The Vets on Track Foundation hosted their Inaugural “Connect America Heroes Gala” at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House on May 21, 2016. The Gala honored America’s 9-1- 1 Force; an active duty service member, a fire fighter, a law enforcement officer and an EMT technician, for their commitment to not only their profession, but also to their community, by presenting them the Foundation’s Connect America Community Outreach Award.
The Awardees were:
Service member – MSG Terrance Hayes, U.S. Army
Law Enforcement - Deputy Thomas C. Williams, Prince William County Sheriff’s Office
Fire Fighter – Awarded posthumously to John C. “Mac” McDonald
EMT – Jordan Malpass, Yorkshire Volunteer Fire Department
The Gala was about uniting and bridging the gap of understanding between the American people and their 9-1- 1 Force. The evening served as the beginning of what the Foundation is pushing as a national conversation and movement. We want to send a special shout out to our sponsors - Pentagon Federal Credit Union; NOVEC Helps; Blair Inc.; the NBA; Lake Jackson Fire and Rescue; Veterans Magazine; Fredericksburg Hospitality House; we were able to begin building the bridge of understanding.
The Gala was emceed by Carla Babb, Pentagon Correspondent for Voice of America and William “B” Taylor, #1 Billboard Charting Recording Artist, and global ambassador of music and entertainment for our U.S. military, veterans and first responders.
Morgan Murphy, former editor of Southern Living Magazine and renowned author and food critic (as well as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves) served as Guest of Honor and featured speaker for the evening. The Foundation had performances by “B” Taylor, pop singers Maricris Stroud and Alex Casper Manlangit, an inspiring 17 year-old performer. Nashville recording artist Chris Higbee, his wife Melissa (a first sergeant in the Army) and their band provided the late evening entertainment.
The Vets on Track Foundation is a state and federally registered 501(c)3 organization. The Foundation partners with community stakeholders, agencies (government and non-government), non-profit organizations and representatives serving first responders, veterans and military families from across the country. Founded in 2015, this collective-impact approach, delivered through its Armed Forces Motorsports' Resource Summit Program, is the lynchpin and mechanism for social change and innovation across first responder and veteran care and support. Through our racing roots, we organize resource summits at race tracks and other locations across the country, bringing stakeholders and those in need, face-to- face to address specific needs.
Guest of Honor