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The American Red Cross of the Bay Area Announces 2018 Red Cross Gala Honorees


Tyler Florence, Jackson Phillips and Patrick Foley, The Unity Council, and Wells Fargo to Be Recognized for their Outstanding Contributions at San Francisco City Hall

SAN FRANCISCO (February 20, 2018) – The American Red Cross of the Bay Area is pleased to announce its 2018 Red Cross Gala Honorees: Tyler Florence, Jackson Phillips and Patrick Foley, The Unity Council, and Wells Fargo. The extraordinary contributions of these local heroes will be recognized and celebrated during the Red Cross Gala, being held March 17 at San Francisco City Hall.

The Red Cross Gala is a volunteer-led fundraiser dedicated to recognizing local heroes and supporting the Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Celebrating the courage and compassion of the 2018 Red Cross Gala Honorees will be a climax of the evening.

“The Red Cross has always relied on the support of volunteers to carry through our mission and last year was no exception. In the face of the deadliest wildfire disaster in California history and the tragic GhostShip fire, Tyler, Jackson, Patrick, The Unity Council, and Wells Fargo made exceptional and selfless strides to deliver help and hope,” remarked Gala Co-Chair Lillian Phan.  “All of them are outstanding volunteers who have dedicated so much of their hearts and time to lifting up their communities. We ask you to join us in honoring them at this year’s Gala.”

After over 20 years as a Food Network host, Tyler Florence has captivated millions of viewers on numerous hit shows, but his reach and influence extends well beyond his cooking shows, as he has built a multi-faceted business outside of them. Tyler’s entrepreneurial spirit has led him to launch two acclaimed restaurants and numerous gourmet products.

In addition to his business ventures, Tyler has always made community service and philanthropy a priority. During the 2015 Valley Fires, Tyler prepared dinner for residents at a Red Cross Calistoga shelter, and when the Wine Country wildfires hit last Fall, he went to his local North Bay firefighter basecamp to cook and serve lunch with his wife and children to over 150 first responders coming off a 3-day shift. Together with Visit California, Outstanding in the Field and Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Tyler subsequently organized The Grateful Table the following month, a fundraising event in which 100 percent of the proceeds went to fire relief charities. On a beautiful wine country day, Tyler prepared a four-course harvest meal for 500 residents, first responders and fire victims along the Napa/Sonoma border. 

Jackson Phillips and Patrick Foley are 17-year-old Red Cross youth volunteers whose homes were engulfed in the flames of the Sonoma County Fires. Instead of focusing on what was lost in the tragedy, Jackson and Patrick worked long hours every day, for weeks after the fires, to help in shelters, warehouses and wherever they were needed. Due to their tireless dedication and maturity, they have recently been elected to the Red Cross Board of Directors.

The Unity Council believes that community development organizations are best suited to develop creative spaces that are accessible, safe, and dedicated to the most vulnerable members of our society. After the fire in December 2016 that took the lives of 36 artists, makers, and musicians at the Ghostship Warehouse, in the heart of Fruitvale, The Unity Council and the Red Cross joined forces to advance safety and resiliency in the neighborhood for all residents.

Wells Fargo will be honored as the 2018 Humanitarian Company of the Year for its outstanding commitment, effort and generous donations to support the community and organization in times of disaster – and for inspiring others to do the same. For decades, Wells Fargo has helped the Red Cross prepare for and respond to domestic and international disasters through generous donations and employee engagement. Last year, as wildfires ravaged the North Bay and other parts of California, Wells Fargo pledged support for various organizations that assisted the victims. Donating over $3 million in 2017, Wells Fargo ensured the Red Cross had the resources needed to deliver service to those impacted by tragedy.

“When tragedy hits a community, I find that one of the quickest way to bring comfort is through cooking and serving meals. After all that these families and first responders have been through, I am grateful for any opportunity to bring people together, help ease the pain, and offer support. I am honored to receive this Award alongside my fellow volunteers and look forward to being a part of our community’s bright future,” says Florence.

The American Red Cross of the Bay Area’s Red Cross Gala will be held on Saturday, March 17, at San Francisco’s historic City Hall. Hosted by Gala Co-Chairs Lillian Phan and Lindsey Haswell and Honorary Co-Chairs Devon Aoki and Steve Aoki, this red-tie event will feature a cocktail reception, three-course dinner, live auction, entertainment and an after-party.  Proceeds will support the programs and services of the American Red Cross.  The Red Cross Gala is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo. Further support is graciously provided by sponsors, Audi, Knights Bridge Winery, Dignity Health, PG&E, AppLovin, Deloitte, Franklin Templeton Investments, Kaiser Permanente, Salesforce, Uber, Gibson Dunn, and TMG Partners.

Join us in recognizing the 2018 Red Cross Gala Award Honorees and supporting the Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering during times of emergency. Individual tickets and tables for the Red Cross Gala are sold out. After Party tickets are still available for purchase and are $110 each. Tickets may be purchased here.


About the American Red Cross of the Bay Area: 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 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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