Red Cross celebrates its Solano County volunteers

FAIRFIELD, CA (July 27, 2018) — The American Red Cross of the Bay Area honored 9 individual volunteers and two partner organizations at its recent Recognition Dinner for Solano County volunteers. The annual event was held at the Jelly Belly Candy Factory in Fairfield.

At the dinner, Jody Kimbrel of Vacaville received the Solano County Volunteer of the Year Award. The evening’s other top honor, the Clara Barton Award, named after the founder of the Red Cross, was given to Bob and Elaine Florkowski of Benicia.

Jody Kimbrel exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism, and she has contributed significantly the chapter’s preparedness, response, and recovery activities in Marin County, said Eva Marquez, a Volunteer and Youth Services Manager for the Red Cross in the county. “Since joining us in July 2015, Jody has served as our county Disaster Chair, has faithfully responded to a number of local disaster calls, and has deployed to larger regional and national disasters. She is always ready and willing to do what’s necessary to help those in need in our communities.”

 Marquez said Bob and Elaine Florkowski are very deserving of the Clara Barton Award, which recognizes volunteer service in a series of leadership positions held over a number of years. The couple has each served in such roles during their 26 years with the Red Cross. Elaine served as the Health Services Lead in the county, has helped with client services, and has supported the Service to the Armed Forces program at Travis Air Force Base. Bob has taught many disaster courses, has been deployed multiple times in a variety of leadership roles for the Red Cross, and has also supported the Service to the Armed Forces program at Travis Air Force Base.

Trevor Riggen, CEO for the Bay Area Chapter and the entire Northern California Coastal Region, was on hand at the event to congratulate Kimbrel, the Florkowski’s, and the evening’s other award recipients:

  • Disaster Cycle Services Award – Exceptional Response: Michael Gaertner (Rio Vista)
  • Disaster Cycle Services Award – Extraordinary Commitment and Dedication: Karen Kindig (Fairfield)
  • Administration and Support Award: Larry Whitney (Benicia) and Pamela Ingram (Fairfield)
  • Teamwork Award: Lynda Hoppenrath (Vallejo)
  • Volunteer Supervisor: Alzinia Pailin (Fairfield)
  • Good Neighbor and Partnership: Calvary Baptist Church in Fairfield and the Salvation Army of Solano

Marquez says the annual event, which honors key volunteers, also gives the Red Cross an important opportunity to acknowledge all of its more than 90 Solano volunteers. In fact, many volunteers were honored at the event in acknowledgement of the large number of hours they devoted to Red Cross activities during the 2017 calendar year.

“Our volunteers are the heart of the Red Cross, supporting our humanitarian mission to help prevent and alleviate suffering in our communities,” Marquez says.

Photos from the dinner can be found on the Bay Area Chapter’s Flickr site at:


Become a Red Cross Volunteer: You can make a difference in Solano County by becoming a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Volunteers constitute about 94 percent of the total Red Cross workforce to carry out our humanitarian work. Red Cross volunteers are trained to meet the needs of those affected by disasters, providing food, shelter, and comfort for families affected by major disasters such as fires, floods, and earthquakes as well as helping local residents prepare for and recover from emergencies of all kinds. We’ll find the position that appeals to you and allows you to use your skills and talents. Email to get started.

About the American Red Cross of the Bay Area: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please call 415-427-8000 or visit to learn more. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.