General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the United States Army and wife Linda Odierno, received the Lifetime of Service Award at the American Red Cross Salute to Service celebration on May 4.
In his acceptance remarks, General Odierno said, “This is such a wonderful event that the Red Cross does annually to draw attention to the service and sacrifice of our military members and their families. The Red Cross is an incredible organization that provides service to our citizen’s everyday in communities across the country, especially in times of disaster. As a native of northern New Jersey, I visited there and saw firsthand the incredible work done by the Red Cross in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Other honorees included Captain (Ret) Dawn Halfaker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Halfaker and Associates, LLC. Tiffany Circle 2013 Distinguished Woman Warrior, Colonel Gregory Gadson, Garrison Commander, Ft. Belvoir, Exceptional Service Award, the Fisher House Foundation, Exceptional Partnership Award and General Frank Grass, accepting the National Guard, Exceptional Response Award. CNN Anchor Candy Crowley emceed the event and Tommy McFly, 94.7 FRESH FM was emcee of the VIP Reception, sponsored by AT&T.
Gigi Schumm, Vice President and General Manager, Public Sector, Symantec Corporation, chaired the 2013 Gala. Symantec Corporation was the Presenting Sponsor of the event.
In a moving video shown before the award presentations, honoree Colonel Gregory Gadson spoke of his recovery after he was severely injured from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack that cost him both legs above the knees and normal use of his right arm and hand. After over 100 blood transfusions, he credits American Red Cross blood donors with his recovery.
The Lomo Wall, designed by the American Red Cross in partnership with creative agency BBDO New York and international analog photography community Lomography played a prominent part at the Gala. The “Stories of the American Red Cross” exhibit premiered in this region at Union Station for Red Cross Month in March.
A brunch honoring Dawn Halfaker hosted by the Region’s Tiffany Circle was held the morning after the Gala.