Gary Sinise and the Gary Sinise Foundation, and Margery Kraus CEO of APCO Worldwide, will also be recognized for their dedication to public service and philanthropy
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many current and former Members of Congress can proudly point to bipartisan efforts that have strengthened our nation over the years. While there have been many examples of cooperation from both sides of the aisle, Senators Richard Lugar and Sam Nunn exemplify how working together can not only help strengthen our national security, but also set an example of representative democracy at its best.
To showcase the best practices of bipartisanship, the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC) will present Senators Lugar and Nunn with its "Statesmanship Award," at the non-profit organization's 16th annual "Salute to Service: Statesmanship Award Dinner," on March 19, 2013. The mission of FMC is to promote bipartisanship and civility among the nation's elected officials, as well as help emerging democracies around the world, and inspire the next generation of leaders through programs that highlight the power of service.
Senator Lugar is the Republican leader of the Foreign Relations Committee, and was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976. Senator Nunn served in the Senate from 1972-1996 and is currently Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Pioneers in reducing the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, they forged a bipartisanship partnership by creating the Nunn-Lugar Program, which provides assistance to Russia and the former Soviet republics for securing and destroying their excess nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. To date, the program has deactivated more than 7,600 nuclear warheads.
Award-winning actor, humanitarian and Presidential Citizens Medal recipient Gary Sinise will receive the "Civic Statesmanship Award" for his dedication to serving America's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need through the Gary Sinise Foundation, as well as Operation International Children, which he co-founded in 2004. In addition to his foundation work, he's done hundreds of personal appearances and concerts with his Lt. Dan Band worldwide, raising spirits and boosting the morale of hundreds of thousands of troops and their families.
Margery Kraus, a leader in the philanthropic community, and founder and CEO of APCO Worldwide, will receive the "Corporate Statesmanship Award" for pioneering one of her industry's earliest practices of corporate philanthropy. Under Kraus' leadership, she has instilled a corporate culture of giving back, encouraging employees to participate in numerous service projects. She also helped create the Close Up Foundation, a multi-million dollar non-profit organization that empowers young people from all walks of life to become responsible and engaged citizens.
According to Peter Weichlein, CEO of FMC, it's time to renew the spirit of partnership. "Our Former Members of Congress are united in their dedication to teaching about Congress here in the United States, and strengthening democracies abroad," he said. "They do not receive any fee or honorarium for this important work, nor is a single taxpayer dollar earmarked for any of our programs. We are truly bipartisan and our members exemplify the great good that can come from people with different ideas and points of view working together to find common ground."
Lou Frey (R-FL), who is past president of FMC, the dinner chairman, and founder of the Lou Frey Institute, is no stranger to public service. "You know most people, sadly, have the impression that Members of Congress are just in it for the power and glory. The opposite is true. Most of us got into this business to make a difference and serve the American people."
FMC president, Connie Morella (R-MD), herself a champion of public service and bipartisanship, believes that Former Members of Congress can play an important role inspiring young people to serve, and leaders from emerging democracies to learn from our representative form of government.
"In my work with FMC for many years, I have seen first-hand how our members can literally change lives for the better. When we visit college campuses, meet with world leaders, or just volunteer time in many of our service projects, we can see tangible results. If we can show, through our mutual respect and civility, that we can agree to disagree, then that becomes a valuable life- lesson."
For more information on the Salute to Service: Statesmanship Award Dinner, to purchase tickets or become a sponsor, visit FMC's web site—www.usafmc.org. Coverage is invited.
SOURCE U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress