Red Cross celebrates 100 years of service to the South Florida

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Red Cross celebrates 100 years of service to the South Florida
Red Cross celebrates 100 years of service to the South Florida
Pictured (l-r) are Emily Borababy, executive director, Red Cross Miami and The Keys; Mimi Shafey, ball chair and humanitarian sponsor; Paul and Swanee DiMare, Centennial Humanitarians; Julia Bianchi, board chair, Red Cross Miami & The Keys, with gift custom-made by Lesli Brown.

The American Red Cross Greater Miami & The Keys celebrated 100 years of service to the South Florida community with the Centennial Celebration Ball on Saturday, Mar. 25, at the Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne.

Chaired by Mary “Mimi” Bradley Shafey, the ball honored past chairs and recognized the lifesaving services provided by the American Red Cross. Philanthropists and community champions Swanee and Paul DiMare were presented with the Centennial Humanitarian Award at the event.

The 35th annual ball took guests on a trip back in time through the past century. The historical narrative of the American Red Cross’ presence in the community came to life through vintage photos and the testimonials of those the organization has served during its tenure.

The Centennial Celebration Ball raised funds for the American Red Cross’ disaster preparedness, response and recovery programs and services, continuing its tradition and commitment to Greater Miami & The Keys.



“We are proud to be able to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the American Red Cross alongside some of our community’s most dedicated leaders,” Shafey said. “The gala event was a culmination of the hard work and dedication that the Red Cross staff and our committee volunteers have put in the last year to make the evening a success. The money raised tonight enables the American Red Cross to continue providing lifesaving services in South Florida.”

The nearly 350 guests attending the gala were treated to the sweet tunes of Soul Survivors amid spectacular decor provided by Deco Productions with flowers donated by Galleria Farms. The evening’s program and auction featured a video produced by Multivision Video & Film, and items that included an Oceania cruise, a Celebrity European cruise and a box suite donated by Motorola for the Bruno Mars concert at the American Airlines Arena, among dozens of other fabulous items. At evening’s end, The American Red Cross’ Greater Miami & The Keys Chapter partnered with Repeat Roses, an eco-friendly company that collects and repurposes florals from events and delivers them to those in need.

The gala flowers were restyled and arranged overnight and delivered to the Miami VA Hospital the next morning by ball committee members, Tiffany Circle members, board members and volunteers.

“This year we were proud to recognize and honor the DiMares and Past Ball Chairs who have been critical to helping us make a lasting impact in our community, as well as embodying the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross,” said board chair Julia Rea Bianchi. “The gala committee and Red Cross team executed a flawless event that really showcased the milestones of the Red Cross through the past 100 years.”

Ball Committee members include: Maria Beguiristain, Trish Bell, Stacy Briggle, Paula Brockway, Betty Brody, Terry Buoniconti, Debbie Campbell, Brenda Nestor Castellano, Pamela W. Cole, Leatrice Damus, Linda Levy Goldberg, Mary Frances Irvin, Jean B. Jenkins, Elizabeth Johnson, Marile Lopez, Betty Lopez-Castro, Ginger Mead, Rita Michel, Maria Cristina Miranda, Jenny Parker, Jeanie Pfleger, Barbara Reese, Frances Sevilla-Sacasa, Kristine Wenzel, Rita Wilder and Michele Wiseheart.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support for families affected by disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that saves lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

For more information,visit www.redcross.org/local/florida/south-florida/local-chapters/miami-the-keys or visit on twitter at @sflRedCross.


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