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      Lee County Red Cross chapter part of reorganization plan

      The Lee County Iowa chapter of the American Red Cross is losing its executive director effective November 2, 2012.

      Karole Smith has been the director of the local chapter for the past four and a half years. But under a plan to reorganize and reduce costs, the Lee County chapter will now be manned by volunteers.

      "And they put matrixes together where we can make cuts and how we can provide service and that's how it came to be that they wanted to consolidate our chapter with the Quad Cities area," Smith said.

      Once the changes take place, the hours and days of operation will be determined at that time.

      But Smith said if there's a call for the Red Cross after hours, she says the call will go to Burlington or onto the Quad Cities where Red Cross volunteers will be dispatched.

      "Disaster response will go on like we're performing now. They will call the office number instead of the individual cell phone numbers like we did in the past. And the office number, if a volunteer is here, they will make sure the disaster director is notified so the disaster volunteers can be called out," Smith said.

      Smith also said she has between 25 and 30 volunteers who are registered in the Keokuk area and about a dozen volunteers who have responded to emergencies on a regular basis and she knows those people will carry on the mission of the red cross.