Local chapter of the American Red Cross celebrates Spectrum Awards for Women
Group photograph of Spectrum awardees (front row) and sponsors (standing)

The Greater Miami & The Keys Chapter of the American Red Cross celebrated its 25th annual Sara Hopkins Woodruff Spectrum Awards for Women.

Chaired by Phillis Oeters, the awards recognized outstanding women whose efforts have made significant contributions to the quality of life in South Florida. The honorary and philanthropic chairs were Swanee DiMare and Trish Bell, respectively. This year, Oeters was honored with the Silver Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award for her years of service to the American Red Cross and Spectrum Awards.

Distinguished community leaders gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove in November for the annual ceremony. The event began with a champagne reception and silent auction. Following the reception, honorees and guests enjoyed a luncheon and the awards presentation.

Approximately 400 guests who attended the luncheon were treated to an emotional video presentation on all the winners produced by Josie Goytisolo and narrated by Ileana Bravo, who also served as emcee for the event. The afternoon’s auction featured items that included a three-day Bahamas cruise for two from Norwegian Cruise Line; a three-day/two-night getaway at

The Breakers Palm Beach; a pearl necklace courtesy of Snow Jewelers; four Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets tickets for Sunday, Mar. 17, with parking passes and access to the Flagship Lounge; a custom cocktail dress by Miami’s renowned fashion designer Rene Ruiz; a two-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, and The Queen’s Basket which includes “The Queen at 90” book and assorted British liquors and goodies.

“It is always a pleasure to honor the work of the selfless women in our community that embody the humanitarian principles of the American Red Cross,” said Emily Borababy, executive director of the Greater Miami and The Keys Chapter. “In addition to being one of the most successful Spectrum Awards lunches in recent history, we also honored Phillis Oeters with the Silver Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award for her years of service to the American Red Cross and Spectrum Awards.”

“Spectrum” refers to women’s impact across the broad scope of community life as well as the diversity of cultures represented in the community. The moneys raised at the luncheon will fund the vital lifesaving programs and services of the Greater Miami and The Keys Chapter. These leadership awards acknowledge the humanitarian principles of the Red Cross: Humanity, Impartiality, Independence, Unity, Neutrality, and Voluntary Service.

The 2018 Award recipients are:
• Do Unto Others Trust Philanthropy Award – Mary “Mimi” Bradley Shafey;
• Trish and Dan Bell Chairman’s Award – Remedios Diaz-Oliver;
• Cervera Real Estate Inc. Ambassador Award – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen;
• Rick and Margarita Tonkinson Community Service Award – Martha E. Avila;
• Bank of America Education Award – Linda Dwyer;
• Holland & Knight Culture Award – Diane Moss;
• Mercantil Bank Entrepreneurial Award – Christine Franklin;
• Baptist Health South Florida Healthcare Award – Linda S. Quick;
• Norma Echarte & Associates Hospitality Award – Mercy Vera;
• UHealth Red Cross Service Award – Vivian C. de las Cuevas;
• Red Cross Rising Star Award – Kamille A. Garness & Annia Elena Lopez, and
• Swanee and Paul DiMare Youth Award – Aurora Olga Cosio.

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 redcross.org/southflorida.

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