Video: Celebrities, Business Leaders, Veterans of all Generations Gather at IAVA’s Third Annual Heroes Gala
NEW YORK, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ — Last night, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, non-profit organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, hosted its Third Annual Heroes Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City. This inspiring event, timed to coincide with Veterans Day, brought together veterans of all generations, distinguished members of the veterans’ community and IAVA supporters. More than 350 guests attended the Gala and helped raise more than $450,000.
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NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams hosted this memorable evening. “I was thrilled to participate in the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Heroes Gala. The event was a moving tribute to the two million Americans who have served in the current conflicts and an inspiring gathering of veterans of all generations,” said Williams. “During my recent trip to Afghanistan, and every time I report from that war torn region, I am struck by the tremendous sacrifice our men and women in uniform make every day. It was a pleasure to be a part of such a meaningful recognition of their efforts.”
ESPN NFL Senior Analyst Chris Mortensen presented Iraq Veteran and Actor J.R. Martinez with the 2009 IAVA Veterans Leadership Award. Martinez served suffered severe injuries while serving in Iraq and has since become a spokesman for his fellow wounded veterans. He currently portrays a wounded combat veteran on ABC’s All My Children and serves as in inspiration to millions.
Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Music & Logo Group, received the 2009 IAVA Civilian Service Award. In his position at MTV Networks, Toffler has stewarded programming that shows viewers the true face of combat and connects an entire generation to its veterans. Afghanistan veteran Wes Moore presented Toffler with his award.
“The Heroes Gala was an incredible gathering of veterans of all generations and a unique opportunity for IAVA supporters to pay tribute to the men and woman who serve in harm’s way,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “IAVA was thrilled to have Brian Williams host the inspiring event and it was a great privilege to honor two individuals who have done so much for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. Martinez and Toffler have demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to our country’s newest generation of heroes.”
The Heroes Gala offered guests a sneak peak at the new Public Service Announcement for IAVA’s National Veterans Support Campaign. Debuting today and produced in conjunction with the Ad Council, the new ad shows veterans that IAVA “has their back” as they transition home.
The memorable evening also included an electrifying performance by The PS22 Chorus, comprised of 60 fifth graders from a public school in Staten Island that have become an internet phenomenon.
If you are a member of the media who would like any additional information or wishes to arrange an interview with IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff or any other IAVA veteran, please contact Kara Horowitz, IAVA, cell (917-254-2466), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the country’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 150,000 veteran members and civilian supporters nationwide.
SOURCE Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America