The 2009 National Awards and Recognition Ceremony highlighted men and women for outstanding accomplishment, extraordinary dedication to the Red Cross mission and commitment to service.
American Red Cross Chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, President and CEO Gail McGovern and National Chair of Volunteers Pam Farr joined members of the Board of Governors, award recipients and others at Red Cross national headquarters for the event.
Kate Forbes received the Harriman Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service, the highest recognition a volunteer can receive in the American Red Cross. With decades of service and an unwavering belief in the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross, Forbes currently serves as the chair of the first ever Audit Committee of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The Mexican Red Cross received the International Humanitarian Service Award for working side by side with the American Red Cross to bring outreach and services to Spanish speaking clients and communities in the United States during disasters. Mexican Red Cross president Daniel Goñi Díaz accepted the award on behalf of his organization, commenting that he appreciates the opportunity to work together in the neighborhood shared by the Mexican Red Cross and the American Red Cross.
Worth Thomas of the Central Mississippi Chapter (Jackson) received the Leadership Award in recognition of the critical partnerships he formed between the chapter and local business and government. The National Disaster Preparedness and Response Volunteer of the Year Award went to Tessa Shumway, an American Red Cross of Montana (Great Falls) volunteer who leads the disaster team with the largest geographical region in the state from her home.
Jason Janoski, a volunteer with the Central Ohio Blood Services Region who chairs the region’s Joint Committee on Local Accountability won the Biomedical Achievement Award. The Biomedical Partnership Award went to Mike Boen, a volunteer with the North Central Blood Services Region. Through radio promotions, Boen, the managing partner of six radio stations, helped collect over 3,000 units of blood last year alone.
The Service to the Armed Forces Award was given to Julie DeMaria, creator of an innovative program to engage the community in providing comfort items to military. The program is unique to what is now the American Red Cross of Silicon Valley (San Jose, Calif.). Diane St. Denis, also with the American Red Cross of Silicon Valley, received the Ann Magnussen Award. St. Denis, a volunteer nurse, serves as Disaster Health Services Lead Nurse, and has deployed on 13 Disaster Relief Operations in the 15 years she has been a part of the Red Cross.
Three Employee Excellence Awards were presented: to Judy Mandrick of the Greater Rochester Chapter (Minn.); to Ruben Brown, a communicator with the American Red Cross of Atlanta (Ga.) in the Professional/Technical category; and to Charles Blake, Jr. of American Red Cross national headquarters in the Management category.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.