On Thursday, May 23, 2013, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (PenFed Foundation) welcomed 464 guests to The Ritz-Carlton for an elegant military black-tie gala. In total, $866,000 was raised in sponsorships, ticket sales, silent and live auctions, Fund-A-Need and donations. The Webster Group was pleased to continue working with the PenFed Foundation for the fourth year to provide strategic planning, fundraising, marketing and production support for this year’s gala, which honored the Department of Veterans Affairs and individuals who support financial literacy in military and veteran families.
The Armed Forces Color Guard stand at attention as recording artist Josh Gracin performs the National Anthem
The PenFed Foundation, a national charity that is “working to meet unmet needs of the military personnel and their families in the areas of financial literacy, housing and support for the wounded” (www.pentagonfoundation.org), holds this very special event to honor everyday heroes and celebrate the service men and women that the Foundation supports. As PenFed Foundation COO Kate Kohler stated, “What makes us different from other military or veteran nonprofits is that all of our programs have an element of financial literacy education, and second, all of our Foundation salaries are paid for by the PenFed Credit Union so that our sponsors aren’t paying for personnel costs. Our differentiators really help us generate support for our programs.”
Former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs Togo West, Jr., James Peake, and Jim Nicholson present the American Hero Award to Secretary Eric Shineski
Since the commencement of our contract, The Webster Group assisted in the development of the solicitation pieces, corporate sponsorship marketing materials, committee letters and Honorary Congressional Committee outreach collateral. TWG also coordinated all logistical details of the event with The Ritz-Carlton, as well as with the various vendors, A/V, décor, photography, florist, and special guests including recording artist and veteran Josh Gracin, Holly Patraeus, and master of ceremonies, Lee Woodruff, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs Togo West, Jr., James Peake and Jim Nicholson who presented the American Hero Award to Secretary Eric Shinseki.
The PenFed Foundation and The Webster Group have already begun working on their 10th Anniversary gala in 2014. Starting early is what enables us to produce such an amazing event, which is evident in that fact that that over 50% of the guests are repeat attendees. Because there are so may repeat attendees, “It’s like bringing 500 guests over to your house for dinner!” said Ms. Kohler. “The Webster Group helps us put together a quality program that is also very moving, and ends on time! That’s important for our guests. It’s fun to work with The Webster Group. They bring out the best parts of our programs and help us host national corporate and government leaders in the same way you would like to welcome and entertain someone into your home.”
If you would like more information about the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation, please visit www.pentagonfoundation.org. And as always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for the latest live TWG updates (@TheWebsterGroup).