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Jimmy Smits to Serve As Master of Ceremonies at American Red Cross 125th Anniversary Gala


WASHINGTON, Wednesday, May 10, 2006 — Emmy award and Golden Globe-winning actor, Jimmy Smits, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies at the American Red Cross 125th Anniversary Gala being held Thursday, May 11, 2006 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

The 125th Anniversary Gala is a grand tribute to the organization, their employees and volunteers, and their partners, for their countless sacrifices and dedication to assuring that the Red Cross will always be there in our time of need.

The Gala will feature a special performance by 2004 American Idol winner, Fantasia, and will also include Jane Seymour, a Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet Member, who will highlight the historical significance of the American Red Cross. More than 1,300 Governors, Members of Congress, Corporate Executives, Philanthropists, Washington dignitaries, and Red Cross leaders and friends will be on hand to celebrate the American Red Cross’ commitment for the past 125 years.

Jimmy Smits, a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet, has established himself as one of the most gifted and versatile actors working in film, television and on the stage. He is one of the few actors who can move effortlessly from television to film to stage and back again.

After an influential and successful role in the critically-acclaimed ABC series “NYPD Blue,” Smits has returned to television, once again in a powerful role on NBC’s “The West Wing” playing Matt Santos, the President-Elect.

After visiting Hurricane Katrina disaster victims Jimmy Smits said, “It is heartbreaking to see so many that have lost so much. However, it is heartwarming to see so many that have left the comfort of their homes, and loved ones to help others in need.”

The American Red Cross 125th Anniversary Gala will be an inspirational evening honoring the invaluable service the American Red Cross has provided over the past 125 years.

The American Red Cross has helped people mobilize to help their neighbors for 125 years. Last year, victims of a record 72,883 disasters, most of them fires, turned to the nearly 1 million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross for help and hope. Through more than 800 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people each year gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Almost 4 million people give blood—the gift of life—through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of more than 180 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world’s most vulnerable people. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.


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