In what is truly one of the most successful, most elegant fundraisers of the year, the Santa Monica Red Cross held its annual 2009 Red Tie Affair on Saturday, March 28 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. The nearly 500 guests, most of whom arrived wearing something red, included local community leaders as well as celebrities from the entertainment and sports worlds among whom were Dr. Bruce Hensel, Susan Blakely, Lis Rohm, Dr. & Mrs. Phil McGraw (Dr. Phil,) Rhonda Fleming, Hank Baskett (Philadelphia Eagles,) Matt Leinart (Arizona Cardinals,) and Garrett “GMac” McNamara (World Champion Big Board surfer, ) to name just a few.With Fox 11 News anchor Christine Devine serving as master of ceremonies, and a most fabulous gourmet meal prepared under the supervision of celebrity chef Nick Stellino, the theme of this year’s gala was a salute to the medical profession and emergency medicine. The Rick Crocker Spirit of Volunteerism Award, named for the Santa Monica Red Cross volunteer and Santa Monica police officer who was killed in Iraq while on active duty as a United States Marine Corp Reservist, was given by Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver to Russ Kino, Chief Executive Officer of Saint John’s Emergency Specialists; Medical Director, Emergency Services Saint John’s Health Center.Other honorees included the entire cast and crew and Jay McGraw, Executive Producer of The Doctors, a CBS daytime television show cited for raising health issues awareness, and the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, Nethercutt Emergency Center, and Saint John’s Health Center Emergency Department.The live auction was particular energetic as guests bid on an array of exciting items including a five-hour K-9 Ride-Along with Officer Bobby Villegas and his dog Nero which fetched $1,050, and the lunch for four and tour of the Number 1 Fire Station, which was won by celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey of the cable show Dr. 90210 who anted up $1,500.In this most challenging economic period, the generous outpouring of by our community bore witness to the depth of the human spirit in supporting the American Red Cross, the quiet, unsung heroes who are first on the scene to help in time of need.
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