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Briana Taylor, Visa and Visa Foundation honored for humanitarian contributions
SAN FRANCISCO, March 29, 2023 — The American Red Cross of the Bay Area is pleased to announce its 2023 Red Cross Gala raised over $978,000 to support the organization’s mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Taking place on Friday, March 24 at the California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the event was attended by more than 300 Bay Area notables who helped recognize this year’s honorees, Briana Taylor, Visa and Visa Foundation.
EVENT HIGHLIGHTS Chaired by Kenzie Ferguson and Elizabeth J. Folger and emceed by KRON4 News Anchor, James Fletcher, the red-tie event featured a cocktail reception with displays by Tsar Nicoulai Caviar and Char.cuterie San Francisco, passed champagne by Stonestreet Estate Vineyards, a three-course dinner compliments of Chef Ethan Mantel and Chef Matt Hegel of Componere Fine Catering, a magazine-styled photo shoot experience by The Vanity Portrait Studio and live entertainment by Bay Area DJ, C.J. Flash.
Highlights of the evening included a live auction featuring packages generously donated to support the Red Cross mission, including a luxurious golf package, a wine excursion, a unique jewelry shopping experience and an ultimate Bay Area sport lover package.
“We are so appreciative of the overwhelming support by our partners and guests at the 28th Annual Red Cross Gala to raise over $978,000 to support the lifesaving work of this volunteer-powered organization,” said Kenzie Ferguson, gala co-chair. “It was an absolute privilege to be a part of this amazing event and raise funds to help our communities when they need it most”.
HONOREES During the evening, the Red Cross presented volunteer Briana Taylor with the Humanitarian Volunteer of the Year Award. Supporting people is at the heart of what Briana does. She has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for more than 17 years, having joined during the organization’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since her start with the Red Cross, Briana has been wholeheartedly committed to the mission, and is a steadfast supporter and advocate for her fellow volunteers.
Here is a video spotlighting this year’s Humanitarian Volunteer of the Year
The Red Cross also recognized Visa and Visa Foundation as the Philanthropic Company of the Year. The award was accepted by Oliver Jenkyn, group president of Visa. A committed partner for more than 33 years, Visa and Visa Foundation share the Red Cross mission to ensure people impacted by disasters receive the care, comfort and resources they deserve. Visa and Visa Foundation and its employees turn compassion into action, having generously donated more than $30 million in support of Red Cross responses to disasters and crises across the world.
In addition, Visa employees regularly give their time and energy as volunteers, providing hands-on assistance with programs such as Sound the Alarm smoke alarm installation and home fire safety events and personal hygiene kit builds, as well as Missing Maps and MapSwipe initiatives, blood drives, and other programs. Visa team members are also active as Red Cross board and committee members.
SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS Since its inception, this fundraiser’s purpose has remained steadfast: to celebrate, support and sustain the lifesaving programs and services of the Red Cross. Proceeds will support services where it’s needed the most, including disaster relief. The Gala is made possible by Gold Sponsors Delta Dental and Kathryn W. Holmes, Silver Sponsors Lowe’s, Cisco, and Diane B. Wilsey, and Bronze Sponsors Kaiser Permanente, State Farm, The Stephanie Block Fund, Nichole S. Jordan, Accenture and Deloitte. Culinary and Beverage Partners include Stonestreet Estate Vineyards, Char.cuterie San Francisco, Drake’s Brewing Company, Felix the Cook, Liz Perez, Marcy Taylor and Tsar Nicoulai Caviar. United Airlines is this year’s exclusive airline sponsor. Neiman Marcus is the fashion partner, floral arrangements are from Acme Florals Co., and our media partners include Haute Living San Francisco Magazine, Marin Magazine, Nob Hill Gazette, KRON4 and San Francisco Business Times.
The 2023 Red Cross Gala committee includes Co-Chairs Kenzie Ferguson and Elizabeth J. Folger. Committee members included Stephanie Block, Katie Colendich, Paula Elmore, Patrick Hayes, Kathryn W. Holmes, Nichole S. Jordan, Lillian Phan Pickering, Kevin Ryan, Ingrid Swenson, Jessica Thompson and Rose White. Honorary Committee Members include Dave Dravecky, Former San Francisco Giants Pitcher, and Leon E. Panetta, Former Secretary of Defense.
For additional details, please visit redcross.org/redcrossgalasf.
Event photos are available here.
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/bayarea or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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