Members of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle of the South Florida Region honored local military “women warriors” by presenting them with custom designed challenge coins during a luncheon at the Coral Reef Yacht Club.
The Tiffany Circle is a society of women leaders and philanthropists who, by investing $10,000 annually in their local American Red Cross chapter, are following in the footsteps of a long line of women leaders who have helped the Red Cross serve the American public through times of war and peace with disaster assistance, blood collection, safety training, and countless other community assistance services.
The name Tiffany has historical precedent in the beautiful Tiffany windows in the Board of Governors Hall in the Red Cross national headquarters in Washington, DC.
The women honored belonged to all branches of the military and included Brigadier General Linda Urrutia-Varhall, Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance for the United States Southern Command.
For nearly a century, military personnel have created personalized challenge coins to honor exceptional individuals, explained Julia Bianchi, past Tiffany Circle National co-chair. She said the tradition began when an American World War I flying ace had medallions minted for his unit to recognize their loyalty.
“Today, besides being proof of unit membership, challenge coins are awarded to outstanding service and appreciation of excellence in performance of duty,” Bianchi added. “The American Red Cross Tiffany Circle continues this honored tradition and today we are using this opportunity to personally honor local women members of the Armed Forces by presenting coins in appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice.”
Brigadier General Urrutia-Varhall used the opportunity to thank the American Red Cross for the long and strong partnership it has had with the military.
She made special reference to the emergency messages that the Red Cross sends to service men and women across the country and the world and said these communications were priceless. She summed it best by saying, “The Red Cross never leaves us. Never”
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