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                            Newton couple helping out the

             American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts

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                                                                                            Wicked Local staff photo by Kate Flock

Newton artist Ann Salk Rosenberg, and her husband Larry Rosenberg, in Ann’s home studio. She has donated the painting to the American Red Cross of Mass Bay, where Larry is Chairman of Disaster Services. The couple will also host during Newton’s Open Studios in May.

By Chloe Gotsis
Posted Mar 21, 2012 @ 10:00 AM
Newton —

Larry Rosenberg has been honored by the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts numerous times for the countless hours he’s spent helping families after naturals disasters and victims of devastating fires.

But one of the most important honors comes from his wife Ann Salk Rosenberg.

Ann Rosenberg is an artist and is donating 250 signed and personalized posters of her artwork to the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts for a gala this Thursday, March 22. She is also loaning her painting, “American Sunrise,” to the event for the evening and a large percentage of the proceeds of its sale will go toward the American Red Cross for disaster relief.

“It just shows that she recognizes that I do this and this is a way for her to show me that she supports me and the cause that I support,” said Rosenberg, who has volunteered for the American Red Cross of Mass Bay for more than 12 years and is the current volunteer partner to the CEO. “I really appreciate it. She recognizes that I do something to support something and that she supports it also.”

Larry Rosenberg spends about 20 to 25 hours a week volunteering for the American Red Cross and was the former chairman of disaster services. He caught the volunteering bug 12 years ago when he drove by a roaring fire at the Omni Supermarket in Chestnut Hill and saw Red Cross trucks outside.

The trucks sparked his curiosity and he wondered about the American Red Cross, a charity he’d associated with giving blood. Rosenberg set up an appointment the following week to learn about volunteering and has never stopped.

He was the liaison at Logan Airport between the families of victims and officials on Sept. 11, 2001.

“It’s what I want to do — helping people and giving back to your community,” he said.

After 12 years, Larry Rosenberg is now one of the senior volunteers at the Kendall Square Red Cross Office. The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts’ CEO Jarrett Barrios describes Larry Rosenberg as the “voice at many policy tables within the Red Cross.”

“He is just an amazing and inspirational person,” Barrios said. “His humble but persuasive approach is never intimidating. It’s frankly just sort of the thing that invites new people in. There’s never enough volunteers.”

Her bold and colorful paintings have been a source of solace and comfort for Ann Rosenberg over the year. In 1984 she was mistakenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and by 1994 she was completely disabled. Having only taken a couple of painting classes, Rosenberg picked up a paintbrush five years later and realized the relief it provided her even if she was only able to paint in five minute time blocks.