American Red Cross 26th Annual Ball

Chairs Bob & Paula Brockway

On Saturday, March 8th, the Greater Miami & The Keys chapter of the American Red Cross held its 26th Annual Ball. The event, held in commemoration of the organization’s accomplishments in 2007, was held at the Mandarin Oriental Miami. The Annual Ball is a tradition that has been growing for the past 25 years, and 2008 was the most successful ball in local Red Cross history.

Each year, a dedicated committee of volunteers works tirelessly to plan the activities that will take place at the Ball. This year’s committee was chaired by Paula Brockway and included 35 outstanding and determined women committed to the mission of the Red Cross. A fabulous pre-ball dinner hosted by Betty Brody, Rita Michel and Swanee & Paul DiMare honoring the ball committee and sponsors was held on February 6th.

This year’s festivities were a fusion of glitz and glam with many of Miami’s social elite in attendance. Local 10’s Laurie Jennings was a captivating Mistress of Ceremonies.

Row 1- Phyllis Parsons, Aurelia Corbitt, Jean Jenkins, Chair Paula Brockway, Cybelle Santo Domingo Row2 – Michele Wiseheart, Virginia Mead, Debbie Campbell Row 3 – Norma Quintero, Betty Brody, Brenda Nestor Castellano, Alison Robinson, Trish Bell, Beth Johnson Row 4 – Ellen Nagel, Jennifer Pfleger, Meg French, Terry Buoniconti, Jeanie Pfleger Row 5 – Denie Freyer, Liz Gallagher, Barbara Reese

The gala, which serves as a celebration of the efforts of volunteers and staff, is a major fundraiser for the organization and has brought together many in the community in support of the Red Cross. With the help of many individuals and local businesses, the ball raised a record-breaking $885,000. All proceeds fund the local lifesaving programs and services of the Red Cross such as Disaster Relief, CPR, First Aid and Service to the Armed Forces.

Undoubtedly, the most memorable prize of the several items raffled during the evening was a brand new 2008 red Mercedes-Benz CLK 350 Cabriolet donated by Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, a Bill Ussery Motors Company. The lucky winning ticket, one of 1,000 tickets sold, was selected at the event. Other exceptional prizes included a one-night stay at the luxurious Mandarin Suite at the Mandarin Oriental valued at $5,500, a $5,000 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus Coral Gables, a $2,500 shopping spree at Country French, and a $2,500 shopping spree at Lane’s Store for Men.

The Greater Miami & The Keys chapter of the American Red Cross helps to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters that affect our community. Events such as the Red Cross Ball help ensure that the Red Cross will always be ready and able to respond to the needs of our neighbors.

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