Cross volunteers from the surgical dressing corps on the steps of Memorial Hall in Lima. (Submitted photo)
The Allen County Museum will offer “The Need is Real — the Time is Now” with presenter VaLaire Orchard at 2 p.m. March 26.

Orchard, well known local broadcasting personality and Red Cross volunteer, will offer a presentation on the history of this most important organization.

Most everyone knows the name Red Cross but people know little about where it came from and why. The ideas and the people who created the Red Cross are hardly known and yet the humanitarian work of the Red Cross throughout the world has touched many millions of families in peacetime and war. And it’s been done mostly through the efforts of volunteers.

The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War 1. By the time that the war had ended, the number of Red Cross chapters in the country had grown from 107 to 3,864. The Allen County Chapter is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary this year but the story of the amazing work of the Red Cross actually began in 1864 and, unknown to most, it did not begin in the United States.

Locally, VaLaire is fondly remembered as the hostess for West Ohio Gas Company’s “Blue Flame Theater” and for her WIMA talk radio program. She was married to the late Art Orchard for 67 years and the couple had two children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

She has been an American Red Cross volunteer for more than 70 years, serves on the Board of Trustees of the Allen County Historical Society and is a member of the First Evangelical and Reformed Church where she taught Sunday School for 30 years.

The museum is located at 620 W. Market St., Lima.

The offering is free and open to the public.