MINEOLA, N.Y., April 5, 2012 – The American Red Cross will celebrate 95 years of service to Long Island at its annual Red & White Dinner Dance, Thursday, May 3 at Carlyle on the Green at Bethpage State Park, in Farmingdale. In addition to raising funds for the nonprofit, the Red Cross will honor MacDella Cooper, President & Chairman of the MacDella Cooper Foundation; and Nick Toomey, Vice President and Member of the Rallye Automotive Group.
Cooper will be presented with the George W. Cutting, Jr., Humanitarian Award. She came to America in 1993, one of countless thousands of refugees of the Liberian civil war. Today, she has become known as Liberia’s Angel, attracting international investors to Liberian markets and creating awareness of the plight of the Liberian children through her humanitarian initiatives. Additionally, she opened the MCF Academy, a tuition-free boarding school for Liberian orphans.
Toomey will receive the Good Neighbor Award. He and the Rallye Group recognize the importance of corporate responsibility for those less privileged and annually make significant contributions to Long Island charities, with an emphasis on children and women in need.
“This truly will be a fantastic evening, at a wonderful venue, with outstanding honorees who have truly made a difference within our community and across the world,” said John Miller, chief executive officer of the Long Island Red Cross. “Most importantly, it will afford us the means to continue in our long service of helping Long Islanders at their darkest hours.”
The work of the Red Cross on Long Island began in 1917 when Kate Trubee Davison, a resident of Locust Valley, formed the Nassau County Chapter. She was inspired by her husband Henry “Harry” Pomeroy Davison who was named chairman of the American Red Cross War Council by President Woodrow Wilson during the First World War. After the war, he helped establish the League of Red Cross Societies, the forerunner to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Other notable Long Islanders who helped lead the Red Cross locally included Ethel Roosevelt Derby, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt.
The Red Cross was active through both world wars and provided a great deal of support to soldiers and airmen at installations like Mitchel Field. While the focus of the nonprofit has shifted more toward disaster relief through the decades, Red Cross volunteers still support local service members and their families by providing emergency communications; and when needed, emergency assistance. Volunteers at Northport Veterans Hospital continue to serve those who have served.
In the course of 95 years, the Red Cross has faced many crises on Long Island, including the deadly, 1938 category-3 hurricane known as the Long Island Express; the 1990 crash of Avianca Flight 52; 1995 Pine Barrens Fire; 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800; and the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet according to Miller, disasters happen nearly every day on Long Island.
“Our volunteers respond to hundreds of disasters that will never grab headlines, like single-family home fires,” Miller said. “Yet for the person who has lost everything—possessions, memories, maybe loved ones—a fire is just as devastating. Events like the Red and White Dinner Dance are vital to our work.”
Last year on Long Island, the Red Cross responded to 112 local emergencies, including Hurricane Irene which forced nearly 5,000 Long Islanders to seek shelter through the Red Cross. Additionally, thousands more turned to the nonprofit for food, water and cleanup kits in the storm’s wake.
Attire is business casual. Individual tickets are $300 and includes a cocktail hour, dinner and entertainment by The Sidewinders. Sponsorship packages are still available, as are journal ads. The event is being presented by Rallye Motors. To date, additional major sponsors include: MacDella Cooper of the MacDella Cooper Foundation; Farrell Fritz, P.C.; Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association; The David and Sondra Mack Foundation, Inc.; The Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of NY, Inc.; Pro-Tect Inc./Chem Tech Solutions; Oceanside Auto Center; The Dent Specialist; Mrs. Lucy P. Cutting; Premier Benefit Plans, Inc.; and Long Island Radio Group.
For more information, call (516) 747-3500, ext. 209.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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 or join our blog at http://changinglivesstorybook.blogspot.com/