“Saving Grace” creator Nancy Miller serving has honorary chairwoman of Oklahoma Red Cross fundraiser
“Saving Grace” creator Nancy Miller and actor Leon Rippy will attend Friday’s Operation: Relief, a fundraiser for the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma. (The Oklahoman Archives photo)
The American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma is inviting supporters to back in time to a 1940s nightclub, where cigarette girls greet guests, swing music fills the air and libations freely flow.
Friday’s Operation: Relief at Oklahoma City’s Skirvin Hilton Hotel is the primary fundraiser for the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma. Nancy Miller, Oklahoma City-raised creator, writer and executive producer for the TNT cop drama, “Saving Grace” is serving as this year’s honorary chairwoman after her involvement last year had such a positive influence. Returning as event chairwoman this year is Maj. Gen Rita Aragon, who helmed the event in 2009 and was highest bidder for last year’s “Saving Grace” walk-on role.
“We were privileged last year to auction a walk-on role to Nancy’s show. After ‘winning,’ I had the chance to visit quite a bit with Ms. Miller. She knew the impact of the Red Cross on a global and national scale but didn’t realize we are also the organization responding to every family who needs assistance after a house fire,” said Aragon in a news release. “She is dedicated to Oklahoma and wanted to help bring awareness and help raise funds to support our vital mission here locally.”
Miller, a University of Oklahoma graduate, created, wrote and produced “Saving Grace,” which is in its last season on TNT. While on set Gen. Aragon also impressed upon Earl the Angel, played by Leon Rippy, the import of the Red Cross in one of the highest disaster-prone regions of the country. Rippy and his wife will join his Miller at Operation: Relief to see firsthand Red Cross mission in Oklahoma.
This year, entertainment will be provided by the Red Dirt Improv Group, Native American artist Derek “D.G.” Smalling and “upside-down painter” Dana Helms. The event also will include an auction, dinner and dancing set against a 1940’s flair.
“Each year, our Red Cross chapter creates a special event that allows guests to champion our cause, support their friends and neighbors and financial give to the organization dedicated to preventing, preparing for and responding to local emergencies,” said Bob Nelon, board chairman for the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, in the release.
Operation: Relief begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner. A silent auction runs throughout the evening. The live auction features several big-ticket items, including a set visit to the TV show “CSI: New York.” Lucas Ross, half of the duo “Two Movie Guys,” will be the master of ceremonies.
Proceeds from Operation: Relief benefit the disaster relief and preparedness services of the Red Cross. All assistance provided to disaster victims is free. But to accomplish that, the Red Cross relies completely on donations from the community.
For tickets to Operation: Relief or more information about the event, call the Red Cross at 228-9500 or go online to www.okc.redcross.org.