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Mark Wahlberg, Bank of America and Billy Casper Golf to Be Honored During the 10th Annual Wounded Warrior Project Courage Awards & Benefit Dinner Presented by First Data

Jacksonville, FL (May 14, 2015) – The 10th annual Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Courage Awards & Benefit Dinner® presented by First Data Corporation and the Joe Plumeri Foundation, with the generous support of USAA, is being held on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at the Waldorf Astoria® in New York City. This fundraising gala will bring together injured service members, their caregivers and families, and the most influential WWP supporters.

During the dinner, four awards will be given to recognize and honor the awardee for their support of WWP’s mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The awards will be presented as follows.

The James Gandolfini Award is the newest award and was founded in memory of James Gandolfini, who passed away on June 19, 2013, and is meant to continue to honor his invaluable work and support of WWP’s mission. The award recognizes the outstanding character in service to injured veterans, their caregivers, and families. This year’s award will be presented to Mark Wahlberg for his participation in commercials which raised a tremendous amount of awareness for WWP and the challenges injured service members face as they transition back into civilian life. In 2010, Wahlberg became an advocate for veterans’ issues and even visited with troops in Afghanistan.  In 2014, Wahlberg starred in the film, “Lone Survivor,” which is an American war film based on the conflict in Afghanistan.  Through his personal and professional work, Wahlberg is truly living the WWP mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.

The Talkhouse Award for Community Service is given to honor an individual or corporation whose efforts personify patriotism, demonstrate compassion and have helped further the mission of WWP. This year’s award will be presented to Peter Hill, CEO and Chairman of Billy Casper Golf which hosts The World’s Largest Golf Outing (WLGO), the most successful WWP Proud Supporter event in organization history. With nearly 40,000 participants in four years, including hundreds of injured service men and women and their families, the grassroots effort has raised more than $2 million since 2011, showing Americans can combine their passion for golf with making a meaningful difference in the lives of our nation’s heroes.

The Tony Snow Award is designed to recognize a company or individual who has made a significant difference in the lives of injured servicemen and women and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to WWP and its mission. This year’s award will be presented to Bank of America for their unparalleled commitment to those we serve by arranging financial planning seminars and supporting the Warriors to Work® program, which have helped WWP Alumni, their caregivers and families meet financial goals and find rewarding civilian careers. Since 2012, the “Express Your Thanks” campaign has generated more than $1 million in support of WWP programs and services.

The George C. Lang Award for Courage was founded in memory of George C. Lang, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and friend of WWP, who passed away March 16, 2005. This award salutes an individual who best exemplifies George’s spirit and virtue;; he was a humble, unyielding, behind-­the-­scenes advocate for all veterans – especially those with disabilities. The recipient of this award will be announced the night of the event.

“With the tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done to support the ongoing needs of our injured service members, I am honored to present the awards to Wahlberg, Bank of America and Bill Casper Golf for their help in raising awareness of the WWP mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors,” stated Steve Nardizzi, chief executive officer, Wounded Warrior Project.    

Individuals and corporations who want to attend and demonstrate their support for WWP can visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/courage-­awards.aspx

About Wounded Warrior Project® 

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org. 

About First Data

First Data is the global leader in payment technology and services solutions. With 23,000 owner-­associates and operations in 34 countries, the company provides secure and innovative payment technology and services to more than six million merchants and financial institutions around the world, from small businesses to the world’s largest corporations. Today, businesses in nearly 70 countries trust First Data to secure and process over 2,000 financial transactions per second. First Data’s unparalleled infrastructure and partnerships go “beyond the transaction” with next-­generation point-­of-­sale technology fueled by powerful analytics to detect fraud, gain insights into consumer spending, and strengthen customer loyalty. All day, every day, First Data helps its clients thrive in the evolving world of commerce.

Contact:           Joanne Fried

Email:              jfried@woundedwarriorproject.org

Phone:            904-­646-­6860