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On April 28, 800 people attended the 18th annual Evening of Stars benefiting the American Red Cross of the Heartland. They heard the inspirational story of Nando Parrado, who described his experience of surviving 72 days following an airline crash in the Andes Mountains.

His story portrays the courage and character representative of our American Red Cross of the Heartland dealing with people and communities in crisis, as we have seen so recently following a fraternity house fire here in Normal and the devastating tornados in Alabama.

The Evening of Stars is the principal fundraising event for our Red Cross chapter and all funds raised remain here to support their work in Central Illinois. We thank all who attended, our sponsors including the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, and especially Country Financial who assisted in bringing Nando Parado to Normal.

In addition, we thank the Evening of Stars Committee, Red Cross staff and volunteers for their work to make this such as successful event.

Roger and Mary Hunt, Bloomington

The writers are co-chairs, 2011 Evening of Stars.

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