Greater Miami & The Keys Chapter of the American Red Cross Celebrates

24th Annual Sara Hopkins Woodruff Spectrum Awards For Women

Joan Scheiner and
Phillis Oeters

The Greater Miami & The Keys Chapter of the American Red Cross celebrated its 24th Annual Sara Hopkins Woodruff Spectrum Awards For Women. Chaired by Phillis Oeters and Co-Chaired by Mona Adams and Nelly Farra, the awards celebrated during the Red Cross’ Centennial Year recognized outstanding women whose efforts have made significant contributions to the quality of life in South Florida. This year’s Honorary and Philanthropic Chairs were Swanee DiMare and Trish Bell, respectively.

Distinguished community leaders gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell for the annual ceremony. The event began with a reception, silent auction and a special exhibit featuring a Lilly Pulitzer Retrospective which showcased vintage and current pieces of Lilly Pulitzer fashions, marking the evolution of the brand through the decades. Through this partnership with Lilly Pulitzer, ten percent of the pop-up shops proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross. Following the reception, honorees and guests enjoyed a luncheon and the awards presentation.

As part of the ceremony, the American Red Cross announced a half a million-dollar gift from French businessman and philanthropist Bernard Darty on behalf of American veterans. This is the largest single gift ever received by the Red Cross designated specifically for its military and veteran’s programs. Darty was inspired to make the donation in honor of the U.S. Armed Forces who liberated France and saved the lives of his family’s after World War II.

Trish Bell and Marile Lopez

Approximately 400 guests that attended the luncheon were treated to an emotional video presentation on all of the winners produced by Josie Goytisolo and narrated by Ileana Bravo, who also served as MC for the event. The afternoon’s auction featured items that included a 10 or 11-night European cruise for two from Celebrity Cruises, a golf foursome at The Breakers Palm Beach, a VIP Behind the Scenes Cart Tour at Zoo Miami, grandstand tickets to the 2018 NASCAR Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway, 100 Level tickets to the Miami Open, among dozens of other fabulous items.

“We were so pleased to come together to honor the work of the selfless women in our community.” said Joanne Nowlin, chief executive officer for the American Red Cross South Florida Region. “This year marked one of the most successful events to date as we raised funds for the vital life-saving programs and services of the American Red Cross Greater Miami & The Keys Chapter.”

These leadership awards acknowledged exemplary women of our community that embody the humanitarian principles of the American Red Cross: Humanity, Impartiality, Independence, Unity, Neutrality, and Voluntary Service.

The 2017 Award recipients are:

  • Florida Blue Philanthropy Award – Ana VeigaMilton
  • Trish and Dan Bell Chairmen’s Award – Lilliam Machado
  • Cervera Real Estate, Inc. Ambassador Award – Michele Gillen
  • Margarita and Rick Tonkinson Community Service Award – Constance Collins
  • Bank of America Education Award – Linda Lecht
  • Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLP Empowerment Award – Patricia San Pedro
  • Mercantil Commercebank Entrepreneurial Award – Carole Ann Taylor
  • Baptist Health South Florida Healthcare Award – Joan Scheiner
  • Norma Echarte & Associates Hospitality Award – Cindy Hutson
  • Barbara Nelson Red Cross Service Award – Libby Witherspoon
  • Swanee and Paul DiMare Youth Award – Carolina Carrera-Justiz

Committee members include: Phillis Oeters, chair; Mona Ignatz Adams, co-chair: Nelly Farra, co-chair; Jessi Berrin, Ileana Bravo, Elda Brouwer, C.L. Conroy, Gloria Danovitz, Pamela Garrison, Josie Goytisolo, Dolly Hernandez, Doreen Lima, Patricia Lubian, Emily Marquez-Dulin, Hilda S. Mitrani, Arely Ruiz, Penny Shaffer, Joanie Stringer, Kenia Tedesco, Marielena Villamil, Roz S. Zacks

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 or visit us on Twitter at @SFLRedCross.