After a busy gala season, the South Florida Region is celebrating the success of three separate galas over a three-month period that together raised over $2 million that will fund several programs in the region, including disaster relief and Service to the Armed Forces.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Florence Spottswood Humanitarian of the Year Award and Gala in Key West honored Tom Callahan, volunteer executive director and founding board member of the Star of the Sea Outreach Mission (SOS) in Key West, as the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year for his service and dedication to residents of the Keys. Since August 2018, the American Red Cross and the SOS Foundation have partnered to continue providing support to Monroe County residents still recovering from Hurricane Irma.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, the 61st International Red Cross Ball in West Palm Beach celebrated over 130 years of Red Cross support and service to the Armed Forces. This year’s Ball theme was “Salute to the Military” in honor of those who serve their country and the sacrifice their families make while they are deployed.
Chairman of the National American Red Cross, Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter paid tribute to members of the military and Gold Star Mothers – mothers who lost sons or daughters in military service, while Distinguished Honorary Chairmen Four-Star General Richard B. Myers and his wife, Mary Jo Myers, made moving remarks about the longtime partnership between the Red Cross and the Armed Forces. Ambassadors from Finland, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Monaco, Morocco and Slovenia were also in attendance.
Finally, on Saturday, March 16, the 37th Annual Red Cross Ball in Miami saw its theme, “Surround Yourself in Red,” come alive as several buildings in downtown Miami lit up in our signature Red Cross red. The spectacular evening honored Bunny Bastian, a longtime Red Cross volunteer and Humanitarian Chair of the Ball, with the Crystal Cross Award, which honors partners who have shown exemplary support of and service to the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross. The Ball was followed by the 2nd Annual Party In Red, an afterparty for young professionals.
Proceeds from each gala benefit disaster preparedness, response and recovery programs and services, and Service to the Armed Forces programs such as resiliency workshops and emergency communications.
If you would like to make a financial contribution, please visit redcross.org/donate.
Written by Estefania Garcia