DANA POINT, Calif., May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Torch1975.org, a non-profit organization, today announced LeAnn Thieman and Ross Meador as Keynote speakers at the Gerald Ford Centennial Gala 2013 during the Operation Babylift Reunion event being held on July 12-15, 2013 in Dana Point, Calif.
The Operation Babylift Reunion is an annual celebration honoring the events surrounding the mass-evacuation of Vietnamese babies at the end of the Vietnam War.
"We are honored to have LeAnn and Ross as Keynote speakers at our Centennial Gala," said Jessica Nguyen, founder, Torch1975.org. "They have such wonderful and meaningful stories to share about the original Operation Babylift. They will be sharing key stories about the days the Operation Babylift with other participants and adoptees."
LeAnn Thieman is an acclaimed speaker, Operation Babylift adoptive parent and co-author of 12 Chicken Soup for the Soul books, including Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul. In April 1975 Thieman agreed to visit Vietnam to escort six babies back to the US. Upon her return, President Gerald Ford had initiated Operation Babylift and instead of six babies, Thieman would help rescue 300.
In her Keynote presentation LeAnn will share amazing photographs, stories and life-changing lessons learned from the adventure of Operation Babylift and how in the midst of the chaos, a baby boy crawled into her arms, her heart, and her family.
Ross Meador served as the Co-Director of Overseas Operations for the Friends of Children of Vietnam in Saigon in 1975. While in Vietnam, Meador was responsible for evacuating hundreds of children, placing them on flights to the United States, Europe, and Australia. He was one of the last Americans to be airlifted from the American embassy to the USS Midway stationed off the coast of Vietnam.
In his Keynote presentation Ross will share his experiences gathering the orphans in the Saigon area and the difficulty of getting all the kids and babies safely to the airport for evacuation.
Thieman and Meador's presentations will take place at the Gerald Ford Centennial Gala on Saturday July 13th from 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. respectively at the Marriott- Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa in Dana Point.
Guests can register for the Centennial Gala by visiting www.Torch1975.org.
About Torch 1975 Inc.
Torch 1975 Inc. (www.Torch1975.org) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to support and serve America's Veterans. Based in Dana Point, Calif. - The mission of the organization is 'ECHO': Educate; Connect; Heal; and Optimize situations for Veterans dealing with Readjustment issues, Employment, Educational Assistance, Scholarships, and Family Planning. The organization was founded by Jessica Nguyen, a POW's daughter, and was later joined by Colonel Joe Snyder – a retired Marine and former Mayor of Dana Point, Calif.
Torch 1975, Incorporated is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to supporting America's Veterans. Torch 1975's California entity license is C3399380, Federal EIN number is 45-4324829. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Founder of Torch 1975 Inc.
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SOURCE Torch 1975 Inc.