Close to 450 guests attended the annual Red & White Ball held by the American Red Cross Metro New York North chapter May 3 at the NetJets Hangar at the Westchester Airport.
The evening featured cocktails, dinner, dancing, and silent and live auctions. NBC anchor and Red Cross supporter Contessa Brewer served as the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies.
“The Red Cross is an astonishing organization near and dear to my heart,” Brewer said. “I had the privilege of seeing this amazing organization in action during Superstorm Sandy when I lost my home. The Red Cross was my beacon of hope during those difficult hours.”
During cocktails guests perused the hangar transformed with stunning tabletops designed by more than 35 of today’s most creative designers and florists. The legendary Mary McDonald served as honorary Design Chair.
Metro New York North’s Board Chair, Giovanna Miller, thanked the event co-chairs, Elizabeth Boutry and Jennifer Madrid. “We’re so fortunate to have had the leadership of Elizabeth and Jennifer, as well as an amazing and dedicated committee. It’s their vision and hard work that make this all possible. ”
The evening’s theme, “A Salute to Service,” embodied the oldest Red Cross line of service, which began with Clara Barton. Through its Service to the Armed Forces program, the Red Cross is the 24/7 communication link to deployed military members. It also provides pre- and post-deployment support; it works with veterans, and is a constant for service members in an ever-changing and demanding environment.
In keeping with the evening’s theme, Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen Jr, the 59th Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, and Mrs. Caslen, received a Lifetime of Service Award.
“The Caslens have dedicated their lives to service,” said Mary Young, Metro New York North CEO. “General Caslen’s illustrious career includes Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation–Iraq. Michelle “Shelley” Caslen is an active supporter of programs for military families and serves as the Senior Spouse at the US Military Academy. Together they oversee the future of the graduates of West Point.”
“We’re humbled and honored that you would bestow this award on us,” said Lieutenant General Caslen. “This may be a lifetime service award, but the Red Cross has been serving us for a lifetime and so many of our soldiers…. We couldn’t be more honored to be affiliated with the Red Cross. If anybody wants to see what’s right with America just look at the Red Cross—the epitome of selfless service.”
West Point graduate Anthony Odierno, who deployed to Iraq in 2004 as a platoon leader, received an award for exemplifying courage under adversity. Badly wounded in Iraq, Odierno returned to the U.S. committed to help his fellow veterans. He currently serves as Vice President of Military and Veteran Affairs for JP Morgan Chase, where he leads a variety of programs focused on employment, housing and education.
“When I was injured I needed nine units of blood,” Odierno said. “I think they gave me that the first night alone. I can’t thank the Red Cross enough for everything they do on a daily basis. I accept this on behalf of all those that have served and continue to serve.”
The event raised more than $750 ,000, funds that will allow the American Red Cross to provide immediate humanitarian aid—food, shelter, financial assistance, temporary housing, mental health support and emergency supplies—to those in need.
Connecticut Cottages and Gardens again supported the event as the Red Cross Media Sponsor. Other key Red Cross Ball underwriters included Charles W. B. Wardell, III, Witt/Kieffer, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, Entergy, Entwistle & Cappucci, JPMorgan Chase, Nestlé Waters North America, NetJets, Inc., and PepsiCo.
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 redcross.org/metronyn or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossMetroN.