Blinded Vets Foundation to Host June 15 Concert on Capitol Hill

Jun 11, 2010, 06:00 ET from Blinded American Veterans Foundation

WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Blinded American Veterans Foundation (BAVF), following its June 15 awards presentation to Members of Congress, is hosting a concert open to the public.  The concert will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building.

"We're honored to host this special concert in honor of Flag Day," said BAVF President John Fales of Silver Spring, MD. "This year's music features Hawaii, the last state to join the United States."

Performing at the concert are the musical group The Aloha Boys and blind singer Milton Koja.

Born and raised in Hawaii and transplanted to the Washington, D.C., area to pursue careers, the Aloha Boys (Glen Hirabayashi, Isaac Ho'opi'i, and Irv Queja) met in 1996 while playing music for their children at Halau O 'Aulani, a school of Hawaiian culture, in the Washington, D.C., area.  They love to kanikapila or play an acoustic down-home, backyard-style Hawaiian music that includes everything from the very traditional to contemporary songs and styles.  They have performed at numerous functions at venues including the National Mall at the openings of the World War II Memorial and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and in Rheims, France, Toronto, Canada, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charlotte, Southern California and Hawaii.

Milton K. Koja was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He began losing his sight when he was five years old and, by age nine, he was totally blind.  He attended the University of Hawaii where he majored in music.  Before graduating, however, he became a full-time professional musician with groups including the Tradewinds and later an elaborate show band known as the Laughing Kahunas.  As the band's musical director, Milton arranged all of the music, played twelve different instruments, and sang.  Currently working as a professional musician in New York, Milton generally performs solo while playing the piano or keyboards, and accompanying himself either singing or playing the trumpet, saxophone, or flute.  He was the featured performer at the 2009 National Cherry Blossom Ball in Washington, D.C.

The Blinded American Veterans Foundation assists blinded ad sensory-disabled veterans in attaining their full potential through research, rehabilitation, and re-employment.  It offers employment networking and rehabilitation and resource counseling, and provides funding for rehabilitation centers.  Other programs include a speaker's bureau, placement services, and compilation of related statistics.  It also conducts research, educational, and charitable programs.  This valuable service is performed strictly with volunteers and without a paid staff.

SOURCE Blinded American Veterans Foundation