American Red Cross
North Bay Chapter
5297 Aero Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Media Contact: Kathryn Hecht
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (June 2, 2021) — The American Red Cross of the North Bay honored six local residents and one community partner at a recent recognition event for chapter volunteers from Napa and Sonoma Counties. The annual event was held virtually on May 13 due to COVID-19 precautions.
At the event, Suzie Hall, of Sonoma County, 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 with the Red Cross since 2014, Suzie recently moved to Sonoma County. She has been a staple of the Volunteer Connection Regional Support team. She also made significant contributions as a Regional Service to the Armed Forces/International Services Volunteer Partner, working alongside Red Cross leadership.
Also at the event, Melissa Kaplan, of Sonoma County, received the Gene Beck Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award. Named after long-time Red Cross volunteer and member of the board Gene Beck, the award is presented to a volunteer who best exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism. Melissa has served in the Red Cross since 2006 in an array of roles at the chapter level as well as regionally and nationally.
"Both women are the embodiment of compassion turned to action," said Nicole Massey, Senior Volunteer Engagement Manager. "Their contributions have been absolutely critical to the success of the Red Cross mission, especially as we navigated the unexpected pivot that 2020 demanded."
In addition to the Clara Barton Award, the following awards were also presented to local volunteers at the Red Cross recognition event:
- New Volunteer Award - Thom Kuk (Sonoma)
- Good Neighbor/Partnership Award - Sonoma State University
- Disaster Cycle Services Award: Extraordinary Commitment & Dedication - Linda Schill (Sonoma)
- Disaster Cycle Services Award for Leadership - Zac Douch (Sonoma)
- Teamwork and Collaboration Award - Robin Dieter (Sonoma)
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 Massey. “Their selfless contributions of time and energy make the work of the Red Cross possible.”
Become a Red Cross Volunteer: You can make a difference in Sonoma and Napa Counties by becoming a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Volunteers constitute about 90 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. For more information, please visit this site.
About the American Red Cross of the North Bay: The American Red Cross of the NorthBay chapter spans the summit of Mount Tamalpais to the bucolic wine country to Travis Air Force Base, providing relief to those impacted by disasters and empowers its residents to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. A volunteer network of more than 500 youth, adults, and seniors combined with community partnerships, local government, and donors ensure the Red Cross will always be there whenever needed. For more information, visit our website here or call us at 1-707-577-7600 to learn more. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.