That was the main purpose for throwing the Wrapped in Red Gala on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at the Global Center for Health Innovation in downtown Cleveland. To say, “Thank you” to the many donors who contributed to the bloodmobile campaign for the American Red Cross of Northern Ohio.
More than $530,000 was donated to the campaign.
“We are happy to announce that we have met our goal and have ordered the new bloodmobile,” Regional CEO Mike Parks said from the ballroom stage. “The Red Cross could not fulfill its mission to keep the nation’s blood supply whole without your generosity. Thank you!”
That wasn’t the only newsworthy item of the evening. Richard Smucker, executive
chairman of The J. M. Smucker Company, announced, “I am very excited to share this evening that we will be increasing our support of the Red Cross and will now be an Annual Disaster Giving Program supporter.”
The Orrville-based company has committed $500,000 to pre-disaster planning.
With this level of support, Smucker’s will ensure the Red Cross can pre-position supplies, secure shelters, maintain vehicles and train volunteers nationwide to help keep the Red Cross ready to respond, day and night. This support also ensures the Red Cross can remain on hand to assist people as they recover following disaster.
The announcement of the increased level of support was made after Smucker’s was presented with the Steve D. Bullock Humanitarian Award, for its embodiment of the spirit of the Red Cross, through its contributions to the welfare and quality of life in the community. In addition to the Red Cross, the company supports a wide range of organizations locally and nationally.
The evening began in the atrium of the Global Center, where about 300 guests enjoyed local treats like Lake Erie walleye sliders, potato and cheese pierogi from the West Side Market, and locally crafted beer, along with red and white wine selections.
“Red and white, just like our blood cells,” WKYC’s Sara Shookman said, before auctioning the single item of the evening: a ticket package to the upcoming Major League Baseball All-Star game and associated activities, donated by Bank of America, and a dugout suite at Progressive Field for an Indians game, provided by FOXSports Ohio.
Following the brief formal program, the ballroom dance floor became the venue for an “After-Party,” sponsored by the Red Cross Young Professionals Council.
“The YPC Wrapped in Red Gala After-Party marks a strategic shift in the Greater Cleveland chapter’s fundraising mission and mindset, which does rely on financial resources, but also illustrates the inclusion of the younger generation in their future plans,” said Steve Siemborski, co-chair of the YPC. “I, along with the rest of the young professional community, am extremely proud to represent the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross as we celebrate the purchase of a new bloodmobile.”
YPC co-chair Andrew Bales added, “With such a strong group of young professionals in the Northeast Ohio region, we can significantly impact those in need, whether it is through a blood drive, Sound the Alarm campaign or any other volunteer capacity.”
Photos from the Wrapped in Red Gala can be viewed here.
To make an appointment to donate blood, whether it be at the donor site in Cleveland or Akron, a blood drive in the region, or aboard a Red Cross bloodmobile, visit redcrossblood.org.