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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
CONTACT: LEE ALLEN
TEL.: (202) 393-0090, EXT. 109
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Kicks Off Multi-Million Dollar Matching Challenge:
Campaign Receives $1 Million Donation from TriWest Healthcare Alliance
New Public Service Announcements to Raise Awareness and Funding for Education Center at The Wall
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the VVMF announces that a dedicated group of patriotic Americans has come together with a generous pledge to help build the new Education Center at The Wall. These military officials, celebrities and business leaders – many of whom are Vietnam veterans – arecollectively offering to match every dollar contributed by VVMF supporters before Veterans Day, November 11, 2011. The funds raised through this campaign will go toward the remaining funding needed to build the Education Center at The Wall.
To kick off the matching funds campaign and to inspire others to donate, David J. McIntyre, Jr., President and CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance presented VVMF with a donation of $1,000,000, saying that, “Telling the stories of those who served in Vietnam, and the families from which they came, through the Education Center at The Wall not only shows long-overdue gratitude, but also helps to ensure that our veterans will never again be taken for granted.”
Through the Education Center at The Wall, visitors will be able to connect a face and a personal story with those who answered the call to serve. McIntyre continues, “TriWest is honored to be part of this important project to discover their stories and honor their sacrifice… and those who continue that legacy of sacrifice and service in today’s wars.”
“Our goal is to break ground on the Education Center next year, and we need additional generous donations to make that happen,” said Jan Scruggs, President of the VVMF. “We greatly appreciate the help from TriWest, as well as the commitments being made by other major corporations, private citizens, unions, and veterans groups."
The VVMF is receiving assistance from a diverse and growing list of contributors. As an example, in addition to the gift from TriWest, Peter Holt, owner of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, has pledged a grant of up to $1,000,000 to match donations from Texans.
To raise awareness and advance the matching funds campaign to build the Education Center, VVMF and its supporters will host a number of promotional events and activities. This October and November, HISTORY will host a series of “Call for Photos” events in New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Chicago with the VVMF to pay tribute to Vietnam veterans and advance the collection of the more than 35,000 photos still needed to complete the collection. The events are tied to a new HISTORY special event, Vietnam in HD.
Additionally, public service announcements featuring Hollywood celebrities and others – including General Colin Powell and Tom Selleck – will begin airing and directly asking Americans for their support.
About the Education Center
The Education Center at The Wall is a place on our National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. With a groundbreaking planned for November 2012, the Education Center at The Wall is a multi-million dollar, state-of- the-art visitors center and learning facility to be built on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans and the Lincoln Memorials. Visitors will better understand the profound impact the Vietnam War had their friends and family members, their home towns, and the Nation. The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the 58,272 men and women on “The Wall,” honoring those who fell in Vietnam, those who fought and returned, as well as the friends and families of all who served.For more information, visit www.buildthecenter.org.
Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. Authorized by Congress, its most recent initiative is building the Education Center at The Wall, an underground facility near the Memorial that is designed to add faces to all the names on The Wall and tell their stories. Other Memorial Fund initiatives include educational programs for students and teachers, a traveling Wall replica that honors our nation's veterans and a humanitarian and mine-action program in Vietnam.