Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

ThanksUSA Benefit Concert Yields Five New Scholarships for U.S. Military Families

Tenor Anthony Kearns performed a magnificent concert for a magnificent cause on Presidents' Day, entertaining special guest Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, as well as sponsors, community leaders, and members of U.S. Armed Forces. Through the generosity of the event sponsors and guests, ThanksUSA will be able to provide five new scholarships for U.S. military families.

Also attending the invitation-only event at a private home were former Virginia Governor George Allen and his wife Susan; Larry Michael of Washington Redskins Media; former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Margaret Heckler; officials from the Embassies of Ireland and New Zealand; and other V.I.P.s.

Mr. Anthony Kearns is the founding member of The Irish Tenors, among Ireland's most famous musicians, alongside the rock group U2. He also enjoys a robust solo career and last month made his U.S. debut in Grand Opera as the lead tenor role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Naples (Fla.). He entertained the ThanksUSA gathering with selections from his unique solo repertoire of Broadway favorites, classical music, operatic arias and the best of Irish music. His accompanist was Patrick Healy, a renowned musician who also hails from Ireland and regularly performs with Mr. Kearns.

Said Gov. McDonnell: "ThanksUSA is a great organization that helps spouses and children of our service members get a quality higher education. It is important to show our support and encouragement to the men and women in uniform, and their families, who sacrifice greatly for the cause of freedom. We cannot do enough to give back to those who defend this great nation and I am pleased to support the tremendous work of ThanksUSA. I also commend Anthony Kearns, Ireland's leading tenor, for giving his time and talent toward this worthy endeavor."

"It was a great honor to team up with Governor McDonnell for such a noble and worthy cause - one that gives the gift of education to military families through ThanksUSA," said Kearns.

ThanksUSA provides need-based post-secondary school scholarships to the children and spouses of members of the Armed Forces across all services, including the National Guard and Reserves. ThanksUSA has awarded 2,200 scholarships in five years.

"Through this one wonderful evening supported by Governor McDonnell and elevated to musical heights by Mr. Kearns, we were able to thank five more members of our military family with the gift of ThanksUSA scholarships," said ThanksUSA Chairman and CEO Bob Okun. "This is our mission and we are grateful for all the support we receive that lets us thank our military men and women in return for their sacrifice."

Governor McDonnell strongly supports the ThanksUSA mission. At the event he noted that Virginia has more veterans than any other state, and he understands the challenges facing members of the Armed Forces and their families. He served as a soldier for 21 years (active-duty Army and Reserve), and he is the son of a World War II veteran and father of a daughter who served in the United States Army in Iraq.

Mr. Kearns travelled from Dublin, Ireland last year to perform at Governor McDonnell's Inaugural Gala and a bipartisan prayer breakfast. The Governor is second generation Irish, as his grandfather came from County Mayo in 1912. This is Kearns' fourth concert benefiting ThanksUSA. He returns to the U.S. in March to begin a month-long tour, said his representative, Kirsten Fedewa, who also secured Gov. McDonnell's participation in the charity event.

Photo Credit: Sue Bumpous (in conjuction with Kirsten Fedewa & Assoc. LLC)


Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid theatergoer in Central Virginia? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.


 




More Hot Stories For You


Two Classics Make Their Debut at Charlottesville OperaTwo Classics Make Their Debut at Charlottesville Opera
October 4, 2022

Charlottesville Opera has announced plans to present two shows in the 2023 season that have never been produced in the company's 45-year history: Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls and Giacomo Puccini's Tosca.

The Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg Presents the Poulenc Trio This MonthThe Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg Presents the Poulenc Trio This Month
October 4, 2022

The Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg presents the Poulenc Trio Tuesday evening, October 18, 2022 at 7:30 PM in the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre.  

PostClassical Ensemble Presents: A Night Of Jazz & Surrealism In 1920s Paris!PostClassical Ensemble Presents: A Night Of Jazz & Surrealism In 1920s Paris!
October 3, 2022

PostClassical Ensemble (PCE) will kick off their 2022-23 season on November 9 at 7:30pm with Paris at Midnight: Jazz and Surrealism in the 1920s. The performance, which will feature guest-curator Harry Cooper (Senior Curator at the National Gallery of Art), will take place at The Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, as will the rest of their exciting season. 

Photos: DRACULA Opens at Little Theatre Of Virginia BeachPhotos: DRACULA Opens at Little Theatre Of Virginia Beach
September 30, 2022

Little Theatre of Virginia Beach opened its 75th Anniversary season with the Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston play adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s novel, Dracula. The play sold out all performances. See photos here!

Theater J Presents INTIMATE APPAREL Next MonthTheater J Presents INTIMATE APPAREL Next Month
September 28, 2022

Beginning on October 19 and running through November 13, 2022, Theater J brings Intimate Apparel to the stage. Written by two time Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur “Genius Grant” awardee Lynn Nottage, this staging of Intimate Apparel will be directed by Paige Hernandez, a Baltimore native, featured by Washingtonian Magazine for their “40 Under 40” list of artists shaping the DC arts and theater scene.