Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Kearns’

What an exciting week it has been for ThanksUSA!

On Tuesday, March 6, ThanksUSA founders Kelsi and Rachel Okun were honored as recipients of the 2012 Jefferson Awards for Public Service. What began as the idea of two young schoolchildren has blossomed into the national non-profit that has provided 2,500 scholarships to the children and spouses of military personnel. To date, ThanksUSA scholarship recipients have received nearly $7.5 million in financial aid. We extends our gratitude to the ThanksUSA friends and supporters who joined Rachel and Kelsi for the awards ceremony in New York…Congratulations Ladies!

2012 Jefferson Awards Recipients Rachel Okun and Kelsi Okun

Later in the week (Thursday, March 8) ThanksUSA recognized distinguished Irish Americans at a public service awards ceremony presented by Blavatnik Family Foundation. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Congressman Jerry Lewis, and Governor Martin O’Malley were recognized for their continued dedication to our military service members. Dominick Murray, Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development accepted the award on behalf of Governor O’Malley and Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns provided the musical entertainment with accompanist Patrick Healy.

(from left) Rachel Okun, Deputy Secretary Murray, Congressman Lewis, Governor McDonnell, Kelsi Okun

Additional photos from both events can be found on our Facebook page and we encourage you to remind friends, family, and co-workers that 2012 ThanksUSA scholarship applications will be accepted from April 1 through May 15, 2012. Prospective applicants can register for an email reminder here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — ThanksUSA, a non-partisan, charitable effort founded in 2005 to provide educational scholarships to family members of U.S. active duty military personnel, hosted a “Celebration of Irish Spirits for Charity,” on Saturday, March 20, 2010 featuring a performance by Anthony Kearns of The Irish Tenors.

“We were very pleased to host this event which underscored the sacrifices of our troops around the world and what we can do to make their lives easier through the gift of education for their families,” said B. Robert Okun, president and CEO of the organization. “We’d like to thank our sponsors and guests, and in particular, Anthony Kearns and his accompanist, Patrick Healy, for making it a night to remember.”

Patrick Healy & Anthony Kearns

The performance by Kearns and Healy featured a range of songs, from “Granada” (Agustin Lara), to the classic “Danny Boy” and “Empty Table, Empty Chairs,” from the musical Les Miserable. Their repertoire also included more light-hearted standards such as “Friendship,” about an aging tenor and younger tenor, and the Irish ditty, “McBreen’s Heifer.” A memorable moment was Kearns’ dedication of “Ave Maria” (Bach/ Gounod) to those injured in combat.

Kearns’ finale was a stirring rendition of “God Bless America,” which he dedicated to the military men and women who are defending freedom around the globe. “The strength, fortitude, and resilience demonstrated by the armed forces is truly inspiring. I’m honored and gratified to help raise the profile and awareness of this worthy cause,” Kearns said.

Anthony Kearns sings God Bless America with Rachel Okun

Applications for this year’s ThanksUSA scholarships will be accepted from April 1 through May 15, 2010. The need-based scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to family members of active-duty military personnel who plan to pursue a post-secondary education, including vocational and technical training. Interested applicants can find eligibility requirements at http://www.ThanksUSA.org.

The event was held at the private residence of David and Elizabeth McDaniel of McLean, Virginia. It was generously supported by the Distilled Spirits Council, J. Gilbert’s Restaurant, Kirsten Fedewa & Associates, L.L.C., the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Silver Bullet Solutions, Inc., and others. Photos courtesy of Kirsten Fedewa & Associates, L.L.C. with thanks to Siobhan Mueller. ThanksUSA is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit foundation incorporated in Washington D.C.

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Anthony Kearns of The Irish Tenors will perform at a “Special Irish Celebration of Irish Spirits for Charity” on Saturday, March 20, 2010 for ThanksUSA, a non-partisan, charitable effort providing scholarships to military families.

The ticketed event, to be held three days after St. Patrick’s Day, will be from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., in McLean, Va. For event information, go to: http://thanksusa320.eventbrite.com.

Kearns’ appearance will take place after a whirlwind eight-city, two-week tour with The Irish Tenors — considered to be Ireland’s No. 2 musical export, second only to U2. Kearns also has a successful career as a solo artist. Last month, he made his American operatic debut as Romeo in the Opera Naples (Fla.) rendition of Romeo and Juliet: Then and Now, although he already has several operatic roles to his credit. Patrick Healy, an internationally acclaimed accompanist, will join Kearns on Saturday’s program.

“We’re honored to have Anthony Kearns and Patrick Healy join us for a celebration of Irish spirits and songs to support ThanksUSA. Our nation’s rich Irish heritage continues to influence and enhance the American experience,” said B. Robert Okun, president and CEO of ThanksUSA. “I appreciate the continued contributions of Ireland’s strong support of humanitarian and relief efforts throughout the world.”

ThanksUSA was founded in 2005 by two young sisters, Rachel (10) and Kelsi (8) Okun of McLean, Va., to mobilize Americans of all ages to “thank” the men and women of the United States armed forces. The organization has provided nearly 2,000 college, technical and vocational school scholarships for the children and spouses of American troops.
“I’m pleased and proud to be a part of an effort dedicated to supporting the U.S. military men and women who defend freedom around the world. It’s a noble, worthy cause. I particularly admire the spirit of young people making a difference embodied by this organization,” said Kearns.

The event has the generous support of the Motion Picture Association of America, the Distilled Spirits Council, and the National Beer Wholesalers Association, among others. ThanksUSA is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit foundation incorporated in Washington D.C.

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