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Denver Broncos' Mike Shanahan Presented with Prestigious "Navy SEAL Foundation Fire In The Gut Award" at 2018 Denver Evening of Tribute Benefiting

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The Navy SEAL Foundation's annual Denver event raised over $800,000 in support of the Naval Special Warfare Community and its families.

DENVER (PRWEB) August 21, 2018

On the evening of August 16, hundreds of executives, supporters, patriots and heroes assembled at Centennial Airport's XJET for the Navy SEAL Foundation's 2018 Denver Evening of Tribute.

This annual event recognizes the courage, commitment and sacrifices of the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community and gives patriotic citizens an opportunity to show their gratitude and support. The event raised over $800,000 in support of the Navy SEAL Foundation's mission—a record amount.

The festivities kicked off with a special exhibition parachute jump conducted by the Patriot Parachute Team. Attendees gathered on the tarmac to watch five former Navy SEALs descend from the skies as AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" boomed over the speakers.

Guests made their way inside XJET's transformed luxury plane hanger to their patriotically decorated tables. There they viewed the presentation of the Colors by the Denver Police Honor Guard which was followed by a stirring rendition of our national anthem by Petty Officer First Class Steven Powell, USN, (Ret.).

CEO of Braddock Financial Harvey B. Allon, Founder and Co-chairman of the Denver Evening of Tribute, graciously welcomed attendees. He shared his history with the Navy SEAL Foundation event and recognized attending military members, NSW members and their families, Gold Star family members, and the evening's honored guests. During his remarks, Allon stressed the importance and uniqueness of the Foundation's excellent record for fiscal responsibility and stewardship and thanked donors for making their programs possible.

Michael Martin, former SEAL and current Vice Chairman of the Navy SEAL Foundation, followed Allon and shared a very personal story about the loss of his best friend and former teammate Brian Hoke. Brian was killed in action on October 21, 2016, leaving behind a wife and three children. Mr. Martin recounted the moment he learned of his friend's death and how the Navy SEAL Foundation began supporting the Hoke family immediately. This unwavering support, he said, has been instrumental in allowing the Hoke family to heal and thrive and he thanked the Foundation's supporters.

Nan and Eric Kortz, Gold Star parents of Special Operator, 3rd Class (SEAL) Jason Dunbar Kortz, who was killed in a training accident, presented the "Navy SEAL Foundation Fire In The Gut Award" to Mike Shanahan, former Head Coach of the Denver Broncos. The "Navy SEAL Foundation's Fire In the Gut Award" is presented to an individual or organization that displays this same ‘all in' quality regarding serving our military families.

Mr. Shanahan's admiration for the NSW Community was palpable as he spoke. He credited his success to the standards to which SEALs operate and their shining example of how each person must pursue individual excellence and a team-before-self attitude to be a winning team.

"So when I talk to you tonight, I talk to you from a background of football but I guarantee you the success that I've experienced is because of the standards the people in this room have set up. So for me, accepting this great honor tonight and being asked to speak to a group like this, to a team like this and to the people that are here tonight—thank you. To the people that support the Navy SEALs, I can't thank you enough."

After dinner, Medal of Honor recipient Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Ed Byers paid respect to the 152 NSW members who have passed away since September 11, 2001, with a heartfelt toast. Rachel Moore, daughter of retired Rear Admiral (SEAL) Scott P. Moore, USN, (Ret.) and a Gold Star granddaughter, played "Taps" on the piano as the photos and names of the Fallen were scrolled.

The evening's keynote speaker was recent Medal of Honor recipient Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Britt Slabinski, USN, (Ret.) Master Chief Slabinski began his speech by telling the story of the ancient Greek Battle of Thermopylae and how the warriors for that historic battle were chosen based on their status as husbands and fathers. He compared our modern-day SEALs to these ancient Greek warriors who, though faced with incredible odds, still fought on because they had something so precious to defend. He continued, "The reason this community is so special is that it knows so well what it bands together to defend."

Former Denver Broncos running back Reggie Rivers served as the master of ceremonies for the evening. Other notable attendees were Sue and Harvey Allon, Mary and Tom Bagley, Shereen and Michael Pollak, Senator John Cooke, David Mandarich, Lisa and Jay Perlmutter, and Mike Shaw among others.

This year's Denver Evening of Tribute Co-chairs were Sue and Harvey Allon and Larry A. Mizel. Sue Allon chaired the Special Gifts Committee and the Host Committee Co-chairs were Jonah Cave and Matt Flavin. Host Committee Members included Justin Bliffen, Jesse Clay, Mike Corbett, Michael Dauro, Cindy Dietz-Marsh, Eric Frohardt, Matt Grosjean, Sean Haberberger, Forey Hamilton, Jurgen Heitmann, Roger Hutson, Glenn Jones, Kate Kennedy, Eric Marshall, RADM (Ret.) Kerry Metz, RDML (Ret.) Scott Moore, Jody Newton, Malachi O'Neill, Mike Oldham, David Preedy, Dan Resnick, Diane Rowledge, Mike Seidler, and Jim Sullivan. The Event and Auction Committee Chair was Shay Haberberger.
The 2019 Navy SEAL Foundation Denver Evening of Tribute is scheduled for August 8, 2019.

About the Navy SEAL Foundation:
The Navy SEAL Foundation's mission is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community and its families.

U.S. Navy SEALs have been in sustained combat for over 17 years, performing hazardous work in unforgiving environments at an unrelenting pace. SEALs are currently deployed in over 30+ countries across the globe and can spend up to 270 days each year in harm's way. The Navy SEAL Foundation stands behind these warriors and their families by providing a comprehensive set of programs specifically designed to improve health and welfare, build and enhance resiliency, empower and educate families and provide critical support during times of illness, injury or loss.

Like the community it serves, the Navy SEAL Foundation is a high performing organization committed to excellence. NSF has received seven consecutive 4-Star ratings from Charity Navigator. It is one of less than 70 charities from among more than 9,000 to have earned a perfect score of 100 for our financial health, accountability, and transparency, placing NSF in the top 1% of the rated charities. Ninety-four cents of every dollar donated goes directly to programs or is retained for future mission use.

The Navy SEAL Foundation is a 501c3 national non-profit charitable organization. TAX-ID 31-1728910. The Navy SEAL Foundation is a non-federal entity. It is not a part of the Department of Defense or any of its components, and it has no governmental status. For more information, please visit: http://www.navySEALfoundation.org

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