Red Cross 'Celebrate Red' Gala

MORRISTOWN. New Jerseyans are invited to celebrate the community with the Red Cross. The event will be held on Thursday, May 9 at the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown.


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The American Red Cross New Jersey Region will be holding its Celebrate Red! fundraising gala on the evening of Thursday, May 9 at The Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, New Jersey. The event will recognize the incredible impact three honorees have had in the community. Event guests will enjoy an evening of delicious cocktails and cuisine, live music, dancing and a fabulous auction.

Honorees include BMW of North America, recipient of the William W. Augustine Award; Edward J. Susco, recipient of the Quinn Award; and the organizers of the Stay Strong Michael Blood Drive are the recipients of the Bob Clancy Culture of Caring Award.

“Each of our honorees has made an incredible impact on the community and has graciously helped carry forward the Red Cross mission in New Jersey,” said Rosie Taravella, CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “We are proud to honor their remarkable service.”

William W. Augustine Award

For more than a quarter century, BMW Group has supported the American Red Cross and its disaster relief efforts that touch communities across the United States. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, BMW donated several first generation X5 Sport Activity Vehicles to support Red Cross operations. BMW also has a long history of supporting Red Cross relief efforts following large-scale natural disasters. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and, more recently, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, BMW and its associates donated millions of dollars in aid to support communities devastated by these disasters.

Looking for ways to support the Red Cross outside times of disaster, a team with BMW of North America created a campaign which donates $5.00 from the sale of each official BMW First Aid Kit sold at dealerships and included it as an option with the purchase of each new sedan. To date, this successful campaign supporting all Red Cross programs and services, has raised more than $1 million. BMW of North America, LLC is a current member of the Annual Disaster Giving Program, a recognition society reserved for corporate partners who contribute more than $500,000 annually to the American Red Cross.

Quinn Award

Sparta resident and American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey Board Member Edward J. Susco captures the spirit of the Quinn Family's legacy and continues to strengthen the fabric of his community through the mission of the Red Cross. For more than 15 years, Susco has volunteered in various roles with the organization, including Board Chair and Community Volunteer Leader. Susco has served on fundraising event committees, executive search committees and has been a mentor to new Board members. He also plays a key role with an annual collection of comfort items which are shipped in care packages to members of the Armed Forces serving overseas.

The Quinn Family legacy has deep roots in Sussex County, which began with the founding of the Red Cross Chapter by Mrs. Joseph P. Quinn, Sr. in 1917. Susco’s contribution of dedicated service, time, and personal resources to assist the American Red Cross in the accomplishment of its humanitarian mission are being honored with the Quinn Award.

"I'm honored to be presented with the Quinn Award," said Edward Susco. “I feel extremely privileged to have served as Board Chairman of the Red Cross Sussex County and Northern New Jersey chapters over the years. It has been personally gratifying to serve my community as a board member, community advocate and ambassador for the American Red Cross.”

Bob Clancy Culture of Caring Award

The Stay Strong Michael Red Cross Blood Drive was originated in Chatham by five local mothers in honor of Michael DiMaggio, currently a sophomore in high school. Michael was severely injured in October of 2014 when he was struck by a car while walking home from school on a Main Street sidewalk in Chatham. Michael suffered life-threatening injuries and required seven blood transfusions within the first 72 hours of the accident. According to his family, Michael’s strength and determination, coupled with the love and support he received, including lifesaving blood from volunteer blood donors, have helped lead Michael to a miraculous recovery.

Michael’s mother Nicole DiMaggio, along with Michelle Clark, Melissa Fitzgerald, Marguerite White and Rosalinda Rubio-Williams organized the first annual Stay Strong Michael blood drive that year. The drive has been held every year since, collecting a total of 266 units of blood. The organizers are being recognized for their commitment to help create a culture of caring in the community.

Dave Sanderson, a survivor of US Airways Flight 1549, known as The Miracle on the Hudson, will be the guest speaker at the gala, returning to New Jersey to share his experience along with his appreciation for the compassion and assistance he received from Red Cross volunteers on the Hudson River waterfront ten years ago.

Proceeds from Celebrate Red! will benefit Red Cross programs and services, including disaster relief for families affected by local disasters such as home fires. Last year, the American Red Cross New Jersey Region responded to more than 900 home fires to provide comfort and emergency assistance for temporary lodging, food and clothing as needed to more than 2,250 New Jersey families.

Celebrate Red: Committee Chair Zeba Khan and the Red Cross are grateful for the support of sponsors, including Disaster Relief Sponsors BMW of North America, Celgene and Investors Bank; Humanity Sponsors Allergan, Proskauer and PSEG; Preparedness Sponsors AllState, Audio Visual Associates, Inc. and M&T Bank; Lifesaver Sponsor Deloitte; Hero Sponsor Ziegler, Zemsky, and Resnick LLC.; Dancing Sponsor Nisivoccia; and Auction Sponsor Ernst & Young.

Tickets are available at redcross.org/NJ or by contacting Aimee Alven at aimee.alven@redcross.org or (609) 819-2093.



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