Red Cross celebrates volunteers in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

Oakland, CA (August 9, 2018) —  The American Red Cross of the Bay Area honored 31 volunteers from Alameda and Contra Costa counties at the annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner, which took place at Pleasant Hill Senior Center in Contra Costa.

The evening’s top award, the Clara Barton Award, was given to Briana Taylor of Contra Costa County. The award, named after the founder of the American Red Cross, recognizes a volunteer for service in a series of leadership positions held over a number of years.

Briana oversees the Red Cross Contra Costa leadership council, which helps develop partnerships in the community. On a regional level, she has served on numerous district committees, as well as taught the seminar on External Relations and Government Operations at the Northern California Coastal Region Disaster Training Institute. During the recent north bay fires, she acted as the External Relations lead for both the Napa and Sonoma fires. Brian holds expertise in developing and implementing effective programs in a resourceful manner, which has enabled the American Red Cross to provide valuable service to the community. She embodies the Red Cross mission and has served in various leadership roles in the Red Cross over the past 16 years.

Other volunteers honored at the dinner include:

  • Exceptional Leadership Award: Rick Draper (Alameda), Craig Knudsen (Alameda) and Linda Crippin (Contra Costa)
  • Extraordinary Commitment and Dedication: Ken and Darlene Lem (Alameda) and Art Webb (Contra Costa)
  • Biomedical Services Award: Rachel Dresdner (Alameda) and Stephanie Woods (Contra Costa)
  • Biomedical Services Volunteer of the Year Award: Mary Catherine Haug (Alameda) and Elaine Kaufman (Contra Costa)
  • Biomedical Donor of the Year Award: Douglas Snow (Alameda) and Marc Thrasher (Contra Costa)
  • Good Neighbor and Partnership Award: Unity Council, Noel Gallo and Krystin Tong (Alameda) and Curtis Mentz of Walnut Creek Verizon (Contra Costa)
  • Community Engagement Award: Madeleine Biskintaoui (Alameda) and Patty Nichols (Contra Costa)
  • Volunteer Supervisor Award: Jennifer Hogan (Alameda) and Diane Dupuy (Contra Costa)
  • Administration and Support Award: Sheri Aylesworth (Alameda) and Irving Lee (Contra Costa)
  • Teamwork Award: Janet Weisman (Alameda) and Ritch Davidson (Contra Costa)
  • Collaboration Award: Jay Pimentel (Alameda), Harold Brooks (Alameda) and Gary Higgins (Contra Costa)
  • Youth Services Award: Hugh Velline (Alameda) and Pradhan Hariharan (Contra Costa)
  • New Volunteer of the Year Award: Ann Marie Drabin (Alameda), Cheryl Romero (Alameda) and Yolanda Pena Mendrek (Contra Costa)
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Jack McCredie (Alameda) and Dave Crippin (Contra Costa)
  • Clara Barton Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership: Briana Taylor (Contra Costa)

In addition, a number of people were honored at the event for the number of hours they volunteered for the Red Cross in 2017.

While the annual event spotlights a number of key volunteers, CEO of the Northern California Coastal Region, Trevor Riggen said the event is designed to acknowledge all of the Red Cross’s local volunteers. “Our volunteers take on a variety of important roles in serving our communities,” says Riggen. “All of our volunteers give selflessly of their time, and the Red Cross would not be able to provide the help and support we do without them.”

Photos from the events can be found on the California Northwest Chapter’s Flickr site:

Become a Red Cross Volunteer: You can make a difference in San Francisco 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. For more information, please send an email to


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 visit or find us on Facebook and Twitter.