American Red Cross Presents 65 with Presidential Commendation for Volunteer Service

April 26, 2010

Northern California Blood Services Region CEO Jay Winkenbach presents Lee Baker with the President's Volunteer Service Award on April 20, 2010. Baker has amassed more than 4,000 hours of volunteer service with the Red Cross in the past 50 years.

Last week, in honor of National Volunteer Week, the American Red Cross
Northern California Blood Services Region presented Lee Baker and
64 others with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor
offered in recognition of volunteer service.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in American spirit, and to encourage all Americans to
improve their communities through volunteer service.

Baker, an Oakland resident, was one of five volunteers to be presented with the
Lifetime Achievement Award (PVSA), having logged well in excess of 4,000 hours
of volunteer service with the Red Cross during the past 50 years.

“Lee comes from a generation that believed in community service, not as a
requirement for high school graduation, but as a requirement for life,
”American Red Cross Volunteer Coordinator Anne Blackstone said. “For
all of her hours of service, for which there could never be enough appropriate
words of thanks, the Red Cross extends its heartfelt appreciation to Lee as the
epitome of what this service award is all about.”

“Grandma Baker”, as she is known to many donors, volunteers her time at Oakland-area blood drives, where she serves as a blood donor ambassador in the canteen area.

After donating blood, donors are required to rest for fifteen minutes in a refreshment area referred to as the “canteen”.  Baker provides donors with juice and snacks, which help restore the fluids and nutrients lost during the donation process. She also provides educational information and helps donors schedule their next appointment.

As a blood donor ambassador, Baker is often the face of the Red Cross to many donors.  It’s her job to thank them for their donations, make sure they are comfortable and most of all make sure each of them feel appreciated.  A job she’s happy to do.

As she puts it, “People who give blood are special.”   

The following volunteers were also honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award last week:


Individual Awards

Lifetime Achievement Honorees (4,000 or more hours over a lifetime)

Lillian Carlson of Santa Cruz

Hazel Fox of Salinas

Maurie Klimcheck of Watsonville

Margaret Rose Prewett of Paicines


Gold Level Honorees
(500 or more hours)

Silver Level Honorees
(250-499 hours)

Bronze Level Honorees
(100-249 hours)

Patricia Birchmier of Gilroy

Bernice Bondy of Orinda

George Bozich of San Jose

Joan Blood of San Jose

Dun Cannon of Fremont

Esther Carlow of Gilroy

William Bondy of Orinda

Earlyne Clift of Oakland

Diane Chambers of San Jose

Carol Jean Brittain of Gilroy

Lynn Crosby of Oakland

Amy Donati of Hollister

Helen Casillas of Hollister

Bob Erbland of Walnut Creek

Robert Filkowski of San Jose

Suzanne Corica of San Jose

Patricia Finch of Fremont

Gail Fitzgerald of San Jose

Shirley Cotta of Gilroy

Neil Keever of Saratoga

Cindy Follick of Piedmont

Kathy Cross of Emeryville

Gerry Lim of Emeryville

Russell Joseph of San Jose

Charles Dunkle of Alameda

Margaret Prewett of Hollister

Michele Kabacinski of Oakland

Helen Fairchild of Mt. Hermon

Carol Rogers of Santa Cruz

Jeanette Klumb of Piedmont

Judy Filice of Gilroy

Andro Sergides of San Jose

Diane Longfield of Oakland

Patricia Montmorency of Oakland

Sherry Sheets of Pleasanton

Karen Moody of San Leandro

Len Saltzman of Oakland

Andrea Simunovich of Watsonville

Molly Neylan of Morgan Hill

Sally Silva of Hollister

Cathy Slinkard of Livermore

Sandy Peters of Watsonville

Jan Smits of Santa Clara

AdelaideSoria of Santa Cruz

Steven Richardson of Fremont

Lou Toepfer of Alameda

Barbara Zaucha of Morgan Hill

Timothy Rissing of San Jose

Tim Van Bourg of Oakland


Kirk Schultz of Santa Cruz

David Waterman of Livermore


VirginiaSellers of Morgan Hill



Dennis Uyeno of San Jose



LydiaWesson of San Jose



Michael Wethern of San Leandro



Nadine Whittaker of San Jose

Group Awards

Gold Level Honorees (1,000 or more hours)

American Red Cross at Cal (accepted by Emily Ma of Berkeley and Salman Qasim of Fremont)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Retirees (accepted by Jan Pfeifer)


Bronze Level Honorees (200-499 hours)

Inner Wheel Club (accepted by JoAnn Cornelius of Castro Valley and Virginia Theisen-Gibbs of San Leandro)

Pleasanton Kiwanis (accepted by Lawrence Mui)


The Red Cross has a number of volunteer opportunities available throughout the Bay Area.