Paralyzed Veterans of America Celebrates 66 Years of Helping Veterans with Disabilities and Honors Individuals and Organizations for their Contributions to Disabled Veterans

Apple, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Vehicle Production Group, QTC-A Lockheed Martin Company and the Nugent Residence Hall and DRES Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Among those Honored

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At its 2012 Americana Gala last night, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) welcomed more than 350 esteemed guests, including Washington dignitaries, distinguished service members and veterans, friends and supporters of Paralyzed Veterans, and actor/director/producer and author Henry Winkler. Jennifer Griffin, FOX News Channel's National Security Correspondent kicked the evening off as Master of Ceremonies. The 2012 Gala celebrates Paralyzed Veterans 66 years of working to empower the lives of veterans with disabilities, and honors those individuals and organizations who contribute to that same mission.


The 2012 Paralyzed Veterans' Americana Gala honorees were:

  • Apple – Honored with the Access-ABLE Award for innovation in creating accessible technologies to improve the personal and professional lives of veterans and all people with disabilities.
    • Award accepted by Catherine Novelli, Vice President, Worldwide Government Affairs at Apple, Inc.
  • Vehicle Production Group (VPG) – Honored with the Unstop-ABLE Award, for innovation in support of Paralyzed Veterans' mission to maximize the independence of our members and all people with disabilities.
    • Award accepted by John Walsh, CEO of VPG
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hiring Our Heroes program – Honored with the Achieve-ABLE Award for innovation and leadership that recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit of today's veterans especially those with severe disabilities.
    • Award accepted by David C. Chavern, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • QTC – A Lockheed Martin Company – Honored with the Employ-ABLE Award for leadership and financial support to end unemployment among veterans with disabilities, through Paralyzed Veterans' Operation PAVE program.
    • Award accepted by Glenn Kurowski, Vice President of the Health and Life Sciences business portfolio at Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions-Civil.
  • Nugent Residence Hall and the Disability Resources & Educational Services (DRES) Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, for the highly accessible design and outstanding individual contribution to the importance of equal access for veterans with disabilities.
    • Award accepted by Tanya Gallagher, Dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Top military leaders were also in attendance, including Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr., USN, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who gave the evening's keynote address; General Joseph Dunford, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps; Lieutenant General Patricia Horoho, the Surgeon General of the Army; Major General Richard Stone, the Deputy Surgeon General of the Army; Rear Admiral Elizabeth S. Niemyer, the Deputy Chief of Wounded, Ill & Injured and Director, Navy Nurse Corps; Colonel Greg Gadson, Garrison Commander of Fort Belvoir; and Michael Leavitt, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard.

The Honorable Tommy Sowers, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs was in attendance, as well as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health, The Honorable Robert L. Jesse, MD, Ph.D., and the former Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq, The Honorable Paul Bremer.

The many sponsors of the 2012 Paralyzed Veterans Americana Gala including Presenting Sponsors, Allergan and Deloitte helped make the evening possible and were recognized throughout the night, as were Gala Steering Committee Co-Chairs, Brigadier General Don Bradshaw, USA (Ret.), Senior Vice President, Defense Health Operations, SAIC, and Scott Miller, General Manager, Federal Services, U.S. Public Sector Services, Microsoft.

Paralyzed Veterans National President, Bill Lawson, concluded the ceremony by inviting the organization's executive leadership to join him on the stage where he spoke about veterans of their generation "paying it forward" for the veterans who are coming home from the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He ended his remarks by saluting members of the audience, along with his executive leaders, as a sign of respect and gratitude to the support everyone has shown to the organization throughout its 66 years.

The Americana Gala is an inspirational fundraising event which highlights and celebrates Paralyzed Veterans unending work on behalf of veterans with disabilities, through its Mission: ABLE campaign, which works to enlist all Americans – companies, communities and citizens, to help our paralyzed heroes get what they need most in order to fully live their lives: quality health care, earned benefits and fulfilling jobs. For more information about Paralyzed Veterans Mission: ABLE campaign, visit

Social Media and other web sites:
Twitter: (hashtag #PVAGala)

Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a group of seriously injured American heroes from the "Greatest Generation" of World War II. They created a nonprofit organization to meet the challenges that they faced back in the 1940s — from a medical community not ready to treat them to an inaccessible world. For more than six decades, Paralyzed Veterans' national office and its 34 chapters across the nation have been making America a better place for all veterans and people with disabilities. (

SOURCE Paralyzed Veterans of America