REPROCELL and BioBridge Global sign Memorandum of Understanding to accelerate global manufacturing services using clinical iPSCs

August 2021 Foundation Board Member Spotlight

Lilly and Alan Gretzinger

What inspired you to join the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation Board?

Lilly’s father, Mike Kreager, is one of The Foundation’s founding members. Over the years, we have learned more and more about The Foundation and the amazing causes that it helps support. We are honored to be able to continue the work that Mike started many years ago.

What motivates you?

The many stories of the people who have had their lives positively impacted by BioBridge Global and its subsidiaries. We are continuously amazed by new initiatives that BioBridge Global and its subsidiaries advance, from school-wide COVID-19 testing through Community Labs, to the Brothers in Arms program and regenerative medicine. What we do as part of The Foundation helps make that possible.      

Is there anything about your time on the board you would like to share? Most cherished moments or greatest accomplishments, or what you are looking forward to?

Our most memorable moment was touring BioBridge Global’s facilities. At the time of the tour, San Antonio was experiencing a severe shortage of blood supply. Seeing all of the empty refrigerators, and knowing what it would mean for those in need of blood transfusions, was very impactful. This showed us truly how important every blood donation is.  

This year we are honored to co-chair the Red & White Ball with Morgan Bertram and Jeanne Bennett and to serve as Vice-chairs of Fundraising on The Foundation’s Executive Board. We are looking forward to an exciting in-person Red & White Ball, which will help raise funds for a new donor room. We are very excited to be able to bring the community together for a great cause.

Red & White Ball update – August 2021

The countdown is on! The Red & White Ball is now less than 90 days away where we hope you will join us for a jazz filled evening with entertainment by Doc Watkins.

We will also be presenting our prestigious Chairman’s Award to the Homer Olsen Family and honor Frost Bank with our Patron Award, in recognition of longstanding commitment to The Foundation and the community.

We are at $291,000 of our $500,000 goal to date. Support through special underwriting and sponsorships are available and much needed to make this a successful event with both virtual and in-person attendance options.

This year’s Red & White Ball committee would like to announce two exciting changes. This year, silent auction and raffle items will be available for bids and purchase online starting Nov. 9 at Room blocks are available at the new Thompson San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel within walking distance of The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The number of rooms are limited so be sure to book your room early

The committee will also be hosting our annual Kendra Scott Gives Back event on Oct. 19 at The Quarry Village with all proceeds benefiting this year’s cause, the establishment of a new donor center.

2021 Red & White Ball special guests will be 3-year-old Amy’s parents Ryan and Brandi. After Amy was diagnosed with leukemia in January, blood donations have helped and continue to help her in her battle. You will hear more of her journey during the program portion of this year’s event. 

Please continue to support the Red & White Ball by encouraging sponsorships, raffle ticket sales and general contributions to the cause.  There are many cancer patients like Amy that need our services and adding a new blood center will help ensure there is blood when someone is in need. 

Letter From Chairs Claire and Patrick Rouse

It seems like only a few weeks ago that we began the process of serving as Chairs of The Foundation and focused our first board meeting on the challenges facing The Foundation as a result of COVID-19 and the opportunities to further The Foundation’s mission. Some of those challenges still exist today and the last few months of 2021 provide our board members with multiple opportunities to engage and help The Foundation achieve its goals. 

How can you help

  1. Join The Big Give Committee. Early giving opens on Sept. 16 and The Big Give is on Sept. 23. We need board members to commit to come to the Donor Pavilion on Sept. 23 and make calls to family and friends seeking donations on behalf of The Foundation. Stephanie Stephens and her committee have done a lot of work to organize this event to make it as easy as possible for board members to participate. Please contact Stephanie Stephens or Adriana Estrada for further information on how you can participate. 
  1. Join a Red & White Ball Committee. Contact Lilly or Alan Gretzinger, Morgan Bertram, Jeanne Bennett or Mary Dial about how you can get involved in supporting the Red & White Ball taking place at The Tobin Center of the Performing Arts on Nov. 13, 2021. Proceeds from the event will be used to build out and support the opening of new donor rooms in the greater San Antonio area. At a minimum, purchase your table or tickets now since space is limited. Other ways to get involved are to join the auction committee, decorations committee or sponsorship committee. This is a fun and easy way to help support The Foundation’s biggest fundraising event of the year. 
  1. Rio Grande Valley Outreach. As the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) begins its efforts to expand the services it provides in South Texas, we need board member support with identifying organizations and individuals that can help STBTC make contacts within the local community to increase their presence. Specifically, we need board members to provide contact information for, or otherwise facilitate contact with, any of the following individuals or organizations in Edinburg and/or McAllen, Texas
  • Religious institutions (pastors, deacons, ministers, priests, rabbis, etc.) 
  • Educational institutions (school district administrators, members of the board of regents or administration for colleges or universities in the area) 
  • City or county leaders (mayors, city managers, council members, county judges, economic development organizations, etc.) 
  • Chambers of Commerce 
  • Rotary Clubs 
  • Large employers (financial institutions, car dealerships, healthcare providers including hospitals) 
  • Members of local first responders 
  • Members of Homeowners Associations 

The Foundation has already had a number of great success stories in 2021 and with the support of all members of the Board, we can celebrate many more in the coming months. We thank you all for your continued hard work and dedication to The Foundation! 

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