Travis Manion Foundation Hosts Gala Honoring Resilience in 2020

Travis Manion Foundation (TMF), one of the nation’s largest veteran nonprofit service organizations, will host its 9th annual “If Not Me, Then Who…” Gala tonight. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s event will take place virtually. The gala is a national recognition of character and leadership while honoring veterans and young leaders for their dedication to selfless service.

The gala will feature the following award recipients:

  • Ashley Flynn: “If Not Me, Then Who…” Award Recipient, U.S. Navy Veteran, and Character Does Matter Veteran Mentor. Ashley serves as an Assistant Nurse Manager at Boston Medical Center’s ICU where she has been fighting on the frontlines against COVID-19. She joined TMF as a Character Does Matter (CDM) Veteran Mentor to local high school students and played a pivotal role in setting up TMF’s Boston chapter.
  • Eileen McDonnell, Chairman and CEO of Penn Mutual, Accepting the Community Leadership Award. Penn Mutual has a long-standing commitment to military veterans. In 2012 Eileen was instrumental in launching the Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs at The American College, a highly respected program for training and educating members of the military community who are interested in entering the financial services industry.
  • Dante Smith, High School Student and Character Does Matter Scholarship Recipient. In 2014, Dante Smith moved from LA to Mesa, AZ and was introduced to former Marine and retired Police Sergeant Ben Alexander who serves as a Veteran Mentor for TMF’s CDM program. Dante’s family had relocated in order to escape the pattern of violence they saw developing in their LA community. At his new school, Dante joined a nine-week Character & Leadership Course led by Sgt. Alexander. Upon completion of the program, he voluntarily returned as a peer mentor for three more classes guiding other students toward success.
  • The Honorable Dr. Clifford Stanley, Major General, USMC (Ret.): Guest of Honor, 5th Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Dr. Stanley was sworn in as the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in 2010. He served as a senior policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense and was responsible for overseeing the overall state of military readiness. Stanley served 33 years in uniform, retiring as a Major General. He has held numerous leadership positions within the military and government.

Special appearances will be made by General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., USMC (Ret.), 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson and U.S. Army Veteran; and Rob Riggle, actor, comedian, and USMC Veteran. 

The virtual gala will be live-streamed for those registered in advance. TMF will be accepting donations to support their veteran and Gold Star family initiatives. To contribute, text the word GALA to (430) 400-4376. Watch highlights from 2019’s in-person gala here.

More information about TMF can be found at https://www.travismanion.org/.

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For media requests or additional information, please contact Elizabeth Aucamp​ at elizabeth@javelindc.com.

Source: Travis Manion Foundation

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Categories: Military and Defense

Tags: military, resilience, veteran