On Saturday, April 16, the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter hosted their annual Red Cross Gala in San Francisco’s Union Square to raise funds in support of local Red Cross disaster readiness and relief efforts. The event took place under the stars in a clear tent decorated with unique décor, including striking black-and-white photographs taken during the devastating earthquake in California in 1906. The photos exhibited the significance of the Red Cross in the Bay Area and highlighted Union Square, which served as a Red Cross station during the earthquake.
The spectacular evening was hosted by co-chairs Gwyneth Borden and Roberta Economidis, and was in attendance by more than 500 of the Bay Area’s philanthropic, civic, and corporate figures. Guests were welcomed to the event with a Hollywood-style arrival, complete with a red carpet, a step and repeat, music by DJ Christopher B, and a red Audi R8, which served as a great photo op spot during the cocktail reception during which guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, a Grey Goose Vodka bar, select wines courtesy of Gallo Family Vineyards, and sparkling wines from Wente – all served by waiters donning authentic vintage Red Cross uniforms.
After the cocktail reception, guests were welcomed into the dining room, which featured a stunning 16’ x 16’ red cross handmade by 60 Red Cross youth volunteers, which became illuminated at the height of the evening. Guests enjoyed a formal dinner beautifully crafted and catered by Paula LeDuc Fine Catering while enjoying an awards ceremony and an action-packed live auction.
Greg Quiroga, auctioneer from Reynolds & Buckley, had the crowd amped up for the exciting auction, the most successful “Fund A Need” lot ever, which is a direct donation for the Bay Area’s chapter of the American Red Cross. The top bid lot, which took in $10,000, was a “Top Chef” package that included a private meal prepared by two-time Top Chef contestant Casey Thompson, to be paired with Australian wines at the Australian consulate. This lot certainly got the crowd going, as it sold twice. Additionally, an Audi driving experience at Infineon Raceway was doubled in order to accommodate two winners at $6,500 each.
After the dinner and live auction, party goers danced the night away beneath the stars to music by Silver Moon Big Band and enjoyed a special guest appearance from Marilu Henner, who performed two songs with the band.