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Red Cross Honors North Jersey Heroes at Celebrate Red

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Our honorees made a remarkable impact on the community and our ability to carry our mission forward

The American Red Cross North Jersey Region celebrated community leaders who have helped advance the Red Cross mission across the region and beyond during its annual Celebrate Red! gala on April 30. Guests enjoyed an evening with colleagues over fireside cocktails, farm-to-table cuisine, live music, dancing, and a silent auction at the Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren.


The event helps support Red Cross programs and services in the northern half of New Jersey, including the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, a nationwide effort to help save lives, reduce injuries and build more resilient communities. In partnership with municipalities and fire departments across the region, Red Cross volunteers are canvassing high fire-risk neighborhoods with fire safety information and offering free smoke alarm installation in homes that need them. 

The Red Cross recognized Kevin Cummings, president and CEO of Investors Bank, recipient of the William W. Augustine Award; Janet George Murnick, recipient of the Quinn Award; and Sanofi and CIT Group Inc., recipients of the Bob Clancy Culture of Caring Award. 

“Our honorees have each made a remarkable impact on the community and our ability to carry our mission forward,” said Mathieu Nelessen, regional CEO, American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “We are pleased to honor their significant contributions and are grateful to all who helped make this evening’s recognition and Celebrate Red a success.”  

In honor of its partnership and support of local Red Cross programs and services, Investors Bank was honored with the William W. Augustine Award. Investors Bank’s commitment to the communities where it does business is exemplary. Each member of the Investors Bank team shares a passion for advancing his or her community, an observation that is evident at any opportunity to interact. Investors Bank’s contribution to the Red Cross mission continues to positively impact the recipients of Red Cross services each and every day.

“On behalf of all of our employees, I want to thank the American Red Cross for honoring the bank’s commitment to produce significant and positive differences in the lives of people by supporting the many communities that we serve,” said Kevin Cumming, president and CEO, Investors Bank. “Investors also recognizes the Red Cross for its dedication to saving lives, especially when disaster strikes and the organization responds immediately with food, emergency shelter and hope.”

The Quinn Award was presented to Red Cross volunteer Janet George Murnick for her exceptional service over the past decade. Since she joined the Red Cross in 2006 shortly after returning from assisting during Hurricane Katrina, Janet’s impact and inspiring message can be felt and heard in every arm of the mission. Passionate about Service to the Armed Forces, she has served on a national committee to revise the Best Practices manual and is currently the Red Cross representative to the VA Medical Hospitals in Lyons and East Orange. Additionally, Janet joined the Tiffany Circle in January 2012 and later that year became the Chair of the North Jersey Region Tiffany Circle. She is also an elected member of the Tiffany Circle National Council and currently serves on the American Red Cross New Jersey Crossroads Board of Directors.

“Janet is an incredible advocate and devoted volunteer,” said Christy Hodde, executive director, American Red Cross New Jersey Crossroads. “It’s thanks to the compassionate work of volunteers like Janet that the Red Cross is able to provide hope to people when they need it most.”

Local businesses Sanofi and CIT Group, Inc. were honored with the Bob Clancy Culture of Caring Award for encouraging and empowering their employees to perform extraordinary acts of community service. 

American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey Executive Director Jocelyn Gilman presented the Culture of Caring Award to Sanofi for excellence in Red Cross Biomedical Services. Sanofi’s commitment to hosting Red Cross blood drives has brought the lifesaving gift of blood to hundreds of patients in need. 

CIT Group, Inc. was acknowledged for its excellence in Red Cross Preparedness, Health and Safety Services. The company has launched a five-year plan to train its employees to save lives which includes arming its employees with lifesaving First Aid, CPR and AED skills in addition to installing AED units at CIT Group locations. 

Celebrate Red! was made possible thanks to the support of event sponsors, especially Official Sponsor Investors Bank; Disaster Relief Sponsor Celgene; Patriot Sponsor Proskauer Rose LLP; Humanity Sponsors C.R. Bard, Inc.; Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker; Johnson & Johnson; United Water, and Verizon Foundation; Preparedness Sponsors Alcoa, Atlas, Audio Visual Associates, Inc., Ernst & Young, and Silver Line by Andersen; Lifesaver Sponsors Buck, Seifert & Jost, Inc., Budd Larner; Delloite, and NJM Insurance Group; Hero Sponsors J. Fletcher Creamer & Son, Inc., Qtego, and The Rubino OB/GYN Group. 

Special thanks to our auction donors: Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Bryan Enberg and Joseph Vulpis, Northeast Mountain Guides, Carl Mattaliano at Eco Services, Chip and Ellen Dickson, Chris Reilly Mahan and Wade Mahan, Church & Dwight, Deborah Clifford MS, RD, Deborah Thedinga, Dennis Kowal, Dennis Kowal Architects, Dominic Cascio, Faith DeCotiis, Gary's Wine and Marketplace, George Street Playhouse, George Ziminski, Izumi Hara, James and Courtenay Harton, Janet George Murnick, Janice Haggerty, Judith Maxfield, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Lake Mohawk Golf Club, Mayo Performing Arts Center, Mayor Ellen Dickson, Michael Norsko, Princeton Airport, New Jersey Devils, New York Red Bulls, Onesen For All, Pennsylvania Ballet, Princeton Airport Raritan Valley Flying School, Public Theater, Quinn Family, Red Cross Tiffany Circle, Richie Sambora and Guitar Center, Robert Morgan, Steven and Emily Becker, Steven Napolitano, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Steven Resnick, Esq., Stevie DiFrisco, Stone House at Stirling Ridge, Symphony Space, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Tony L’Altrelli, WithumSmith+Brown, Two River Theater, and William Iannacone and Glenwood Country Club.

Presented to leaders in the community, the William W. Augustine Award is named in honor of a long-time friend, donor and volunteer of the American Red Cross. Bill’s actions have always spoken louder than his words. A man with a wonderful sense of community, his actions breathe life into the mission of the Red Cross and have given us a leading example of our vision to bring hope, compassion and care to those we serve.

The Quinn Family legacy has deep roots in Sussex County, which began with the founding of the American Red Cross chapter by Mrs. Joseph P. Quinn, Sr. in 1917. The Quinn Award honors individuals, businesses and organizations who have voluntarily contributed service, time and personal resources to assist the Red Cross in the accomplishment of its humanitarian mission. 

The Culture of Caring Award is presented in memory of Red Cross board member Bob Clancy. A strong Red Cross promoter beset with volunteer spirit, Mr. Clancy was convinced that being involved with the mission of the Red Cross could help create a culture of caring in the community.