You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

SEPA Chapter holds 10th annual Celebration of Volunteers Banquet

montage of pictures from celebration of volunteers event at the philadelphia red cross
“You are the reason I get up and go to work in the morning.” Judge Renée Hughes, SEPA Red Cross CEO.

The Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania held its 10th annual Celebration of Volunteers on September 27th at the Hilton City Line Avenue. The Hilton provided a new location for this event, which was previously held at Drexelbrook. American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes was joined by our Executive Board Chair Tom Hays, SEPA Executive Board Member and Chair of Volunteers Karen Martin and 6ABC News Anchor and Reporter, Alicia Vitarelli, who helped MC the award ceremony.

The event honored those who serve our organization as volunteers in a wide range of capacities including disaster response, first aid training and office assistance. In addition to honoring its current volunteers, the SEPA Chapter was privileged to bestow a national American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Legacy award on Sarah Kratz Shabaglian for her service during World War II in Italy and Japan. For many, the highlight of the evening was witnessing Ms. Shabaglian, aged 93, approach the podium to receive her award wearing her original Red Cross uniform from the WWII era.

A chorus from the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, under the direction of Dorina Morrow, sang in honor of our nation and the members of our community who give their time to help others.

Other award winners were as follows:

Exceptional Volunteer Awards, presented by SEPA Executive Board Member, Linda Rosanio, go to people whose skills and commitment have made an extraordinary contribution to our efforts. Award winners were:

Melinda Hart, Communications

Christina DelVecchio Tuller, Financial Development

James Schulte, Health and Safety

Carolyn Smith, Red Cross House

Betty Hummel, Service to the Armed Forces

Anthony Robinson, Volunteer Services

Jasmine Jacobs, Youth Services

Judge Hughes presented a special award to honor the year old partnership between the SEPA Red Cross and Red Paw, an organization that helps animals affected by disaster. This award was presented to:

Jen Leary, Red Paw Emergency Relief Team founder and Red Cross volunteer

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers was on hand to present the Disaster Action Team Awards, which recognize volunteers in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties who accompany first responders to disasters at all hours of the day and night. Award winners were:

Anthony VanDevan, Lower Bucks

Fred Vielhauer, Upper Bucks

Margaret Rappoldt, Chester County

Susan Lior, Delaware County

Mary Noll, East Montgomery County

Charles Rieth, West Montgomery County

Edgar Feliciano, Philadelphia County

Robert Pollock, Emergency Communications

Ruth Hoskins, Specialty Care Volunteer

Noel Green, Outstanding Disaster Action Team Captain

The Chapter Wide Awards were presented by Chris Gheysens, President of Wawa, and a member of the SEPA Chapter’s Executive Board of Director. They include:

The Betty Robinson Award, recognizing a volunteer leader who has demonstrated commitment to the work of a variety of Chapter programs over several years of service and who has made a notable impact in carrying out the mission of the Red Cross. It was awarded to:

Dan Rhynhart, SEPA Executive Board Secretary

Anita Lockwood Award, recognizing outstanding leadership on a day to day basis. It was awarded to:

Denise Devine, SEPA Executive Board Finance Committee Chair

The Sam and Dotty Kind Award, recognizing any loyal volunteer who has helped raise more than a million dollars for the Red Cross through a letter-writing campaign to family and friends. It was awarded to:

Ruth Clauser, President of the Sunoco Foundation

The Jane Bisbee Award recognizing the volunteer who, in less than five years of service, has made a significant impact on the Chapter’s efforts to fulfill its mission. It was awarded to:

Maureen Wooster, Montgomery County Leadership Council Member

Related Links:

VIDEO: Mission Moment Celebrating our Greatest Resource

VIDEO: 6ABC News Coverage of 2013 Celebration of Volunteers

VIDEO: 2012 Summer Deployments (shown at the event)

VIDEO: Celebration of Volunteers Slideshow (shown at the event)

VIDEO: 2012 Year in Review (shown at the event)

PHOTOS: Celebration of Volunteers Photo Gallery

PHOTOS: More Celebration of Volunteers Photos

BLOG POST: Volunteers – The Reason We Come to Work Every Morning