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Save the Date 2015  Old
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Black Tie International:
San Francisco Inaugural Red Star Gala

Wayne Brady, Maurice Kanbar, Dr. Lior Tamir

Emmy Award-Winning Actor and Singer Wayne Brady

to Host Inaugural San Francisco
Red Star Gala

Benefiting American Friends of Magen David Adom

Honoring Prominent Local Activists Maurice Kanbar and Lior Tamir

Emmy award-winning actor and singer Wayne Brady (CBS’s “Let’s Make a Deal”) will host the inaugural San Francisco Red Star Gala benefiting American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square on Sunday, August 30, 2015.  The success of AFMDA’s inaugural Red Star Ball in 2013 in Los Angeles inspired the organization to host similar galas across the country, now including the Bay Area. The inaugural event will honor Magen David Adom’s (MDA) medics and prominent local activists Maurice Kanbar and Dr. Lior Tamir, while raising funds to help MDA build Israel’s new – and only – national blood center.  Proceeds will also go toward MDA medical equipment, ambulances, and training.


“MDA is one of Israel’s most critical organizations, and its largest and most important humanitarian agency, so we’re very appreciative of the goodwill and generosity of our friends in the Bay Area,” said Erik Levis, AFMDA Western Region director. “We are looking forward to bringing our Bay Area supporters together, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a dynamic host and outstanding honorees for our inaugural San Francisco gala.”


AFMDA is rapidly increasing awareness and raising funds to support MDA’s tireless efforts in Israel and around the world.  As Israel’s national emergency medical response organization, MDA provides ambulances, paramedics, blood bank services, and disaster relief to Israel’s eight million residents, and all without Israeli government funding.  MDA is also Israel’s affiliate to the International Movement of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, offering mass casualty response during times of crisis around the world, most recently in Nepal, where MDA was among the first international aid agencies on the ground after that country’s devastating earthquakes.


At the 2015 San Francisco Red Star Gala philanthropist, film producer, entrepreneur, and inventor Maurice Kanbar will be honored with the AFMDA Lifetime Achievement Award.  In addition to his many professional successes, most notably creating SKYY vodka, Kanbar is distinguished for his continuous generosity. Kanbar is a long-time MDA supporter, and a man of philanthropic vision, whose diverse interests have lead him to aid an array of meaningful causes and organizations, with MDA being counted among his favorites.  He has endowed the Kanbar Hall at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco, the Exploratorium’s Kanbar Forum, the Kanbar Cardiac Unit at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, the Kanbar Campus Center at Philadelphia University, the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at New York University and the Maurice Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering among many other projects around the country.  His legacy of generosity to the Bay Area and beyond make him an ideal Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.


The 2015 AFMDA Next Generation Award will be presented to Dr. Lior Tamir, an Israeli-American entrepreneur and visionary in the marketing technology industry.  Tamir is the chair of AFMDA's young leadership initiative in the Bay Area, Heartbeat, and has spearheaded engaging innovative events to raise funds and awareness for Magen David Adom among young business leaders, locally and throughout the country. Dr. Lior has had a great passion for Israel and has actively helped several organizations launch their presence in the Bay Area, including FIDF-YL and Mitzvah on the Rocks. 


MDA’s proposed new national blood center, a secure underground facility, will protect Israel’s entire blood supply from terrorist threats, such as rocket and chemical attacks, as well as natural disasters, while continuing to provide 97 percent of Israel’s civilian blood and 100 percent of all the blood for the Israeli Defense Forces.  The current blood center, built above ground in the 1980s, is vulnerable to terror attacks and can also no longer accommodate the needs of Israel’s growing population of eight million people.


The Red Star Gala will take place at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square at 333 O’Farrell Street from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The evening will consist of a cocktail reception, sit-down dinner and program.  Individual tickets are available for $360, and Young Leadership tickets are available for $180.  For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit


About American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA)

Magen David Adom is Israel’s national ambulance, blood-services, and disaster-relief organization, serving as emergency medical first responders for the state’s more than 8 million people. MDA is also Israel’s representative in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. MDA is the only organization mandated by the Israeli government to serve in this role, but it’s not a government agency, so it relies on funding from donors around the world.  AFMDA is MDA’s U.S.-based fundraising affiliate, raising more than 80 percent of the charitable dollars MDA receives annually.


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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