Nov 09 2022
Chicago, IL, Nov. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Pritzker Military Museum & Library (PMML) raised $744,802.93 at its annual Liberty Gala as sponsors and guests joined together at the Hilton Chicago on Saturday, November 5, for the first time since the pandemic. This year's theme, "Honoring Strength Through Diversity,” paid tribute to the recipients of the prestigious 2022 Citizen Soldier Award who were recognized at the Gala. Karen Jordan, Co-Anchor of the ABC/Ch. 7 weekend newscasts emceed the evening’s festivities and helped the PMML celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and honor the stories of the Citizen Soldier.
The annual Liberty Gala raises funds to allow the Museum & Library to continue educating the public on military history, military affairs, and national security by providing a forum for the study and exploration of the military. Contributions also help provide critical funding for all the Museum & Library’s efforts, such as books and artifact preservation, the collection of oral histories, and the production of educational resources.
A silent auction ran from October 30 through November 5. There were several exciting auction items, including tickets to a Loyola University home basketball game, a private event for ten people to enjoy the Military Women’s Memorial, a stay in Southern California with a VIP tour of the Wende Museum, a stay at the Sable Museum in Chicago with four architecture tour tickets and an exclusive tour of the Field Museum, and a Washington, DC culture package.
“The Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s mission is to increase the public’s understanding of military history, military affairs, and national security,” said Pritzker Military Museum & Library Founder, Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired). “The Gala allows us to honor Citizen Soldiers and raise the critical funds needed to sustain our mission. In addition, Gala contributors help diversify our programs so we can reach an even larger audience and expand exhibits to better educate visitors about the military and military affairs. We are immensely grateful to our Gala attendees and sponsors.
Colonel Jennifer Pritzker (IL), IL ARNG (Retired), presented four Citizen Soldier awards at this year’s Gala. Recipients included Lt. Col. Enoch Woodhouse, Colonel Jack Jacobs, General Ann Dunwoody, and Hershel “Woody” Williams. The Citizen Soldier Award stands to honor a person who is both a citizen and soldier - individuals who continually apply the lessons of service to strengthen civilian life. The Award exemplifies the traditions of the citizen soldier set by George Washington, a person who served the nation as a leader in war and in peace for the betterment of the common good. The recipient must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, active guard, or reserves and is either active or honorably discharged.
Lt. Col. Enoch Woodhouse enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944 and later served as a finance officer for the Tuskegee Airmen from 1946 to 1948. After the military desegregated in 1948, he continued to serve in reserve for the newly formed Air Force in 1949. His military service has earned him the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Congress on individuals or institutions for distinguished achievements and contributions.
Colonel Jack Jacobs entered military service in 1966 as an ROTC second lieutenant assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and deployed to Vietnam as a military advisor. His gallant actions and extraordinary heroism saved the lives of one U.S. advisor and 13 allied soldiers. For his service in Vietnam, Jack added two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts to his list of decorations.
General Ann Dunwoody was the first woman to command a battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division in 1992. Ann became Fort Bragg's first female general officer in 2000 and the first woman to command the Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Virginia. In 2005, she became the Army’s top-ranking female when she was promoted to lieutenant general as the Army’s deputy chief of staff, G-4 (logistics). In November of 2008, General Dunwoody became the first woman in military history to achieve the rank of four-star general.
Hershel “Woody” Williams, who passed on June 29, 2022, at 98, was the last living WWII Medal of Honor recipient. He is the very first posthumous PMML Citizen Soldier Award recipient. Woody served in the Civilian Conservation Corps for a year and a half during the 1930s before enlisting with the Marine Corps in 1943, where he served for 26 years. Until recently, Williams had been active in honoring and remembering the sacrifices of Gold Star Families - the immediate family member(s) of service members who died in the line of duty - through his foundation, the Woody Williams Foundation, established in 2010.
“We are honored to salute and celebrate those who personify integrity and valor,” said Pritzker Military Museum & Library President, Dr. Krewasky Salter. “Their contributions both domestically and globally have been monumental and inspiring. Through the Citizen Soldier Awards, we will continue to present and preserve the legacy of these true American heroes for generations to come.”
The Founder’s Circle, Liberty, and Honor gala sponsors included: Mr. & Mrs. Albert B. Ratner, Laura Ricketts, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Janet & Craig Duchossois, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Karen L. Pritzker, the Robert & Mayari Pritzker Family Foundation, Captain Dave's Foundation and Maclean- Fogg. For a full list of this year’s gala sponsors, please visit the Pritzker Military Museum & Library website.
The Pritzker Military Museum & Library aims to increase the public’s understanding of military history, military affairs, and national security by providing a forum for the study and exploration of our military - past, present, and future - with a specific focus on their stories of service, sacrifices, and shared values. With national and global reach, these spaces and events aim to share the stories of those who served and their contributions as citizens & soldiers, helping citizens everywhere appreciate the relationship between the armed forces and the civilians whose freedoms they protect. A non-governmental, non-partisan organization, the Museum & Library features diverse collections, scholarly initiatives, and public programs from its flagship center in downtown Chicago to its world-class research center and park currently under construction in Somers, Wisconsin.