Black tie event to features MOH recipients

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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The Congressional Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest award for valor and represents the ultimate act of sacrifice that best defines American heroism.

In celebration of those heroes and in an effort to raise money for a state-of-the-art museum honoring them, The first ever Medal of Honor Bowl is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11 at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium.

As part of week long events surrounding the bowl game, an Inaugural Medal of Honor Black Tie Celebration is also planned at the Culinary Institute of Charleston on the campus of Trident Technical College.

On Friday, Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. the banquet hall will be open at 6 p.m. for a cocktail reception, followed by a 7 p.m. dinner.

This gala will honor anywhere from 10 to 20 Medal of Honor recipients who will be on hand to mingle with the crowd.

The keynote speaker is Lowcountry resident Ed Marinaro, NFL player and star of the Hill Street Blues Show.

This black tie affair costs $125 per plate. Table and special sponsorships are available.

More than 600 people are expected at the gala. Opportunities are available to purchase a table for $1,000 or to sit with a recipient and their spouse for $2,000.

These Medal of Honor recipients are aging, and it is difficult for many of them to travel, according to Jimmy Bagwell, a member of the Medal of Honor Bowl Committee and Chair of the Black Tie Celebration.

There are only 78 living Medal of Honor recipients. Many of them are elderly having served in World War II, The Korean War and Vietnam.

“If anyone experienced the Medal of Honor Gala on the Yorktown to mark the opening of the renovated museum aboard the USS Yorktown, you know it was something so special you’ll never forget it,” said Bagwell. “We feel that with this night coming up, it might not be quite as dramatic of an experience, but it will be just as unforgettable,” Bagwell said.

Local resident and Medal of Honor recipient Gen. James Livingston will also be in attendance. He will highlight the medal, what it means and plans for the new museum.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Medal of Honor Bowl website at www.mohbowl.com. Anyone interested in becoming a title sponsor an contact Shelly Gardner at shellygardner@homesc.com. To reserve a spot, contact Bagwell at jbagwell@rmhinc.com.

The bowl game itself will be made up of senior college football players from the Southeastern Conference, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 10 and Notre Dame create the initial list, which totals more than 50 players in all as The Medal of Honor Bowl releases its initial list of player commitments.

Some of the names include TCU quarterback Casey Pachall, one of the top quarterbacks for the 2014 NFL Draft, and Raijon Neal a 1,000-yard rusher from the University of Tennessee. Pachall headlines an impressive list of quarterbacks that include Ohio University’s Tyler Tettleton, a Davey O’ Brien Award candidate and former Maryland and Wisconsin signal caller Danny O’Brien. O’Brien was named ACC Freshman of the Year before finishing his collegiate career at Division II Catawba. Neal rushed for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior campaign for the Vols.

Former Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys head coach Chan Gailey will serve as head coach for the National Team while Ralph Friedgen, former assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers, will lead the American Team. The premier all-star event expects to have around 200 NFL scouts, coaches and general managers in attendance when practices begin on Jan. 6.

Local commitments include The Citadel cornerback Brandon McCladdie and Newberry wide receiver and former North Charleston High School product Corey Washington, Jr.

Bagwell said that more than 100 socuts will be in town for the game.

Proceeds from the Black Tie Celebration will go to the building of a permanent Medal of Honor Museum, which will be land side at Patritos Point. Events throughout the week will also benefit the museum fundraising effort as well as Wounded Warriors.

Tickets may be secured at the Medal of Honor Bowl Game’s dedicated website www. MOHbowl.com. They will also be available at www.Etix.com and charge by phone at 800/514-ETIX (3849).

For more information, please refer to www. mohbowl.com, Twitter: @MOHbowl and Facebook.com/MOHbowl.

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