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F5, the first-ever Red Cross movie, swirls into Waxahachie Theater

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ELLIS COUNTY - "F5," the first-ever Red Cross movie, will make its Ellis County public debut on the big screen at Texas Theater, 110 W. Main St., Waxahachie, on Tuesday, May 18 with a special screening beginning at 6 p.m.

At the premiere, Ellis County residents can compete in Weather Trivia for the chance to win a new Eton Weather Radio or a re-chargeable flashlight from The Home Depot! Tim Eaton, general Manager of the Texas Theater has not only donated the theater for the premiere, but he will also be mixing up a special concoction from the bar which will aptly be named the "F5."

Admission to the event is FREE and food and adult beverages will be available for purchase. To reserve your tickets, just call 214-678-4565.

"F5" focuses on the devastating results of a mass tornado outbreak across the Metroplex, and how the community can help. Just a few weeks ago, the southern sector of North Texas was pummeled with heavy rain and tornado outbreaks. In Navarro County, the roof of an apartment building was lifted off, leaving 20 families homeless.

The Red Cross responded that day, just as the organization does every day in real life.

In the movie, viewers will follow the story lines of several characters including Paul, a teen-aged boy who gets separated from his Grandma Rose during the storm; Enrique, a Hispanic man who speaks no English and Mr. and Mrs. Van Dyke, self-made millionaires who find themselves sitting on cots in a Red Cross shelter.

With actual F5 tornado footage shot by local storm chaser, Tim Marshall, the movie is sure to get pulses pounding as the storm bears down on North Texas.

A partnership between the American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter and SCOMPA (Southwest Community of Motion Picture Artists) and comprised of an all volunteer cast and crew, "F5" took months to make, including professional casting calls and more than 100 hours of production time.

"When we initially talked about the idea of making a movie with the volunteers at SCOMPA, our goal was to create a project that would inspire people to take action before a storm hits," said Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones, chief executive officer, American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter. "What SCOMPA has given us has exceeded all of our expectations. The film really tells the story of not only the Red Cross, but of the people who find themselves in such desperate need after a catastrophic event. It may only be an 18-minute film, but it packs a punch. And, the film isn’t just fiction."

The premise of the film is based on actual research by the National Weather Service and the North Texas Council of Governments. Following the 1999 F5 tornado outbreak in Oklahoma, these government agencies took that storm system and laid it on top of the Metroplex. The results were staggering.

Some 250,000 people would be displaced from their homes and the Red Cross calculates that 40,000 would need shelter within the first 24 hours.

Today, the Red Cross can shelter 8,000 people. More than 14,000 volunteers would be needed to assist the 60,000 displaced families. Today, the Dallas Area Chapter has 4,300 volunteers.

"F5" will serve as a call-to-action for everyone in our area to get involved while the sky is blue. Now is the time to volunteer, to give blood and to become a financial contributor.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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