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Red Cross celebrates volunteers in Silicon Valley

Media Contact: Jim Burns
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SAN JOSE, CA (June 2, 2017) — The American Red Cross of the Silicon Valley honored 19 people and one organization from Santa Clara County at its recent Volunteer Recognition and Awards Event. The annual chapter event took place this year on Sunday, May 21, at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos.

At the afternoon dinner, Art Bruns of San Jose received the American Red Cross's top honor, the Clara Barton Award. The award, named after the founder of the Red Cross, recognizes a volunteer for service in a series of leadership positions held over a number of years.

Bruns is a biomedical volunteer who has been the Silicon Valley Chapter's Transport Specialist Lead for many years. In that capacity, he coordinates the volunteer team that delivers lifesaving blood products the Red Cross collects to local hospitals and care centers.

Emcee Jonathan Bernier said the annual event, which honors key volunteers, also gives the Red Cross an important opportunity to acknowledge all of its 842 local volunteers. "Our volunteers are the people who really give meaning to the Red Cross mission to help people prepare for and recover from emergencies," says Bernier, the chapter's Volunteer and Youth Services Manager.

Ken Toren, recently named Chief Executive Officer for the Silicon Valley Chapter, and Marico Sayoc, mayor of Los Gatos, were also featured speakers at the annual event. "I want to thank each and every one of you for your service and dedication to the organization," Toren said at the awards ceremony. "We could not do it without you all."

In addition to Bruns, the following volunteers were honored at the afternoon event:

•  Administration and Support Award: Yogita Kandpal of San Jose

•  Biomedical Services Award: Gila Winefeld of Palo Alto

•  Biomedical Services, Volunteer of the Year Award: Brad Healy of San Jose

•  Community Engagement Award: Gordon Sakai of Gilroy

•  Collaboration Award: Stephanie Wilde of San Jose and Peggy Wegner of Mountain View

•  Disaster Cycle Services, Outstanding Support Award: Stuart Chessen of Cupertino

•  Disaster Cycle Services, Exceptional Response Award: Jodi Wallace of San Jose

•  Disaster Cycle Services, Extraordinary Commitment and Dedication: Richard Cutts of Roseville

•  Disaster Cycle Services, Exceptional Leadership Award: Sue Trautman of Los Altos

•  International Services Award: Lynde Alvarez of Portola Valley

•  New Volunteer of the Year Award: Brad Gordon of Los Gatos

•  Service to Armed Services Award: Mark Butler of San Jose, Barbara Millin of Palo Alto, and Ann Thomas of San Jose

•  Teamwork Award: Evergreen Valley High School Club

•  Volunteer of the Year Award: Terry Unter of Los Gatos

•  Volunteer Supervisor Award: Jim Mollerus of Campbell

•  Youth Services Award: Abha Patkar of Sunnyvale

In addition, a number of people were honored at the event for the number of hours they volunteered to the Red Cross in 2016.

Photos from the winery event can be found on the Silicon Valley Chapter's Flickr site:

Become a Red Cross Volunteer

You can make a difference in Santa Clara County by becoming a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Volunteers constitute about 94 percent of the total Red Cross workforce to carry out our humanitarian work. Red Cross volunteers are trained to meet the needs of those affected by disasters, providing food, shelter and comfort for families affected by major disasters such as fires, floods, and earthquakes as well as helping local residents prepare for and recover from emergencies of all kinds.  We’ll find the position that appeals to you and allows you to use your skills and talents. Email to get started.


About American Red Cross of the Silicon Valley:

With offices in Santa Clara County, 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, visit our web site at or call us at 877-727-6771. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.