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PenFed Foundation Raises Over $1.5 Million for Military Community at 2020 Night of Heroes Gala

PenFed Foundation Raises Over $1.5 Million for Military Community at 2020 Night of Heroes Gala

Socially-Distanced Event Honored Our Nation's Defenders and Those Who Support Them

PR Newswire

TYSONS, Va., Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The PenFed Foundation, a national 501(c)3 founded by PenFed Credit Union, today announced it raised over $1.5 million at its 16th Annual Night of Heroes Gala held Oct. 24. All proceeds will support veterans, active military members and their families by helping them realize financial stability and opportunity.

The PenFed Foundation Night of Heroes Gala is the Washington Region's premier fundraising event for our nation's defenders. This is the 5th consecutive year the event raised over $1 million.

"Generous donors to the PenFed Foundation stepped up as the needs of our military community are more urgent than we've ever seen in our lifetimes," said PenFed Credit Union President/CEO and PenFed Foundation CEO James Schenck. "As a result of our generous donors, the PenFed Foundation is saving veterans from having their medical emergencies turn into financial emergencies; military families are realizing their dreams and moving into their first homes; and innovative veteran entrepreneurs are growing their businesses, creating jobs for more veterans, and driving our nation's economy forward."

The socially-distanced event, which followed all CDC, state and local COVID-safety precautions, was emceed by Washington media personality Tommy McFly. As an organization that values diversity and inclusion, PenFed Foundation was proud to recognize its first transgender honoree, Col. Jennifer Pritzker, in this year's gala.

This Year's Honorees

This year's gala focused on honoring the business, nonprofit and military leaders who support PenFed Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief Program.

"When we became the first national Veterans Service Organization to launch a COVID-19 relief program for emergency financial assistance back in March, we were overwhelmed with generosity from our supporters," said PenFed Foundation President and retired U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor these award recipients on behalf of the military community and to thank them for their role in the COVID-19 relief program."

American Hero Award. Col. Jennifer Pritzker, a retired Illinois Army National Guard Colonel and President of the Tawani Foundation and Pritzker Military Foundation, received the American Hero Award for leadership in promoting and supporting military causes and for her commitment to preserving and advancing our military legacy for all Americans to appreciate.

Additionally, she provided a generous donation to support PenFed Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief Program. You can view her award acceptance video here.

Veteran Impact Hero Award. Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, executive director of the President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) Task Force, received this award for her visionary leadership and steadfast commitment to ending the tragedy of veteran suicides. You can view her award acceptance video here.

Military Hero Award. Gen. Joseph Lengyel, a retired United States Air Force General and former Chief of the National Guard Bureau, was honored for his leadership and the National Guard's distinguished service to our nation during its pandemic response. You can view his award acceptance video here.

Veteran Entrepreneur Champion Award. SOS International LLC was honored for the company's steadfast support in launching PenFed Foundation's Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program Master's Program and assistance for the COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief Program. You can view the organization's award acceptance video here.

Military Partner Award. Army Emergency Relief received the Military Partner Award for its outstanding partnership with the PenFed Foundation that helped approximately 500 U.S. Army active-duty, reserve, National Guard and retired soldiers during the COVID-19 pandemic through the PenFed Foundation's COVID-19 relief program.

Nonprofit Partner Award. The Gary Sinise Foundation was recognized for its unwavering support of PenFed Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief Program and more than 1,100 veterans and service members helped through the partnership. You can view his award acceptance video here. 

Those interested in supporting PenFed Foundation's mission to help the military community and their support network are encouraged to visit

About PenFed Foundation

Founded in 2001, the PenFed Foundation is a national nonprofit organization committed to empowering military service members, veterans and their communities with the skills and resources to realize financial stability and opportunity. It provides service members, veterans, their families and support networks with the skills and resources they need to improve their lives through programs on financial education, homeownership, veteran entrepreneurship and short-term assistance. Affiliated with PenFed Credit Union, the Foundation has the resources to effectively reach military communities across the nation, build strong partnerships, and engage a dedicated corps of volunteers in its mission. The credit union funds the Foundation's personnel and most operational costs, demonstrating its strong commitment to the programs the Foundation provides. Equal Housing Opportunity. To learn more, visit


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SOURCE PenFed Foundation

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