Veterans Heritage Project Raises $125K to Honor Service and Build Character
The Event: Veterans Heritage Project “Saluting Stories of Service Gala”
The Cause: Veterans Heritage Project, whose mission is to connect students with veterans in order to honor service, protect American’s heritage, and develop future leaders.
Event Date: March 5, 2022
Location: Hilton Scottsdale Resort
Event Chair: Flora Tromelin
Honorees: Franklin P. Lambert, U.S. Army veteran received the Storyteller Award | LTC James M. Sprayberry, U.S. Army (Retired) special guest | 1st Lt. Barbara S. Ripa, USMC received the Alumni Service Award
Event Sponsors: TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Salt River Project, ProOne Media Productions, Sanderson Lincoln, Plexus Worldwide and Kiwanis Club of Carefee
Dollars Raised: $125,000
Reception Entertainment: Music by Pamela
Emcee: Iain Lanphier, a 10th grade honors student at Brophy College Preparatory
Auctioneer: Shawn Hagler
Notable Moments: The event program included unforgettable story-telling. Retired U.S. Army officer, Franklin P. Lambert and Retired U.S. Army officer, James Sprayberry dramatically recounted the events of April 25, 1968 in A Shau Valley, Viet Nam. Sprayberry, serving as executive officer of Company D, led a dangerous night mission against the enemy. His patrol received enemy machine-gun fire and was attacked with hand grenades. He moved his men to protective cover; and without regard for his own safety, crawled within close range of the source of fire. He silenced the machine gun and several enemy positions, and charged the enemy-held bunker, killing its occupants. He then led a rescue mission, removing the injured. This lasted over 7 hours and his leadership and bravery saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers, including Lambert. His act of selfless valor earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Ian Lanphier, great-grandson of Brigadier General Charles E. McGee, an original Tuskegee Airman, masterfully served as the emcee. The funds raised will support the continuation and growth of the after-school character and education program.
Photos courtesy of Blanka Thomas & Manish Sharma