2016 honoree Bert Whitt, 2015 honoree Holly S. Merrill, 2016 honoree Dennis Beaver, Bonnie Spottswood, and American Red Cross South Florida Regional Executive Director Alfred Sanchez pose for the shot. Spottswood discussed her grandmother’s legacy in Key West.

Red Cross is like the wrench in your car, you don’t think about it until you need it.” — Alfred Sanchez, South Florida’s Red Cross regional director 

This year, the Red Cross responded to 12 home fires in the Keys that affected 17 adults and five children. Keys volunteers canvassed 100 homes and installed 55 smoke alarms. Recently, they educated 8,000 local children in emergency situation tips and tools. Community super-volunteers Dennis Beaver and Bert Whitt were honored as this year’s Florence Spottwood Humanitarians of the Year at the annual gala which took place last Saturday night. In 1917, Spottswood, who was 27-years-old at the time, helped create the first Red Cross in the Keys and formed the first private hospital in Key West after a railroad explosion.

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