Red Cross Gala 2017

  • Bay Area - Gala 2017

Join Us! Saturday

March 11, 2017

Julia Morgan Ballroom
465 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
6:00PM Cocktails
7:30PM Dinner and Program
9:00PM - 12AM After Party


Read about the Gala: Annual gala raises over $500,000 to support Red Cross programs

View Photos from 2017 Red Cross Gala

View Photos from Consular Reception

The 2017 Red Cross Gala, hosted at the historic Julia Morgan Ballroom and Merchants Exchange Club, honored the heroes among us - the service members, veterans, and families that have selflessly served and are currently serving our nation and those who tirelessly support them.

The “red-tie” event recognized and celebrated four honorees – Dr. Russell Lemle, Founder of Pets for Vets; Jake Harriman, CEO of Nuru International; Major General James M. “Mike” Myatt, President and CEO of Marines Memorial Association; and Mary Louise Chapman, Red Cross Volunteer – for their outstanding dedication, service and contributions on behalf of service members, veterans and military families.

The Red Cross Gala is a volunteer-led fundraiser. Proceeds generated from the event support the American Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

GALA CO-CHAIRS: Kate Smith and Ezra Garrett


Dr. Russell Lemle

Pets for Vets

“Pets for Vets,” created by Dr. Russell Lemle at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center, supports any Northern California Veteran who qualifies to adopt a cat or dog from Wonder Dog Rescue. Dr. Lemle used his own funds as seed money and enlisted Voluntary Service to establish a General Post Fund for other donations. Pets for Vets is a humanitarian effort in which everyone benefits. Cats and dogs are adopted into homes, and Veterans gain the love and companionship that pets bring. To complement the free adoption program, the halls of the San Francisco VA Medical Center have been graced with a permanent 30-piece gallery of professional photographic portraits of Veterans with their pets. The photo exhibit, entitled “Dog Tags,” has been extremely popular with Veterans, visitors, and staff alike, and has been featured on Bay Area TV news programs and the regional SPCA magazine, Our Animals.

jake harriman

Jake Harriman - CEO of Nuru International

Jake Harriman graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and served seven and a half years in the Marine Corps as a Platoon Commander in both the Infantry and a special operations unit called Force Recon. During his military career, Harriman led four operational deployments, including two combat tours in Iraq and disaster relief operations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the Asian tsunami. Jake was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat during his second tour in Iraq. From his experiences, Harriman came to believe that the “War on Terror” wouldn’t be won on the battlefield alone: the contributing causes of terrorism — disenfranchisement, lack of education and extreme poverty — must also be eradicated. Harriman left his career in the Marine Corps and enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) to build Nuru International, an organization focused on ending extreme poverty in remote, rural areas. Harriman graduated with an M.B.A. in June 2008 and led a team to launch Nuru Kenya later that year. Since 2009, Nuru Kenya and Nuru Ethiopia have enabled over 100,000 people to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Harriman is a graduate of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Class of 2015.

Major General James Myatt

Major General James M. “Mike” Myatt - President and CEO, Marines Memorial Association

Born in San Francisco, Major General James M. “Mike” Myatt joined the Marine Corps after earning a B.S. degree in Physics from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He served 31 months in Vietnam during two combat tours. Between Vietnam tours, he earned an M.S. Degree in Engineering Electronics at the Naval Post Graduate School. He commanded the 1st Marine Division during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. His Division defeated seven Iraqi Army divisions in zone, seized Kuwait International Airport, and liberated Kuwait City. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1995 and joined Bechtel Corporation. While working for Bechtel, he managed the $22 billion construction project to build the Korean High Speed Rail from Seoul to Pusan. In September 2001, General Myatt became the President and CEO of the Marines Memorial Association. He is a Trustee on the San Francisco War Memorial Board of Trustees, and, since 2010, at the request of the Mayor, he has led an organization to plan and execute San Francisco’s annual Fleet Week.

mary louise chapman

Mary Louise Chapman - Red Cross Volunteer

Mary Louise Chapman has served in the Red Cross since she was 24 years old, as both a paid employee and volunteer. She is now 97, and still going strong! Chapman was a young teacher during World War II who wanted to be more involved in the war effort. She subsequently joined the Red Cross and went to England. Once in England, Chapman and other Red Cross women were in a Club Mobile program on the B24 airbase, which provided coffee, donuts, and recreational activities for the military troops as they disembarked. Chapman was a member of a group affectionately known as the “Donut Dollies.”

In September of 1945, Chapman returned home and found a job with the Red Cross in Long Beach, California, working with the youth program and hospital programs. She later took a job in San Francisco staying on to become the Director of Youth Services and eventually the San Francisco Chapter’s Assistant Manager. Chapman’s involvement in the Red Cross extended to her personal life, as she married Dr. W. Mac Chapman, who served as the American Red Cross Blood Program Director for the West Coast.

When she retired in 1984, a fund was established in her and a friend’s name to honor her leadership in Youth Programming. The Chapman-Holcomb fund allowed the Bay Area Chapter to start an International Red Cross Youth Leadership program that brought several youth from other Red Cross Societies to the Bay Area to develop their leadership skills. The first youth participants in that program arrived in 1986 and stayed in the Bay Area for three to four weeks. She continues to be an active Red Cross volunteer and advocate, regularly speaking with groups about America Red Cross programs that support youth and military personnel and their families.

Event Sponsors

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

heroes sponsors

Patron Sponsors


Nielma and Kirby Hock
Kelly and Ted Murphy

Lillian Phan

V’Anne Singleton and Robert Elfont
Renée and Sebastian Bea
Bill and Janie Fountain
Ezra Garrett
Elizabeth Sevilla and Ron Lavelle on behalf of Seiler, LLP
Theo Schwabacher and Michael Gallagher

Media Sponsors

Red Carpet Bay Area
Nob Hill Gazette

Committee Members


Ezra Garrett & Kate Smith

Vice Chairs

Nielma Hock

Alexandra Pastor

Lillian Phan

Kirsten Strobel

Eva Voisin

Julie Yarbrough

Committee Members

Renée Bea

Cassandra Boyer

Judy Davies

Janie Fountain

Sally Fowler

Ann Cheney Haslup

Kathryn Holmes

Michael Hoy

Breanna Johnson

Jennifer Lujan

Uli Martinez

Lauren McLaughlin

Kelly Murphy

Ted Murphy

Theo Schwabacher

V’Anne Singleton

After Party

On March 11th, you’re invited to the official After Party for the 2017 Red Cross Gala!

Hosted in the historic Merchants Exchange Club, the party kicks off at 9 p.m. The night will feature live music by local favorite Notorious; from current dance hits and rock ballads to 80s classics, Notorious has made a name for themselves as San Francisco’s premier cover ensemble, so bring your dancing shoes! Between breaks from the dance floor you’ll enjoy a variety of late-night savory bites, delicate desserts, two hosted bars loaded with top shelf beverages, and interactive surprises.

Proceeds from the evening support the programs and services of the American Red Cross.

Tickets: $95
Admission: 9 p.m. - Midnight
Cocktail Attire

After Party Co-Chairs: Julie Yarbrough & Kirsten Strobel

Live Auction Packages

From dining with cast members of Broadway’s hit production, Hamilton to being spoiled by some of Napa Valley’s finest food and wine experts, our 2017 auction sponsors have contributed to one-of-a-kind experiences that are sure to be a (competitive) highlight of our evening! Previews may be found below with full details (and surprises) available March 11th at the event.

Jardiniere - in-home dining experience
Hosted by Chef Traci Des Jardins, you and seven guests will enjoy an exclusive in-home dining experience with wine pairings by a Master Sommelier.

Chef Traci has won numerous awards including the James Beard Award for "Best Pacific Chef". She has also won Food and Wine's “Best New Chef,” and San Francisco magazine’s “Chef of the Year”. Throughout the fine dining industry, she is known as one of the top female chefs in the country.

Chef Traci uses locally sourced, organic, seasonal ingredients whenever possible, and prefers sourcing from smaller, sustainable farming and ranching operations. She is also on the board of San Francisco based La Cocina, a nonprofit providing kitchen space and business assistance to women of color and immigrant communities.

Package Details
  • Three course dinner for 10 guests, served in the comfort of your home
  • Savory canapes served to all guests to kick-off the evening
  • 6 bottles of wine, 2 per course, selected by Master Sommelier and served by Sommelier or Master Sommelier during dinner
  • Mutually agreed upon date will be determined

Backstage with Hamilton on Broadway
Hamilton is one of the most awarded Broadway productions of late, including Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, and Best Choreography. The show began in 2015 and has continued to receive critical acclaim. For most, tickets have been impossible to obtain, but we've got you covered!

Start the night with dinner at a popular Theater District restaurant. You and one guest will join two cast members for dinner where you’ll be entertained with fascinating backstage anecdotes, personal success stories, photos and autographs. Following the show, enjoy a private in-theater meet and greet with a cast member and receive a signed cast poster.

Package Details
  • 3-course pre-show dinner with 2 cast members (alcohol not included)
  • 2 rear mezzanine tickets
  • Two night stay at Gramecy Park Hotel (Lexington King Room)
  • In-theater meet and greet with a cast member following the show
  • Signed Hamilton cast poster
  • Winning bidder to provide three date options for Hamilton
  • Concierge booking service provided by Winspire

Napa Wine Country
Have a passion for fine dining and wine country? If so, this is the experience for you! You and 7 guests will enjoy a private dinner and wine from one of Napa Valley’s most exclusive wineries. The winning bidder will also enjoy a one night stay for two people at the luxurious Meadowood Resort.

Your Chef’s for the evening will be Jonathan and Natalie Niska of La Saison Napa Valley. This highly trained team are known locally for their superior attention to detail and extraordinary presentation of honest food.

Joining you for the evening will be Joe and Pat Harbison, proprietors of Harbison Estate Wines. Located in Oakville, Harbison Estate produces world-class cabernets. These incredible wines are produced in extremely limited quantities. As a special gift, the Harbison’s will send you off with a magnum of their Napa Valley Cabernet.

Package Details
  • Private Dinner for 8 at the home of Kate and Ted Smith, co-hosted by Joe and Pat Harbison
  • Dinner prepared by Chefs Natalie & Jonathan Niska of La Saison Napa Valley
  • Wine selected and provided by Joe and Pat Harbison, proprietors of Harbison Estate Wines
  • One night stay at the Meadowood Resort in Napa Valley for two guests
  • Magnum of Harbison Estates Napa Valley Cabernet
  • Date to be mutually agreed upon (excludes September and October)
  • Wine tasting for 4 at Prager Winery in St. Helena

Ultimate NBA All Star Package
Are you a fan of the NBA? If so, get ready for an exclusive All Star experience! You and a guest will receive tickets to the 2018 All Stars Game and 2018 Skills Competition while enjoying luxurious hotel accommodations in Beverley Hills! For Bay Area sports fans, you'll love the addition of four tickets to see the Golden State Warriors' April 10th matchup against the Utah Jazz.

Package Details
  • 2 tickets to the 2018 NBA All Stars Skills Competition (date: TBD)
  • 2 tickets to the 2018 NBA All Star Game (date: TBD)
  • Two-night stay at a 4 or 5 star Beverly Hills area hotel
  • 4 Tickets to GS Warriors VS Utah Jazz on April 10th 2017

SF Francisco Giants, Priceless Dugout Family Experience
For a young San Francisco Giants fan, nothing can compare to spending time in the dugout with the team on game day. This priceless experience provides a member of your family that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as they serve as Bat Boy or Bat Girl to the team! Included are 4 lower-box seats to a regular season home game for "up close" viewing in addition to autographed memorabilia.

Package Details
  • 1 night stay for four at the Ritz Carlton, San Francisco, in One-Bedroom Suite
  • 4 Club Level seats to a SF Giants regular season home game
  • SF Giants’ dugout "Bat Boy/Girl for a Day" experience for 1 child, ages 14-18
  • Autographed Joe Panik Jersey and Jake Peavy Ball
  • Bonus! 4 tickets to a San Jose Earthquakes regular season home game with 4 pre-game warm up viewing passes
  • Bonus! Signed SJ Earthquakes Ball and signed cleats and jersey by Chris Wondolowski, 6-time MVP for the SJ Earthquakes and member of the 2014 FIFA World Cup U.S.A. Men’s Team

Girls Day and Night
In need of a little pampering with your three best friends? We've got you all covered! This package includes a rejuvenating experience from Epi Center Med Spa, on-demand hair and makeup appointments by La Mienne, gift cards to Alexis Bittar jewelry, dinner for 4 at the always delicious Petit Crenn, and four bottles of premium bubbly.

Before you treat your friends, treat yourself to a full-body pampering package. Situated in downtown SF, the acclaimed Epi Center Med Spa’s team of talented medical professionals will spoil you with a body sculpting and skin rejuvenation package valued at $2,000!

Next up is a luxurious girls day and night: Indulge in a new piece of jewelry from Alexis Bittar's SF boutique. Return to the comfort of your hotel for in-room hair and makeup appointments by La Mienne's glam squad. In between touch-ups, don't forget to enjoy a range of premium French Champagne! Indulge come evening with dinner for 4 at Petit Crenn. Serving French Cuisine, this Hayes Valley establishment is as the French say, Magnifique! Not to mention, Chef Dominique Crenn has been awarded two Michelin stars. This evening of fine dining is sure to create memorable experiences for all in attendance.

Package Details
  • $2000 Skin Rejuvenation & Body Sculpting Package provided by Epi Center Med Spa
  • In-home hair and makeup services for 4 provided by La Mienne
  • Dinner for 4 at Petit Crenn
  • 4 $200 gift cards to Alexis Bittar’s SF boutique on Fillmore
  • Lunch for 4 at Roam Artisan Burger on Fillmore
  • 4 bottles of premium French Champagne
  • 1-night stay in a 4 or 5 star San Francisco hotel for 4, two-rooms or, one suite

VIP at the 2017 American Music Awards
Welcome to Los Angeles and the AMAs! You and a guest will arrive to (and depart from) LA in comfort and style via Surf Air. Their private airports will allow you to arrive just 15 minutes before your flight and take off in a custom-designed executive aircraft. After checking-in to your luxury, beachfront hotel, it's time to get ready for the main event!

On award night, you’ll enjoy two loge level tickets to the 2017 American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. After the show, mingle with other VIP's at an exclusive After Party featuring elaborate decor, surprise performances, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. The annual American Music Awards features a star-studded lineup of music's top performers and honors artists in the categories of Pop/Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B, Alternative, Adult Contemporary, Latin and Contemporary Inspirational. Past winners include Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Blake Shelton, Drake, Rihanna, Twenty One Pilots, Adele, and Enrique Iglesias.

Package Details
  • 2 loge-level tickets to the 2017 American Music Awards Show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles (venue subject to change, Date TBD)
  • 2 passes to an exclusive 2017 American Music Awards After Party
  • 2 tickets to The GRAMMY Museum
  • 2 roundtrip tickets via Surf Air
  • 2-night stay at the luxury, beachfront Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica

Magnum Pull
Our generous sponsors have provided a variety of premium wine magnums for guest enjoyment at the 2017 Gala celebrating the Heroes Among Us. Guests may purchase a magnum of wine to enjoy during dinner or, gift a bottle to a fellow guest/table. The list of magnums available for purchase March 11th is as follows (last-minute surprise additions should be expected!):

2002 Anderson’s Conn Vineyards Right Bank Proprietary Red (Napa Valley, CA) - $250
2013 Belle Glos Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Valley, CA) - $175
2011 Cakebread Carneros Reserve Chardonnay (Napa Valley, CA) - $200
2011 Cakebread Carneros Reserve Chardonnay (Napa Valley, CA) - $200
2014 Cerise Vineyard Gros Ventre Cellars Pinot Noir (Napa Valley, CA) $175
2013 Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, CA) - $300
2012 Del Dotto Cave Blend Cabernet (Napa Valley, CA) - $350
2001 Domaine du Te’le’graphe Chateauneuf –du-Pape ‘La Crau’ (Napa Valley, CA) - $250
JCB No. 69 Brut Rose’ Cremant de Bourogne NV (France) - $175
2014 Joseph Phelps Pastorale Vineyard Chardonnay (Napa Valley, CA) - $225
2011 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia Estate Grown (Napa Valley, CA) - $350
2012 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia Estate Grown (Napa Valley, CA) - $350
2012 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia Estate Grown (Napa Valley, CA) - $350
2013 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Quarter Moon Pinot Noir (Napa Valley, CA) - $225
2013 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Quarter Moon Pinot Noir (Napa Valley, CA) - $225
2013 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Quarter Moon Pinot Noir (Napa Valley, CA) - $225
2012 Keenan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, CA) - $200
2013 Keenan Napa Valley Merlot (Napa Valley, CA) - $200
2007 LangeTwins Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (Acampo, CA) - $175
2006 Lange Twins Midnight Reserve (Acampo, CA) - $175
1999 Lone Canyon Vineyard Ladera Cabernet (Napa Valley, CA) - $450
2013 Luna Vineyards Canto Super Tuscan Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) - $250
Moet & Chandon Champagne Brut Imperial NV (France) - $175
Philippe Prie Champagne Tradition Brut NV (France) - $200
2003 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, CA) - $300
2009 Prager Winery Royal Escort Vintage Port (Napa Valley, CA) - $180
2007 Prager Winery Noble Companion 10-year Tawny Port (Napa Valley, CA) - $150
2013 Prisoner Wine Company “The Prisoner” Zin/Cab Blend (Napa Valley, CA) - $175
2014 (3L) Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay (Napa Valley, CA) - $550
2010 School House Pinot Noir NV Estate (Napa Valley, CA) - $225
2011 School House Vineyards Syrah Blend (Napa Valley, CA) - $200
2011 School House Vineyards Syrah Blend (Napa Valley, CA) - $200
2010 Schramsburg Vineyards Brut Sparking Wine (Napa Valley, CA) - $150
2006 Schramsburg Sparkling Reserve Wine (Napa Valley, CA) - $150
2014 Seasmoke Chardonnay Magnum (Central Coast, CA) - $200
2014 Seasmoke Chardonnay Magnum (Central Coast, CA) - $200
2001 Spring Mountain Vineyard Elivette Cabernet (Napa Valley, CA) - $300
2004 Torbreck Shiraz ‘The Struie’ (Barossa Valley, Australia) - $200
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut NV (France) - $175
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut NV (France) - $175