The 10th Anniversary Got Heart Give Hope gala held on October 17, 2019 at Union Station in Washington, D.C. was an enchanting evening that united military and civilian communities in a celebration of the strength and resilience of our Armed Forces and their families. In attendance were longtime supporters and friends, Purple Heart recipients, Generals and Flag Officers, Gold Star Families and leadership from corporations dedicated to supporting the wellbeing of our nation’s warriors. Our gala also honored and celebrated the life of a very dear member of our HOPE family, the late retired FDNY firefighter John Vigiano, a visionary of our organization, this event, and the inspiration behind the Vigiano Family Hope and Courage Awards.
Opening the evening was Command Sergeant Major Jeff Mellinger, who was drafted into the United States Army in 1972 and honorably served our country for nearly 40-years and served a total of 33 months in Iraq earning a Bronze Star with Valor. His inspiring message focused on why organizations like Hope For The Warriors are relevant and needed today.
Joining us to honor the Vigiano family and award three remarkable individuals with the Vigiano Family Hope and Courage Awards was actor/humanitarian, Gary Sinise who was co-host with Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Barney Barnum. The honoree’s inspiring stories highlighted the power of HOPE in the face of adversity and their dedication to selfless service.
Vigiano Hope and Courage Award Recipients
Recognizing that it takes a village to honorably serve the military and veteran community, the Got Heart Give Hope gala announced a new set of awards that honored individuals, organizations and corporations who are committed to helping us carrying out our mission to restore self, family, and hope.
Chairman’s Award for Corporate Citizenship – Greater Washington Board of Trade
The Chairman’s Award for Corporate Citizenship is designated to recognize a group that not only highlights the benefits of veterans in the workplace, but leads by example in enriching the lives of military families, both active duty and retired.
For 130 years, the Washington Board of Trade has represented all industry sectors in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. Pro-business and non-partisan, they drive smart, innovative solutions for inclusive economic growth and livability, including positively influencing the region to welcome the veteran population in its workforce and community.
Veteran Impact Award – Sikorsky
Sikorsky makes hiring veterans a priority and has created a workplace atmosphere that attracts and maintains them. They are committed to professional development and providing opportunities for veteran employees to continue serving through non-profits like Hope For The Warriors, including the annual Sunset Run for the Warriors in Shelton, Connecticut. Their initiative support to transitioning veterans and their families exemplifies the meaning of this award.
Partner in Hope Award- Fisher House Foundation
The Partner in Hope Award honors a longtime strategic partner of Hope For The Warriors. One in which a friendship is built on mutual trust and meaningful impact.
Hope For The Warriors’ most effective and meaningful partnership has always been with Fisher House Foundation. Our missions and values align so well, it’s easy to jump into action together when the warrior community needs us most. This year, when the U.S. Coast Guard was affected by a partial government shutdown, Fisher House Foundation and Hope For The Warriors acted quickly to provide over $20,000 in critical support to 395 active-duty Coast Guard families in 37 states affected.
Community Impact Award – River Landing Community, Wallace, NC
The River Landing Community, in Wallace, North Carolina, is nearby the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. For the last decade, River Landing has hosted the Hope For The Warriors Invitational, which brings together celebrities, flag officers and corporate executives for a weekend-long golf event in support of HOPE’s mission. Golfers are paired with active-duty military and veterans for a time of camaraderie and appreciation. Even after Hurricane Florence completely flooded the River Landing in 2018, the community came together and made this year’s Invitational their priority to get back to business and ready for the annual event they treasure. Their actions and unconditional commitment to supporting veterans and military families in their community sets the unprecedented example of the famous words spoken by President John. F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.”
A tremendous thank you to our Gala committee and our sponsors who made this event possible.
Chair Courtney Spaeth | growth [period]
Peter Abrahams | Washington Business Journal
Jennifer Bognet | Bognet Construction
Neil Jarvis | Boeing
Adam Ostrach | Capital One Bank
Dan Peyton | Plaza Construction
JoAnn Stonier | MasterCard
Steve Taylor | Lyft
Gary Sinise Charitable Foundation
Siemens Government Technologies
Fisher House Foundation
Greater Washington Board of Trade
growth[period] Jack Marin
Roberts & Ryan Investments, Inc
Washington Business Journal
Clayton Home Building Group
Raycom Media | Gray Media
Casey’s General Store
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati