Francisca Herrera was a college student when she was deployed to New York after 9/11 as an Emergency Response Vehicle driver. It was during that heart-wrenching disaster Herrera knew she would be a lifelong Red Cross volunteer committed to helping others.
On Sat., Sept. 27, Herrera and nine other dedicated volunteers and employees were singled out for special recognition at the Red Cross L.A. Region’s Volunteer and Employee Excellence Awards dinner held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
L.A. Region CEO Jarrett Barrios welcomed Robert Kovacik, co-anchor of NBC4’s weekend evening newscasts and recently named Television Journalist of the Year for 2013, who acted as the event’s master of ceremonies for the second year. Kovacik praised the more than 260 people in attendance. "Thanks to all of our volunteers who donated a whopping 263,000 hours of service during fiscal year 2014." He said he sees many of these behind-the-scene workers on a regular basis when reporting on disasters and other emergencies.
Congratulations to the following award-recipients:
Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership - Harold Babb
Disaster Preparedness & Response Volunteer Award - Francisca Herrera
Health and Safety Services Award - Thomas Bryan
Service to the Armed Forces Award - Michael Farrar
Special Citation for Exceptional Volunteer Service - Philip Barker
Volunteer Leadership Award - Francisca Herrera
Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award - Jasmine Han
Employee Excellence Award - Management Margaret Arbini-Madonna
Employee Excellence Award - Professional/Technical Chris Campbell-Jay
Employee Excellence Award - Support Kendra Pospychalla
Disaster Action Team standout volunteers Emily Thomas, Anita Long and Sam Frankl were also recognized for their outstanding dedication to helping at local disasters, and Tom Bryan (who won the Health and Safety Award) was lauded for his leadership in coordinating the upcoming Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. In addition, AmeriCorps members, summer interns and those with many years of service with the Red Cross were thanked, including Glendale CEO Ron Farina, with 40 years, San Gabriel Pomona Valley CEO Ben Green with 45 years of service.
One of L.A.’s premiere performance companies, the Hollywood Hot Shots, performed a spirited Roaring 20s-themed dance for an enthusiastic crowd. And after the ceremony, guests continued dancing to the tunes of Red Cross volunteer DJ Nigel Taylor.
Check out the video of the event.
Photos by Roxanne Schorbach