NEW YORK, March 21, 2022 – After a two-year hiatus, the American Red Cross will host its annual Heroes Among Us Gala on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Emmy Award winning CBS2 anchor and news reporter Cindy Hsu will lead an inspiring evening that will feature stories of service and heroism, a special music performance from the Tony and Olivier-Award winning hit Broadway musical, Come From Away and JLL After Party performances by Rooftop Trees and Tangiers Blues Band.
“To all who have supported the critical work of the Red Cross, we say THANK YOU! Whether Americans give of their time or treasure, their commitment to helping one another should serve as an inspiration to us all. The heroes and partners we will celebrate during our gala embody the best of this spirit. We look forward to sharing their stories,” said Mary J. Barneby, CEO of the American Red Cross in Greater New York.
“We are proud to partner with the American Red Cross as they stand alongside individuals and families coping with disasters. It is a privilege for us to support this important work. And congratulations to our fellow honorees. Their stories and selfless actions should serve as an example to us all,” said Barry M. Wolf, Executive Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Honorees for the evening include:
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP: The 2022 Corporate Leadership Award will be presented to Weil in recognition of its nearly seven decades of philanthropic partnership with the Red Cross to support communities impacted by disasters. Accepting the award will be Matt Barr, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Denise Littlefield Sobel: The 2022 Humanitarian Award will be presented to Ms. Sobel, a devoted humanitarian and philanthropist, dedicated to repairing the world, known in Hebrew as tikkun olam. She focuses on disaster relief, food insecurity, social justice, and support for the arts with funding for programs that inspire diversity, inclusion and equity. A former board member, Ms. Sobel's long history with the American Red Cross started well before 9/11. Her altruism and leadership have strengthened the organization’s capacity to respond, not only to large disasters, but also to local emergencies, like home fires, that disrupt lives every single day. Her emphasis on philanthropy is to inspire others to donate through matching funds and to raise visibility to support our programs. The Honorable Vanessa Gibson, Bronx Borough President, will present the award to Ms. Sobel.
Robert Febles and George Lesaine: The American Red Cross Good Samaritan Heroes Award will be presented to Robert Febles and George Lesaine, two veteran NYC Dept of Sanitation workers. On Saturday, May 22, 2021, Mr. Febles and Mr. Lesaine were on their usual route when they noticed a nearby apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn on fire. Hearing piecing screams coming from the building, the two jumped off their truck and rushed towards the home. After helping a mother and her small children out, Febles and Lesaine made their way upstairs to bring an older lady trapped on the second floor to safety. Ultimately, the pair helped save four lives. When asked why they risked their lives to rescue the family, Lesaine responds, “It was really a no-brainer.” Febles adds, “It was the humanitarian thing to do. If more people would take a little bit of their time to help [others]…I think the world in some way would be a better place.” New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zachary Iscol will present the Good Samaritan Hero Award.
DaKaoiya D. Billie. The American Red Cross National Hero Award will be presented to DaKaoiya D. Billie, an experienced nurse practitioner based in Atlanta, Georgia. Since the start of the pandemic, Ms. Billie has travelled across the country to lend her compassion and expertise. The initial request to support healthcare facilities came in late March of 2020, early on during the COVID-19 crisis—a few weeks after she delivered her twin babies. With the encouragement and support of her family, Billie traveled to hospitals experiencing staffing challenges in New York City and Texas. Explaining her decision to take on these assignments, with four children—including two newborns—back at home, she evokes the legacy of the women in her family, her mother and grandmother in particular: “[they are] just a long line of women making sacrifices no matter what, and so I think it just rubbed off on me…I couldn’t say no.”
Dr. Jeffrey Vacirca, CEO New York Cancer and Blood Specialists will present the National Hero Award.
The American Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its vital mission. Proceeds raised during the Gala will enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, fires, and countless other crises. Sponsors of the 2022 Heroes Among Us Gala include:
Presenting Sponsor: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Inspiration Sponsor: Friese Foundation
Hero Sponsor: New York Cancer & Blood Specialists
After Party Sponsor: JLL
Visionary Sponsors: Barclays, BNY Mellon, Elizabeth McCaul & Frank Ingrassia, Citi, Marsh McLennan, McKinsey & Company, and OMD
Advocate Sponsors: Anheuser Busch, Dream New York Midtown, The Time New York, ES Blooms
For more information, tickets, and sponsorships, please visit www.redcross.org/NYGala