ThanksUSA Celebrates ‘Treasure Our Troops’ Accomplishments

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ThanksUSA Celebrates ‘Treasure Our Troops’ Accomplishments

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Raymond Odierno delivers the keynote speech at ThanksUSA’s Treasure Our Troops Gala on September 30, 2014.

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Raymond Odierno delivers the keynote speech at ThanksUSA’s Treasure Our Troops Gala on September 30, 2014.

General Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, delivered the keynote speech to a crowd of 300 guests who gathered for ThanksUSA’s annual “Treasure Our Troops” Gala at the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C.

“You’ve accomplished more than you know. You represent the good and decent people all across America who accomplish good for the extraordinary men and women who protect our country,” the General said of Kelsi and Rachel Okun, who with their parents Bob and Deanna Okun established ThanksUSA in 2006 to mobilize Americans to provide the gift of education to the spouses and children of active duty personnel across all service branches and all 50 states including D.C. To date, ThanksUSA has awarded nearly 3,400 scholarships totaling $10.3 million.

WJLA/ABC-7’s Leon Harris emceed the evening that honored Congressman Mac Thornberry and the ESA Foundation for their generous contributions to ThanksUSA and the military families they support.

ESA’s CEO Mike Gallagher said of the foundation’s generous donation to the organization: “There is no greater calling or help we can provide than contributing to the future of the children of those who are defending our country.”

To mark the $10 million milestone reached, ThanksUSA introduced eight scholarship recipients:  Jaquel Barnes of Florida; siblings Kinza, Sabrina and Zain Shah of Maryland; from the same state, Benjamin, Hannah and Joseph Solem, also siblings; and Sheeka Sharma-Gilmore, of Virginia.

To mark the $10 million milestone reached, ThanksUSA introduced eight scholarship recipients: Jaquel Barnes of Florida; siblings Kinza, Sabrina and Zain Shah of Maryland; from the same state, Benjamin, Hannah and Joseph Solem, also siblings; and Sheeka Sharma-Gilmore, of Virginia.

Treasure Our Troops Gala Co-Chair and National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation’s, Andrew Don (second from right) poses with gala guests.

Treasure Our Troops Gala Co-Chair and National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation’s, Andrew Don (second from right) poses with gala guests.

Other large supporters of the evening were several financial institutions including Bank of America, KeyBanc-Capital Markets, Mizuho Bank USA, Morgan Stanley, Prudential Financial Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, SunTrust Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Here’s to the next $10 million for ThanksUSA.

Congratulations ThanksUSA!