And the Clara Barton Award goes to…

Kate Burgess

kate burgess

(L-R: Shawn Kiser, Kate Burgess, Jody Weyers, and Mike Gallagher)

The Clara Barton Award is the highest honor possible. In 1881, Clara Barton was the driving force to create the American National Red Cross.

Clara was honored during her lifetime and is still honored as one of the great women of America. She was a true pioneer. She was devoted to a humanitarian mission and spurred on by her personal involvement on the front lines of the Civil War. She risked her life to assist the battered, bruised, shot and deceased on the front lines; she was forever coined “the angel of the battlefields”. Thus set in motion, one of today’s worldwide operations of today’s international Red Cross.  Her determination, perseverance and leadership are the cornerstone of today’s Red Cross. In her honor, the American Red Cross has designated the Clara Barton Award as the highest honor a volunteer can receive.

Much like Clara Barton, Kate feels a special connection to the military as her family has served our country in everything from World Wars to current conflicts. That connection with the military, as well as the HOPE the American Red Cross represents, is the driving force behind her commitment to the organization.

She’s helped raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years to support local Red Cross services. In February of 2012, she took home the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy at Dancing with Our Stars. In doing so, she set a then-fundraising record, bringing in more than $47,000. For four months she pounded the pavement, finding creative ways to steward her family, friends and business associates. All the while she preached the mission of the Red Cross.

Her ability to lead is evident when looking at the list of “star dancers” for Dancing with Our Stars 2013. She helped recruit several of them; bringing a new group of people to learn the mission and support the Red Cross. Those recruits included Betina and Donald Driver. She helped convince the Drivers to take part in the event and was instrumental in planning the “Drive the Red Party”, an event for Betina’s fundraising campaign, which brought in more than $140,000. Other star dancers often reach out to her for fundraising ideas and she is always willing to offer advice and support.

Another example of her leadership happened after Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast last year, causing massive devastation. Her business, fulfillnet, works with several companies located in the affected areas. Instead of purchasing traditional gifts for those associates, fulfillnet practiced its Responsible Citizenship value by donating $3,000 to the Red Cross for Sandy relief efforts.

As Clara said, “It is not the in the past that the glories or benefits of the Red Cross lie, but in the possibilities it has created for the future.”

Congratulations, Kate!

One Response

  1. I am the winner of this year’s award for my chapter here in the West Central Panhandle Chapter of Florida. It was an overwhelming surprise to me. I know how you feel.
    Hurricane Sandy, I know how terrible that storm was. I spent eighty eight days working all over NY.
    You meet some of the greatest people on a DR!
    Great job,
    Sandy November Hascher

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