American Red Cross Adds Five New Members to Celebrity Cabinet

Award-winning actress, talk show personality and music artists join 35 other celebrity Red Cross supporters.

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Five celebrities join the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet, a group of celebrity supporters who promote Red Cross services by donating their time, helping neighbors prepare for emergencies, responding to disasters and lending a helping hand to those in need – down the street, across the country and around the world.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

New members include talk show host and designer Nate Berkus, Emmy and Tony award winning performer Kristin Chenoweth, Latin star and multiple award winner Rogelio Martinez, award-winning country artist Darius Rucker, and Christian/Pop recording artist, Michael W. Smith.  With the addition of the five new members, the Red Cross now has 40 members on its National Celebrity Cabinet.

"The American Red Cross runs on the valuable service of volunteers to fulfill our mission and we are grateful that these celebrities are setting an example by volunteering their time and talents to help raise awareness of our mission in responding to disasters, providing blood, helping military members and their families and promoting preparedness through first aid or CPR classes," stated American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern.

The new Celebrity Cabinet members have already made personal contributions and have supported the Red Cross mission.

Rucker helped raise more than $1.7 million during a fundraising telethon for the 2010 Nashville floods, a portion of which was directed towards Red Cross relief efforts.  Chenoweth, a native of Oklahoma, taped multiple public service announcements for the Red Cross on the importance of blood donations as well as hurricane preparedness.  Martinez competed in Univision's debut of Mira Quien Baila and Univision's show El Gran Show and selected Red Cross as his charity of choice.  Smith used his star power to gather A-list Country artists to record "Come Together Now," donating a portion of the proceeds to benefit Red Cross disaster relief efforts in Haiti.  Berkus, a survivor of the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka was inspired by Red Cross response and has since encouraged his fans and viewers to donate and support Red Cross efforts toward the relief response to the Japan earthquake.

"After surviving the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, I found myself without food, water, shelter - the most basic needs required to survive.  Suddenly my livelihood hinged on the one hope shared by all survivors, 'please let help be on the way.'  For me, that help came in the form of the Red Cross. When I saw their volunteers, I knew it meant safety, clean water, a meal; not just for me, but for thousands of other survivors too.  The work they do is invaluable.  They save lives.  They re-instill hope.  And, I'm honored to join them in their mission to do both," said Berkus.

"The American Red Cross is such a great organization and I'm proud to join their lifesaving mission to provide hope to those who need it most," said Chenoweth.

"I am honored and humbled to be part of such a great organization that is always there to help without barriers. As a member of the National Celebrity Cabinet, you can always count on me to get the job done," said Martinez

"Whether it is a call to action for blood drives, disaster relief, or just community outreach, the American Red Cross does an extraordinary job at not only meeting the immediate needs of a community, but also the preparation and planning for long-term support," said Rucker.  "I am honored that they would include me in the cabinet as a member and contributor."

"I'm so honored to serve a role with the American Red Cross.  It is an organization I have supported, recommended and trusted for so many years.  I'm proud to lend my name and support and look forward to being actively involved in the incredible work they do for those in such great need," said Smith.

Please click here for more Celebrity Cabinet member quotes.

The announcement of the new Celebrity Cabinet members comes during National Volunteer Week, which has been recognized through a presidential proclamation.  National Volunteer Week encourages people to give back to their community and commemorates those that already do.

"During National Volunteer Week, we celebrate the profound impact of volunteers and encourage all Americans to discover their own power to make a difference.  Every one of us has a role to play in making our communities and our country stronger," remarked President Barack Obama in the 2011 proclamation.

The work of the American Red Cross with public figures and celebrities dates back to World War I.  Over the years, actors, artist and sports figures who have committed their time and talents to the organization have played an important role in raising awareness of the Red Cross mission.

New members of the 2011 American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet

Nate Berkus is a designer and host of his own daily syndicated talk show. Having founded his own design firm in 1995, Nate went on to become a regular design expert to The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002. Nate then launched a complete line of products for the home and published his first book, Home Rules, which went on to be a NY Times best seller, in 2005. "The Nate Berkus Show" launched in September of 2010. To learn more about Nate please visit www.nateberkusdesign.com.

Kristin Chenoweth is an Oklahoma native and began her career on Broadway starring in productions such as You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown; Wicked; The Apple Tree; and Promises Promises.  She has also starred as Annabeth Schott in NBC's The West Wing and in various roles in Fraiser, Ugly Better and Glee.  She received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a comedy series for her work in Pushing Daisies. Her film credits include roles in Bewitched; The Pink Panther, Stranger Than Fiction, You Again, among others and recently wrapped production of her next movie, A Family Weekend.  Chenoweth has also written an uplifting candid, comedic chronicle of her life so far, "A Little Bit Wicked," which debuted at #12 on the New York Times Hardcover Non Fiction Best Seller List.  Chenoweth's fourth CD will be released this fall.

Rogelio Martinez is a versatile artist and entertainment professional who has recorded 22 albums. He is also a showman, singer, composer and producer, movie and TV actor, successful dancer, horse rider and philanthropist. Rogelio's discography made him famous in the United States in the early 2000s when he became the only regional Mexican singer who had four songs placed on the Billboard simultaneously. Most recently, Rogelio secured third place in the Univision's show Mira Quien Baila, where he selected the American Red Cross as his charity of choice and he is currently focused on the promotion of his new album "Organizacion de Enfermos" with multiple tours in the United States, Mexico and Central America.

Darius Rucker is an award winning musical artist formerly the lead singer of rock band Hootie & the Blowfish.  An accomplished country singer, his first single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It" debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and received platinum certification.  Rucker was also honored as Best New Artist at the 43rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  He is currently preparing for his upcoming 2011 U.S. Summer tour in celebration of his latest release, Charleston, SC 1966, which has produced the hits "Come Back Song" and "This."

Michael W. Smith is a Grammy award Christian/Pop recording artist.  He has sold over 13 million albums and garnered numerous praise and accolades including 44 GMA Dove Awards for his contributions to the Christian and Gospel music community.  Smith as been in the music business for 27 years and has just released his 22nd career project, Wonder.

This group of newcomers joins the ranks of the National Celebrity Cabinet with veterans that include Penn Badgley, Greg Biffle, Giselle Blondet, Pierce Brosnan, Jim Cantore, Jackie Chan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Miley Cyrus, Josh Duhamel, Sara Evans, Leeza Gibbons, Amy Grant, Marcia Gay Harden, Patricia Heaton, Wynonna Judd, Heidi Klum, Patti LaBelle, LL Cool J, Demi Lovato, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Marlee Matlin, Reba McEntire, Dr. Phil McGraw, Alyssa Milano, Nancy O'Dell, Masi Oka, Amanda Peet, Rascal Flatts, Elisabeth Rohm, Jane Seymour, David Spade, Raven Symone and Daddy Yankee.

Sherry Lansing, philanthropist and former Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures serves as the Chair of the Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet.

Please visit www.redcross.org/celebritycabinet/ to learn more.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.

SOURCE American Red Cross



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