Recently I joined the American Red Cross as a volunteer in the Central Florida region. I work with their Public Relations department taking photos for both local and national releases. I believe the work they do is essential to meeting the needs of the community when disaster strikes. This can range from helping a family recover from a home fire to responding to a flood or hurricane. The Red Cross provides food, shelter and other essential supplies to those in need. Without the Red Cross’ help many of those affected may be left with nothing but what they had with them.
On Friday, February 17th I was invited to photograph a luncheon event donated by Holland America Line on board the MS Oosterdam as a thank you to local donors for enabling the Red Cross Central Florida Chapter to fulfill their mission. The event was held at the Port of Tampa while the ship was getting ready for its next sailing. We boarded the ship and made our way to the Vista Dining Room.
For lunch they served a choice of Salmon Tartar or Gazpacho as an appetizer, as well as a choice of Chateaubriand, Orecchiette Pasta or Salmon fillet for the main course. Dessert was an Esterel Cake made with white chocolate and raspberry sauce.
After lunch we moved forward on deck two to the Queen’s Lounge for a short presentation by several members of the Red Cross who talked about their mission and everything they were able to accomplish over the past year. The keynote speaker for the event was Brad Kieserman, the Vice President of Disaster Operations and Logistics. He talked about his role within the organization and the important work they do in disasters such as Hurricane Matthew and right now in California with the Oroville Dam situation.
After the presentation we took time out to take some portraits with Brad and the members of the Board of Directors.
Around the Ship
Before we disembarked there was a little time left to wander around and take some photos of the beautiful ship.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Red Cross check out my posts about other Red Cross events!