American Red Cross Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast
(SAVANNAH, GA) The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia will host its fifth Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 20, at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. in downtown Savannah.
This fundraising event will recognize local students who are giving back to their communities by volunteering at school and for religious organizations, various non-profits, camps and more. It will also honor Cecilia Russo Turner for her volunteer work in the community, as well as her philanthropy and advocacy.
“We hold this fundraiser each year to recognize outstanding youth for their commitment to improving our communities through volunteer service and to help increase awareness of the difference a commitment to service and compassion makes in the lives of our neighbors in need,” said Esther Sheppard, the agency’s executive director. “We know their potential is boundless. Therefore, we also honor a community mentor of the year to inspire and encourage them in their work.”
Turner, this year’s community honoree, is CEO of Cecilia Russo Marketing. During her 23-year career, she has managed and participated in philanthropic activities that have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit charities and civic improvements in Savannah and the Lowcountry. Turner also was one of the creators of the Youth Heroes event.
“Five years ago, I could not have imagined this idea would take hold, take shape and grow to be embraced the way it has by both this organization and the community it serves,” said Turner. “Professionally, my mentor is Cliff McCurry, who was, incidentally, the first recipient of this award. He and the other recipients have mentored untold numbers of young people, and each knows the power of hard work and rising above doubt, adversity and rejection.”
In addition to McCurry, who is a managing trustee at the University of Georgia Foundation; previous honorees are Cathy Hill, who recently retired as a senior executive with Georgia Power; Celia Dunn, owner of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty; and former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.
Students in the sixth through twelfth grades who will be recognized are enrolled public or private schools or are home-school students in the 2017-2018 school year. They each have at least 30 recorded and verified volunteer activities addressing community needs within southeast and coastal Georgia.
The public is invited to support the Youth Heroes Breakfast and contribute to the American Red Cross through tax-deductible gifts that range from purchasing individual tickets or corporate-level packages to making donations to recognize the honorees.
“Contributions make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors in need when disaster affects their lives,” said Sheppard. “We hope that, like these volunteers, members of the community will answer the call to help by supporting this organization and this event.”
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS OF SOUTHEAST AND COASTAL GEORGIA
The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia was established on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1917, and has served the community for more than one hundred years, now providing services in 17 southeast Georgia counties. Volunteers constitute 96 percent of the workforce, serving as members of the board, instructors teaching lifesaving skills, disaster action team members, office administrators and event organizers. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/southeastgeorgia or call 912-651-5300 or 800-733-6767.
ABOUT CECILIA RUSSO TURNER
Cecilia Russo, of Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC, is a marketing professional with a proven record among Savannah’s top-tier non-profit and for-profit organizations, businesses and corporations in the areas of fund development, marketing, public relations and event planning. As a native Savannahian, Cecilia’s knowledge and experience give her unique insights into channeling the efforts of volunteers and constituents into effective, mission-driven public relations activities that translate into measurable results. She was voted one of Savannah’s “40 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Savannah Business Report and Journal in 2005. For more information, visit online at https://ceciliarussomarketing.wordpress.com or call 912-665-0005.