With the theme “It Starts with a Spark,” the Tulsa Region Red Cross Rescue Gala feted those whose generosity, civic contributions and courage have made their corners of the world a better place for all.
The scene was set for patrons by “walls of fire” that featured video screens chronicling the histories of the Red Cross and honorees with vintage photos from ONEOK, the Tulsa World, the Tulsa Fire Department and the Tulsa Region Red Cross, all of which were established circa 1905-1906. A Tulsa Fire Department engine and a vintage fire truck, along with Red Cross emergency response vehicles added to the atmosphere in the room.
Red Cross Chief Executive Officer, Regina Moon, welcomed patrons and in her remarks reminded guests of the significant role the Red Cross plays in the community, helping thousands with their most basic needs in times of disaster and doing so one family at a time.
“This was a truly wonderful evening for the Red Cross. We are so grateful to our donors and patrons and those in the community who came together in support of our organization,” said Moon. “Because of that support, the Red Cross can continue to help those in our communities who are affected by disaster and continue to teach critical lifesaving skills such as first aid and CPR.”
ONEOK received the Red Cross “Corporate Responsibility Award” for its longstanding commitment to philanthropy and public service in the communities where its employees live and work. ONEOK Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, John W. Gibson, accepted the award from Travis N. Campbell, Tulsa Region Red Cross Board Chairman, who praised the extraordinary community service given by ONEOK and its employees
The Roxana and Robert E. Lorton, Jr. Family and Tulsa World employees were honored with the “Tulsa Spirit Award” for longstanding community vision and service. Longtime family friend, Bob Poe, presented the award to Robert E. Lorton, Jr. and Robert E. Lorton, III. Robert E. Lorton, Jr. delivered emotional and heartfelt thanks to the community for their support through the years and thanked his son, Robert E. Lorton, III for taking the newspaper “into the electronic age.” The family received a standing ovation from the appreciative audience.
The Red Cross award was followed by a special presentation by Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett who recognized the Lorton family for their remarkable history and dedication to the Tulsa community.
Tulsa Fire Chief Ray Driskell presented the “Save-A-Life Award” to Tulsa Fire Captain John Stapleton and firefighter Larry Jackson who together rescued a woman trapped on the floor of her burning apartment. Driskell praised the two for their bravery. “I’m very proud to present this award to you,” Driskell said.
Jackie and Bob Poe served as patron chairs for the event. Elaine and Phillips Breckinridge were event chairs.
In addition to the dinner and awards, guests at the Red Cross Rescue Gala also enjoyed cocktails, raffle, dinner, wine pull, interactive “Diamond Dig” and live auction.
“Humanitarian” sponsors for the 2013 Rescue Gala were Chapman Foundations Management, LLC, Hale Family Foundation, Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, ONEOK, Robert E. Thomas Trust, Tulsa World, The University of Tulsa and Unit Corporation.
“Lifesaving” Sponsors were Asphalt & Fuel Supply, LLC, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.
“First Responder” sponsors are Joseph W. Craft, III, Hilti, the James D. and Cathryn M. Moore Foundation, United States Beef Corporation and Williams.
“Readiness” sponsors include Arvest Bank, Pat and Keith Bailey, BancFirst, Bank of America, Bank of Oklahoma, Pat and Mike Case, Cyclonic Valve Company, Inc., Eads/AXC, Explorer Pipeline, Gelvin Foundation, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, Harsco Industrial Air-X-Changers, Helmerich & Payne, Inc., LL Pressure Equipment Fabrication, LLC, Ann and Jim McKellar, MidFirst Bank, MPW Engineering, Panther Energy Company, Inc., Paragon Films, Inc., Jackie and Bob Poe, Pray Walker, LLC, Martha Probes, Superior Linen Service, Tri-State Industrial Group and Mollie Williford.
First Aid sponsors are Barrow & Grimm, PC, Beacon Commercial Group, LTD, Capital Advisors, Conner & Winters, LLP, ESPO Fire & Water Restoration, Fulton and Suzie Collins Foundation, Hall Estill, Jackie Cooper Imports, KingsPointe Village, Hayden Kiser, Carol and Joe McGraw, Gwen and Steve Malcolm, Moran Family Foundation, Ruth K. Nelson and Tom Murphy, Julie and John Nickel, NORDAM, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Sam’s Club and Summit Bank.
Special consideration was provided by Best Buy, Bruce G. Weber Precious Jewels, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Holiday Inn Tulsa-City Center, Israel Diamond Supply, Jarboe Sales Company, Judy and Jeff Davis, KTUL-Tulsa’s Channel 8, Paul Mitchell the School Tulsa, Southwest Airlines, United States Beef Corporation and Wholesale Computer Supply.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit okredcross.org.