The non-profit organization will host its 15th annual "FMC Statesmanship Awards: A Salute to Service" dinner on March 6, and will also honor the Tug McGraw Foundation, TriWest, and U.S. Special Operations Forces.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New Year is traditionally a time of hope and optimism—a chance to reflect on the past and to renew our hope for a prosperous and peaceful future. For the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC), it is also a time to highlight individuals and organizations that have set the gold standard for service, patriotism, and dedication to making the world a better place.
In 2012, the 600 former Members of Congress who belong to this growing non-profit organization have selected the following winners for their 2012 annual dinner. The gala, "FMC Statesmanship Awards: A Salute to Service," will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 6.
Former President George H.W. Bush will receive FMC's "Lifetime Achievement Award." He served the nation as a WWII combat pilot, Member of Congress, CIA Director, Vice President, and President of the United States. He has continued his dedication to service during his post-presidency as founder of the Points of Light Foundation and through his efforts to help those in need following natural disasters. In addition, he created the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, which prepares future leaders to take the reins of government, and to continue his passion for giving back.
Senator John Kerry will receive FMC's "Statesmanship Award" for a lifetime of public service. After graduating from Yale University, he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Navy, where he completed two tours of duty in Vietnam, for which he was decorated with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. After graduation from law school at Boston College, he worked as a prosecutor, and then was elected Lieutenant Governor and later to the U.S. Senate, where he is currently serving his fifth term. A champion of national security, veteran's rights, public education, international relations, and many other crucial issues, he is a man of considerable passion and conviction.
The Tug McGraw Foundation will receive the FMC "Civic Statesmanship Award" for its work on behalf of improving the quality of life for people suffering from brain tumors, and military members who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The non-profit organization was created after famed Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Tug McGraw was diagnosed with brain cancer and died from the disease in 2004. President and CEO, Jennifer Brusstar, along with Tug's children, Cari, Mark, and Grammy Award-winning country superstar, Tim McGraw, has expanded the foundation's work to include services for military members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and also works with major research institutions throughout the U.S.
David J. McIntyre, CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance, will receive the FMC "Corporate Statesmanship Award" for his tireless efforts to help our military members with a wide range of programs to improve their quality of life. He has more than 20 years of success and accomplishments in national health care policy development, business development, and leadership. He served for nearly nine years in the offices of the U.S. Senate, where he was responsible for health policy issues for Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA), Senator John McCain (R-AZ), and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, in addition to contributing to the work of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Dennis Hertel (D-MI), a former Member of Congress and President of FMC, said the 2012 dinner will showcase the significant contributions of the award winners, as well as the national and international service efforts of the 600 former Members of Congress who belong to the organization.
"We are very fortunate to be able to honor such great Americans such as President Bush, Senator Kerry, David McIntyre, and Jennifer Brusstar. They exemplify the core principles of FMC, which are service, bipartisanship, and leadership. We look forward to publicly recognizing their tremendous contributions to our nation and other nations around the world. With Congress' approval rating at an all time low, it is particularly important for us to let the American people know that the vast majority of Members of Congress are dedicated public servants."
Dinner chairman and former Congressman Lou Frey (R-FL) said, "We're thrilled to have such a terrific group of honorees whose exemplary service to our country is unparalleled. They are all statesmen and stateswomen in the truest sense of the word. All monies raised during the evening will go toward furthering our pro bono democracy-building projects and our civic education mission. Since absolutely no taxpayer dollars are earmarked to support our organization, we rely on this dinner's success to ensure the continuation of these important programs."
According to Pete Weichlein, Executive Director of FMC, there will also be a special tribute to our nation's military heroes. With the war in Iraq over, and the continuing conflict in Afghanistan and other hotspots around the world, Weichlein said he wanted to recognize the brave men and women who risk their lives every day for the freedoms we all enjoy.
"During the dinner, we will honor Special Operations Forces from each branch of the military for their heroism and patriotism. Many of their brothers and sisters have made the ultimate sacrifice, and it is important for all of our 600 FMC members to publicly recognize their patriotism. In addition, we have a long and important relationship with the Wounded Warrior Project of Disabled Sports, USA. We've supported their invaluable service to our severely wounded veterans for many years, and we are very excited that a number of their vets will be our guests on March 6th."
In addition to the Statesmanship Awards, Weichlein said there will also be live and silent auctions with one-of-a-kind items such as the opportunity to be a "roadie" during a Tim McGraw concert or a week-long stay at a centuries-old chateau in France.
Weichlein said that the proceeds of the fundraising dinner will be used to support FMC's major education and service projects both in the U.S. and abroad. From teaching students about Congress, aiding emerging democracies on almost every continent, coordinating current and former Members of Congress for service and civic outreach projects, to creating diplomatic and business advisory councils, and much more, FMC members are making a difference.
Coverage of the dinner is invited, and interviews with award winners and FMC are available by request.
About FMC: The mission of FMC is to promote public service and strengthen democracy via domestic and international programs. FMC seeks to improve the public's understanding of the role of Congress as a unique institution, as well as the crucial importance of representative democracy as a system of government. Former Members of Congress participate in many diverse pro bono projects such as election monitoring abroad, outreach to high school and university students, and programs with current Members of Congress.
SOURCE U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress