Red Cross celebrates volunteers in Silicon Valley
Red Cross celebrates volunteers in Silicon Valley

The American Red Cross of the Silicon Valley honored 19 people and one organization from Santa Clara County at its recent Volunteer Recognition and Awards Event. The annual chapter event took place this year on Sunday, May 21, at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos.

At the afternoon dinner, Art Bruns of San Jose received the American Red Cross’s top honor, the Clara Barton Award. The award, named after the founder of the Red Cross, recognizes a volunteer for service in a series of leadership positions held over a number of years.

Bruns is a biomedical volunteer who has been the Silicon Valley Chapter’s Transport Specialist Lead for many years. In that capacity, he coordinates the volunteer team that delivers lifesaving blood products the Red Cross collects to local hospitals and care centers.

Emcee Jonathan Bernier said the annual event, which honors key volunteers, also gives the Red Cross an important opportunity to acknowledge all of its 842 local volunteers. “Our volunteers are the people who really give meaning to the Red Cross mission to help people prepare for and recover from emergencies,” says Bernier, the chapter’s Volunteer and Youth Services Manager.

Ken Toren, recently named Chief Executive Officer for the Silicon Valley Chapter, and Marico Sayoc, mayor of Los Gatos, were also featured speakers at the annual event. “I want to thank each and every one of you for your service and dedication to the organization,” Toren said at the awards ceremony. “We could not do it without you all.”

In addition to Bruns, the following volunteers were honored at the afternoon event:

• Administration and Support Award: Yogita Kandpal of San Jose

• Biomedical Services Award: Gila Winefeld of Palo Alto

• Biomedical Services, Volunteer of the Year Award: Brad Healy of San Jose

• Community Engagement Award: Gordon Sakai of Gilroy

• Collaboration Award: Stephanie Wilde of San Jose and Peggy Wegner of Mountain View

• Disaster Cycle Services, Outstanding Support Award: Stuart Chessen of Cupertino

• Disaster Cycle Services, Exceptional Response Award: Jodi Wallace of San Jose

• Disaster Cycle Services, Extraordinary Commitment and Dedication: Richard Cutts of Roseville

• Disaster Cycle Services, Exceptional Leadership Award: Sue Trautman of Los Altos

• International Services Award: Lynde Alvarez of Portola Valley

• New Volunteer of the Year Award: Brad Gordon of Los Gatos

• Service to Armed Services Award: Mark Butler of San Jose, Barbara Millin of Palo Alto, and Ann Thomas of San Jose

• Teamwork Award: Evergreen Valley High School Club

• Volunteer of the Year Award: Terry Unter of Los Gatos

• Volunteer Supervisor Award: Jim Mollerus of Campbell

• Youth Services Award: Abha Patkar of Sunnyvale

In addition, a number of people were honored at the event for the number of hours they volunteered to the Red Cross in 2016.

Mona Shah is a multi-platform storyteller with expertise in digital communications, social media strategy, and content curation for Twitter and LinkedIn for C-suite executives. A journalist and editor,...