Welcome Friends & Family of the American Red Cross,

Thank you for attending the Dine & Dock Celebrity/CEO & Experience Auction 2017 Humanitarian Awards benefiting the American Red Cross.  We are delighted to take this opportunity to highlight all the wonderful work that our Humanitarian Honorees Liz Caldwell and the Fire Chief’s Association of Broward County have done for our Community. Deputy Fire Chief Thomas J. DiBernardo – Seminole Fire Rescue is the President of the Fire Chief’s Association of Broward County and will accept the award on their behalf.  Some talented VIP’s and Celebrities will be participating in our “live auction” to raise additional funds for our mission and we’re grateful for their time and talent.

The Broward Chapter of the American Red Cross has been helping local families and individuals prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters and emergencies since it was officially formed in 1918, 13 years after the national organization was chartered by an Act of Congress.

We continue to support the 1.8 million Broward residents. As I’m writing this we are facing the uncertainty of Hurricane Irma. I’m so proud of our talented team of Volunteers and Paid Staff. Everyone steps up, rises to the occasion with a can-do attitude.  Additionally, I’m very grateful for our incredible corporate partners including non-profit partners; specifically, the United Way of Broward County and Kathleen Cannon.  Everyone communicates and works together to make sure Broward County is priority #1.

Disasters, by their nature, are chaotic. No response agency ever gets it right all the time. Most people will recognize that sheltering, feeding, and tending to the mental health and health needs of tens of thousands of people in shelters is no easy task—especially when faced with challenging conditions and lack of access to some areas due to flooding and closed roads. That’s reality—not failure—in a disaster zone. We work to find problems and fix them as soon as possible to help those impacted. We strive to provide comfort and care to those that need and it’s a privilege to be a part of this outstanding team.

This year we responded to several major disasters; ranging from Hurricane Matthew, Fort Lauderdale Shooting Incident, to the onslaught of severe storms and tornadoes that have impacted portions of the Southern Plains and Mississippi Valley, Hurricane Harvey which brought record breaking flooding, and expected in 48hrs. – Hurricane Irma.  The American Red Cross responds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year with our life-saving initiatives.  Through the support of generous donors that help ensure the American Red Cross is there when needed most. Thank you!

Without the generosity of our event committee, corporate sponsors, Philanthropy Committee and Board of Directors this event would not be possible.  Red Cross volunteers may work for free, but they receive rewards far greater than money – they know in their hearts that they did the right thing, helped someone in need or shared a life-saving skill.  That explains why Red Cross services are provided free of charge – because they are a gift – straight from the heart.  So long as generosity, caring and the willingness to extend a helping hand live in the American heart, the Red Cross will turn that compassion into action – today and over the next 100 years.

Thanks for being here tonight and for your continued support!

Thank you,
Paula R. Prendergast
Executive Director