SAN DIEGO, Calif. — May 20, 2015 — The SEAL-NSW Family Foundation hosted its Second Annual Dinner Gala on Saturday, May 16th, 2015 aboard the Battleship USS Iowa in San Pedro Harbor. This unique and memorable event thanked the Naval Special Warfare community and their families for their military service and honored their fallen heroes.
Dinner highlights included a National Anthem performance by Gene Simmons of the band KISS, keynote speaker and former Director of the NSA & CIA & Air Force 4-Star General, Michael Hayden, guest honorary speaker Sarah Palin and performance by recording artist & American Idol finalist, Elliot Yamin. The event also featured a live auction handled by Actress Sharon Stone; silent auction within one of the ship’s operations rooms; five-man fire boat demonstration by the Los Angeles Fire Department; a simulated aerial attack by the Condor Squadron using vintage WWII fighter planes with the ship defended by .50 caliber machine gun and 5 inch guns; the firing of one of the USS Iowa’s mammoth 16 inch guns; and a five-man precision skydive by Skydiving Innovations.
Celebrity supporters included: Gene Simmons, Sarah Palin, Sharon Stone, Jim Brown, Elliott Yamin, Parnelli Jones, Tim Abell, and John Shea. Keynote speaker General Michael Hayden, former CIA and NSA Director; William R. Fenick, executive director of the SEAL-NSW Family Foundation, and Navy SEAL and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Michael Thornton.
Gene Simmons, Sarah Palin
“The SEAL-NSW Family Foundation was honored to host its second annual gala dinner onboard USS Iowa. We were very successful in raising awareness about our Family-centric programs and resources to fund those programs,” said William R. Fenick, executive director of the SEAL-NSW Family Foundation. “General Michael Hayden reminded us about the importance of National Security on the world stage, Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin reiterated the importance of family, and Gene Simmons honored us with his fantastic rendition of The National Anthem, sung with three active duty and former Air Force service members. It was a great evening on this Armed Forces Day, at a great location, for a meaningful cause. I’d like to thank all who supported and attended this memorable evening.”
About SEAL – NSW Family Foundation
The SEAL-NSW Family Foundation supports individual and family readiness through an array of programs specifically targeted to assist the Naval Special Warfare community in maintaining a resilient, sustainable, and healthy force in this era of persistent conflict and frequent deployments. With SEALs, their ability to stay fit and focused determines the success of every mission. Part of our job is to facilitate that focus by ensuring every SEAL knows his family is, and will be taken care of. Our motto is “Taking care of THEIR family while they protect OURS.” SEAL-NSWFF programs include Family Resiliency and Services, Children’s Special Needs Programs, Bereavement Support, Transition Assistance, Counter Deployment, Global Outreach, Emergency Assistance and Wounded Warriors. For more information and to donate online, visit sealfamilyfoundation.org
Jim Brown with Bill Fenick (right)
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Michael Thornton
General Michael Hayden