BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Brigitte Kruse, co-founder of Kruse GWS Auctions, is set to receive the Multicultural International Motion Picture Association’s Lady in Red Diamond Rose Award for her philanthropic works. She will be honored at the Beverly Hilton, where the organization’s 11th annual gala will take place on Feb. 21.
As a co-founder of Kruse GWS Auctions, the world-record-breaking entertainment memorabilia auction house in Los Angeles, Kruse also finds time to support various philanthropic endeavors and has donated to various organizations globally. All of this came from a sense of awareness that she developed as a child and one that has played an important role in her current business success.
At the age of only 6 years old, Brigitte Kruse began fundraising for Live Aid events. Walking around the crowds of over 100,000 she filled buckets with donations from guests to help victims of storms, fires and other natural disasters in Texas. At 12 years of age, she began volunteering at nursing homes for the intellectually disabled and put in over 3,000 hours of volunteer time by the time she was 15.
Her philanthropic work carried over to her adult life. She is a passionate autism advocate having turned her personal experience with her son into a determined effort to do whatever she can to help other families and their children. She fights hard to correct violations against disabled children in school districts in Southern California and she has lobbied for insurance reform, specifically mental health benefits for the disabled. She has also produced various fundraisers for nonprofit organizations that support families with children on the Autism Spectrum. Brigitte and her husband have raised millions of dollars for Autism services and research since 2013.
Kruse and her husband, Mike Sislyan, have donated over $1 million to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Toys for Tots, Autism Speaks and MusiCares. In 2019, Kruse raised over $330,000 for AIDS research. Kruse & Sisylan regularly visit disabled children’s orphanages in high-conflict zones around the world where they deliver toys, food, medications and clothing items. Brigitte and Mike have also made sure to spend time with families and children with “different abilities” in Armenia, Israel, Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Their dream is to continue their work in West Africa and Colombia in the future, as Brigitte has grandparents from both of these parts of the world.
Brigitte is one of 10 honorees, including civil rights attorney/CNN commentator Areva Martin, founder of the Special Needs Network and actress/advocate, Lauren “Lolo” Spencer of Give Me Liberty acclaim, as well as several other high-profile women slated to receive awards. The gala will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning entertainer Obba Babatunde.
Kruse, who is a fifth-generation auctioneer from the prestigious Kruse Auction Family. She earned her Graduate Personal Property Appraiser designation from the National Auctioneers Association, where she served as an ambassador and is currently running for a seat on the board of directors. She is a USPAP compliant appraiser.
Kruse is a wife and mother of three children and resides in the Los Angeles area. She is a giver by nature as demonstrated in all of her philanthropic works. Brigitte believes wholeheartedly that “If you are successful in business it is your responsibility to give back and take care of others.”