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CARMEL, CA (April 29, 2019) — The American Red Cross of the Central Coast honored 12 volunteers and two representatives of a partner organization at its recent Recognition Dinner for volunteers from Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties. The annual event was held at Seascape Golf Club in Aptos.
The evening's top award, the Clara Barton Award, was given to Lorraine Jacobs of Santa Cruz County (Soquel). The award, named after the founder of the American Red Cross, recognizes a volunteer for service in a series of leadership positions held over a number of years.
Jacobs has provided a high level of service to the American Red Cross for 15 years, and her dedication to supporting the people served by the organization has been a constant during those years. She has also been a tireless advocate for helping the Red Cross provide a positive experience for the volunteers who make up more than 90 percent of the workforce.
Through a number of deployments working in a variety of roles, Jacobs has loyally served the Red Cross and the people the organization has supported. Among those deployments was a unique international deployment to Fort McMurray, Canada, as a caseworker for clients impacted by the wildfire there in 2016. More recently, she has also assumed the role of training supervisor for the Northern California Coastal Region.
Other award recipients honored at this year's dinner include:
- Biomedical Services, Volunteer of the Year Award: Tamara Rychkov of Monterey County (Carmel)
- Community Engagement Award: Brenda Bodewitz of Santa Cruz County (Davenport)
- Disaster Cycle Services, Outstanding Support Award: Jamie Finch of Santa Cruz County (Soquel)
- Disaster Cycle Services, Exceptional Response Award: Christine Brown of Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz)
- Disaster Cycle Services, Extraordinary Commitment and Dedication Award: Sandy Williamson of Santa Cruz County (Aptos)
- General Support Services Award: Ann Sydes of Santa Cruz County (Aptos)
- Good Neighbor and Partnership Award: Rosanna Leighton and Dawn Fenton of SPCA-Monterey
- International Services Award: Vanessa Romo of Monterey County (Monterey)
- New Volunteer Award: Tom Wiley of Monterey County (Royal Oaks)
- Service to Armed Services Award: Jo Romaniello of Santa Cruz County (Royal Oaks)
- Volunteer of the Year Award: Jill Petker of Monterey County (Monterey)
- Youth Services Award: Devon Swanepoel of Santa Cruz County (Scotts Valley)
In addition, a number of volunteers were honored at the event for the large number of hours they devoted to the Red Cross in service during the 2018 calendar year.
"Our volunteers play a vital role in responding to disasters, providing life-saving training to local residents, and ensuring that patients have the blood products they need," says Michele Averill, CEO of the Central Coast Chapter. "But they do so much more than that, like helping our military families and providing international support. It is truly an honor to get to work with such dedicated and wonderful people. All of our volunteers give selflessly of their time, and the Red Cross would not be able to provide the help and support we do without them."
Rick Martinez, a member of the Central Coast Chapter's Board of Directors, joined Averill in presenting the volunteer awards at this year's recognition dinner.
Photos from the dinner can be found on the Central Coast Chapter's Flickr site at: flic.kr/s/aHsmxommrd.
Become a Red Cross Volunteer: You can make a difference in Monterey, San Benito, or Santa Cruz 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 VolunteerCCC@redcross.org to get started.
About American Red Cross of the Central Coast: With offices in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties, 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 redcross.org/centralcoast or call us at 831-624-6921. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.