First-responders, counselors, fundraisers honored at annual banquet.
The American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles, Santa Clarita District, recognized outstanding supporters May 13 at its annual Candlelight Awards dinner. These awards are given to volunteers and members of the community who have rendered outstanding service to the American Red Cross in the past year. The winners are nominated by fellow volunteers.
Joy Grahn received the SCV District Volunteer of the Year award for her service as Government Liaison. Grahn has made substantial contributions that will affect local disaster response for many years to come. She has been instrumental in bringing together government entities, including the City of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County Fire Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff, to coordinate a unified response effort during major disasters.
Richard North was presented with the District Mental Health Award, for his assistance during the I-5 tunnel explosion. In addition to coming to the aid of families fearing their loved ones were dead, he also gave comfort to other volunteers who were overwhelmed by this disaster.
Other Candlelight Awards winners are Matt Seaver (District General Service Award), Pat Allen (District Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year), and Craig Baker (District Disaster Services Volunteer). Good Neighbor Awards were given to Travelodge, Canyon Country (owned by Pankaj and Kapu Patel) and Best Western Valencia (Jose Becera, Manager) for providing lodging to families displaced by house and apartment fires throughout the year.
Many Certificates of Appreciation were also awarded to other volunteers and community members, including Los Angeles Fire Department Asst. Chief Angel Montoya for his role in getting power restored to LARC Ranch after the Buckweed Fire.
The American Red Cross is a volunteer-led organization, preparing throughout the year to serve the Santa Clarita community in times of disaster. There's always lots of work to be done. To become an American Red Cross disaster volunteer, please call the Santa Clarita Service Center, at (661) 259-1805.