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May 2023: Foundation Board Member Spotlight

What part of the organization and mission speaks most to you and why?

The part of the organization we are fascinated by is Heroes in Arms and the implementation of whole blood based on science from the US Army. We find it intriguing that this is the first use in a civilian setting right here in South Texas. Given Kristen’s professional role to support the US military and their families at USAA, it is interesting to see linkages and that this type of blood can positively impact outcomes for survival during trauma and lowering the need for emergency transfusions.

What do you like to do?

As a couple, we enjoy entertaining, trying new restaurants, traveling, and cheering on our kids at every soccer, baseball, and basketball game. Jonathan is an avid sports fan and Kristen has creative interests – painting and designing. Life is busy, fun, and never dull!

What motivates you?

We are motivated to provide the best lives we possibly can for our two kids, Weston and Emmaline. We hope to give them every opportunity to learn, thrive, and be happy. We are also motivated to use our gifts and talents in a way that positively impacts other people which includes our Board service. At the end of the day, people are everything. If we have the ability to help someone or make their lives better in some way, that is our priority.

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

We are both grateful to be on the Board and for so many new friendships that have enriched our lives. For Kristen, serving together with my Dad who was a mentor as we led Champions Fore Charity is a fun memory, and he taught me a lot about the organization and why their work matters so much to South Texas. I will never forget when he told me that although he hoped we would never have to receive blood due to trauma or cancer, we would also be so glad to live where we are if we ever did.

We will always remember when my grandfather Homer Olsen took the stage at the ball a couple of years ago just a few months before he passed away and are thankful for his example of compassion and generosity and the way the Red and White Ball always brought the family together (Olsen prom!).

Although we are missing both of them and my grandmother greatly, this year is perhaps the most exciting year of serving for us because we are honored to be co-chairing the Red and White Ball with Erin and Jeremy Schulz. Our goal for the year is to bring awareness of the incredible work of the foundation outside of those who attend the ball through our Champions initiative.

We have some very exciting plans to reveal about who will be involved in this effort, but these community leaders exemplify the spirit and compassion of San Antonio. We are energized and cannot wait to continue planning for the Big Hearts, Big City ball at La Cantera this October and are thankful for the incredible support we have received so far.

Red & White Ball Kickoff

On Wednesday, May 3rd Mila and Faisal Khan once again graciously opened their beautiful home to host the Red & White Ball kickoff. The event was well attended and included a performance by Musical Bridges and exciting updates on this year’s cause and plans.

Mary Uhlig began her remarks by officially unveiling this year’s cause, the replacement of eight blood services vehicles essential for blood collection and delivery. Vans and box trucks are essential to our operations as they are used to transport staff, equipment, and blood to and from mobile drives across the region, and vans are used to deliver blood to more than 100 hospitals and clinics in 48 counties. Mary also spoke on the importance of our efforts this year as The Foundation has been touched by personal stories from several of our own directors and their families’ recent experiences with cancer.

Last year, longtime director and previous Foundation Chair David Schneider’s unexpected cancer diagnosis hit close to home. The legacy he left behind is nothing short of remarkable as was he.

Mary thanked Delaine Mathieu for continuing to be an advocate for blood donation while sharing her daughter Layla’s current battle with leukemia, noting how their first-hand story is inspiring people to roll up their sleeve and donate.

In 2021 Brandi and Ryan Morkovsky shared their daughter Amy’s story of her battle with Leukemia. This year, her family is looking forward to the moment she can ring the bell to signify she is cancer free.

Ball chairs Erin Schulz and Kristen Boerger thanked and recognized everyone who is supporting this year’s event including committee chairs Brittany Zars, Carly Hawthorne, Scott Nathan, Adam Wetherell, and Meredith Alvarez and those contributing by serving on committees.

Erin and Kristen also announced a strong start to fundraising efforts totaling $180,740 and their plan to bring an element of friendly competition to continue this trajectory and reach our $530,000 goal. Asks have gone out to community leaders to be champions for our cause. The individual who raises the most will receive the Champion award the night of The Red & White Ball.

Our first champions are:

  • Diana Rendon is a native of San Antonio with deep connections to the local community. Diana works for Wasserman Events as a Manager of Finance and Accounting which hosts the Valero Texas Open each year, the oldest professional golf tournament to have been held in the same city. The Valero Texas Open supports the Champions Fore Charity initiative which benefits local nonprofit organizations including The Blood and Tissue Center Foundation. Diana has been a supporter of the foundation for years with direct personal connections based on family members who have been the recipients of blood donations.
  • Jason Rice is a respected community leader in the financial services industry, currently supporting local families and small businesses through his role as a financial advisor at Wells Fargo. Jason is personally connected to The Foundation through friends and business partners and is passionate about serving the local community in South Texas.
  • Myra Arthur is a local news anchor who covers KSAT News at 6:00 and KSAT Explains. Myra is passionate about San Antonio and sharing its stories and will partner with us as a Champion this year to tell stories to her viewers about local patients and how the important work of The Blood and Tissue Center Foundation makes a difference in their lives.
  • Stephanie Guerra is a Latina creative services consultant and local social media influencer who founded her small business Puro Pinche in 2010 to celebrate and uplift authentic Latinx culture. Her social media channels share need-to-know information about culture and events happening to its audience of over 60,000.

Champions will kick off their campaigns in the coming weeks. If you would like to assist in a champion’s efforts or serve on any ball committee, please email

Champions fore Charity – 2023

Thank you all again for your participation in Champions fore Charity. As we wait for the total to be finalized by the Champions, we have a preliminary count of $184,550 or 92% to goal. We could not have done this without your generosity.

Please join me in congratulating Brittany Zars, Loretta Patterson and CJ and Nicole Czelusta in winning the drawings generously put forth by our fundraising chairs Pam and James Smothers and our Champions Chair Michael Kaplan.

Major Gifts Update – May 2023

From Clay Howell, Director, Development, The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation

We are about a third into our year and fundraising is progressing, built upon the strength of relationships developed by you, our board of directors.

We want to thank you and let you know about several major gifts to the Foundation from:

  • Amegy
  • Abbott
  • The Elizabeth Huth Coates Foundation
  • Scantland Charitable Foundation on behalf of DOCUmation
  • The Klesse Foundation
  • USAA

These gifts are the beginning of many more to come.

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