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Shining a Spotlight on Volunteer and Employee Excellence

American Red Cross Los Angeles - Shining a Spotlight on Volunteer and Employee Excellence
"Thanks to the Red Cross L.A. Region volunteers who donated more than 200,000 hours in fiscal year 2013." - Robert Kovacik, NBC4 news weekend co-anchor

On July 4, volunteer Mark Stapf was not barbecuing or planning for an evening of fireworks. Instead, as part of a first aid team at the Rose Bowl, he administered CPR and helped to save someone’s life.

Nedan Rambo joined a Red Cross youth club at his high school 12 years ago. Since then, he’s spent countless weekends teaching CPR, First Aid and Wilderness First Aid to other youth members.

Carla Kabaniec decided several years ago that the Antelope Valley needed its own volunteer Disaster Action Team. She helped recruit, train and mentor nearly 50 community volunteers who are now ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice.

Stapf, Rambo, Kabaniec and nine other Red Cross Los Angeles Region volunteers and employees were honored for their outstanding contributions at this year’s regional Volunteer and Employee Excellence Awards, held Sept. 28, at the Hard Rock Café in Hollywood.

NBC4 weekend co-anchor Robert Kovacik acted as the master of ceremonies at this year’s event, which was attended by more than 250 people. Kovacik, who has met many Red Cross volunteers as a field reporter, commended their hard work and dedication. In 2013, Red Cross L.A. Region volunteers donated more than 200,000 hours by assisting at local and national disasters, teaching disaster preparedness at schools and community events, assisting members of the military, training people in CPR and First Aid, and serving the community in many other capacities.

Noting the importance of volunteering, Kovacik explained NBC4’s latest public service campaign in October called “I Am a Volunteer,” which encourages viewers to volunteer with the Red Cross and other social service agencies.

Kovacik singled out two long-time volunteers for their many years of service to the Red Cross: Cheri Larson, who has volunteered 45 years and Val Andler, a 65-year volunteer.

The following volunteers and employees were recognized for contributing above and beyond the call of duty:

  • Mark Stapf and Jeff Stansfield - Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action
  • Hetal Shah - Outstanding Youth Volunteer
  • Jorunn Langseth - Special Citation for Exceptional Volunteer Service
  • Carla Kabaniec - The Clara Barton Award
  • Pamela Hathaway - Disaster Preparedness & Response
  • Nedan Rambo - Health & Safety
  • Janice Wong - Service to the Armed Forces
  • Willie Mussman - Volunteer Leadership
  • Paula Clamurro, Hilary Anderson and Alex Rose - Employee Awards
  • Members of the Red Cross AmeriCorps California Safe Corps program, regional Community Ambassadors and faith-based affiliates were also recognized during the lunch event, with entertainment provided by UCLA’s premiere student a cappella singers, The Scattertones.

    To see more Volunteer and Employee Excellence Awards photos, visit:

    Photos by Roxanne Schorbach

    Preview photo: Robert Kovacik and Pam Hathaway

    Above: Robert Kovacik and Willie Mussman