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Remembering Our First Date

Written by Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross

My husband Don and I enjoyed a very special moment together earlier this month.  In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, we celebrated our three decades-plus of marriage by commemorating the meal we shared together during our first date.

Gail and Don White Castle January 2015

Don was new in town and asked me to organize a date that would be “a New York experience.”  I’m sure he expected dinner at an expensive, swanky restaurant, followed by a Broadway show.  Instead I asked him to pick me up at 11 AM dressed in jeans; the rest would be a surprise.  We went to the Bronx Zoo, had dinner at White Castle, and then we went to a Yankees game.  Unbeknownst to me, Don was a diehard Yankees fan, despite being from Tennessee.  (As it turns out, there was a Double A farm team for the Yankees that used to be located right in his home town.)  He was also a HUGE White Castle fan – a true Craver.  When he dropped me off that evening, he said, “I think I’m in love.”  My answer: “Me too.”

Of course, I couldn’t have known then that one day I’d serve as President and CEO of the American Red Cross, which has a long track record of partnering with White Castle in communities across the country.  This month, White Castle has once again sponsored the Turn White Castle Red Campaign – which allows their legion of fans, known as Cravers, to donate $1, $3, or $5 in support of Red Cross Disaster Relief.

On a Monday evening in early February, Don and I found some time to sit down after work and enjoy a meal of delicious White Castle burgers.  As always, it’s such a treat to spend some quality time together on a peaceful evening – and it wasn’t long before we both found ourselves reminiscing back to that first date of ours in the Bronx.

This February, I’m grateful to the entire White Castle community for their commitment to the vital work of the American Red Cross – and Don and I look forward to enjoying many more White Castle meals and memories in the years ahead.