American Red Cross
Central Coast Chapter
Eighth Ave. at Dolores St.
Carmel, CA 93921
Media Contact: Kathryn Hecht
CARMEL, Calif. (May 25, 2021) — The American Red Cross of the Central Coast honored nine local residents and one community partner at a recent recognition event for chapter volunteers from Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. The annual event was held virtually on April 27 due to COVID-19 precautions.
At the event, Dr. Diane Bridgeman of Santa Cruz received the American Red Cross's top honor, the Clara Barton Award. Named after the founder of the American Red Cross, the award recognizes a volunteer for service in a series of leadership positions held over a number of years.
A volunteer in Santa Cruz County since 1991, Dr. Bridgeman has been a staple of the local chapter's Disaster Cycle Services and Service to the Armed Forces teams. She has also made significant contributions to the International Services department, each time demonstrating her abilities as a leader in the American Red Cross.
"A member of our chapter for 30 years, Dr. Diane Bridgeman is really the embodiment of compassion turned to action," said Michele Averill, CEO of the local chapter. "As the territory lead for Red Cross mental health services, Dr. Bridgeman is constantly called upon to take care of our local workforce, aid residents affected by disasters, and provide compassionate support to our local communities during incidents that involve mass casualties."
In addition to the Clara Barton Award, the following awards were also given to local volunteers at the Red Cross recognition event:
- Disaster Cycle Services Award – Exceptional Leadership – Edmund Tang (Santa Cruz)
- Disaster Cycle Services Award – Extraordinary Commitment and Dedication – Al & Virginia Becker (Santa Cruz)
- International Services Award – Jill Hofmann (Santa Cruz)
- Biomedical Services Volunteer of the Year Award – Ben Roumimper (Santa Cruz)
- General Support Services Award – Lee Hedgepeth (Monterey)
- New Volunteer Award – Ann Bennett Young (Santa Cruz)
- Good Neighbor and Partnership Award – Denise Acosta, The Salvation Army of Santa Cruz
- Volunteer of the Year Award – Megan Erk (Aptos)
- Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership – Dr. Diane Bridgeman (Santa Cruz)
Other volunteers were celebrated for the large number of hours they devoted to Red Cross service during the 2020 calendar year.
While the annual event spotlights several key volunteers, the event is designed to acknowledge all of the local Red Cross volunteers. “Our dedicated and wonderful volunteers have continued to support the mission of the Red Cross, even during this challenging time of COVID-19,” says Averill. “Their selfless contributions of time and energy make the work of the Red Cross possible.”
Become a Red Cross Volunteer:
You too can make a difference in Monterey, San Benito or Santa Cruz County by becoming a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Volunteers constitute about 90 percent of the total Red Cross workforce that carries out our humanitarian work. Red Cross volunteers are trained to meet the needs of those affected by disasters - providing food, shelter, and comfort to 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. To 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.