March 13, 2018, Sharing the Details had the privilege of covering the Blue Star Neighbors Celebration held at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.
The venue was wide-spread, with red, blue, and white lights beaming from the walls. Stars, stripes, and all sorts of American flag themed decor sparkled the venue. Attendees wore military suits, formal dresses, and business suits.
Programming opened up with words from emcee Brianna Keiler, CNN, Senior Washington Correspondent; and continued with awards with Camille Hymes, Starbucks Corp., Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President; Dr. Lynda Davis, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Harriet Dominique, President of the USAA Foundation.
As the show continued, the winner for the Blue Star Neighbor award was announced. Erik J. Nelson was the big winner of the night. He was nominated by Shane Clark, a U.S Army Major, commissioned in 2002 as a second lieutenant in the U.S Air Force. When he was activated back to active duty over three years ago, Erik Nelson stepped up to the plate to help teach on behalf of Shane and run the martial arts school in northern Colorado. Nelson, was still a student himself and managed the martial arts studio in addition to his position as Vice President at Engineering Analytics, Inc and his own family.
Notable VIPs that attended the event were General HR McMaster (National Security Advisor) General Joe Dunford (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), Jessica Moore (The Walt Disney Company), Marianne Downs (Lockheed Martin), Lieutenant General Daniel Hokanson (National Guard Bureau), Steve Schwab (Elizabeth Dole Foundation) and Scott Rice (Air National Guard).
All- star chefs from the Washington D.C area crafted scrumptious treats for all patrons. Food station tables were divided by chefs who work under different military branches:
- The Air Force Table, run by Chef Robert Wiedmaier (Marcel’s) and MSgt Jennifer Medeiros (Air Force), displayed delicious Napoleon of Scottish Smoked Salmon.
- The Army Table, run by Chef Chris Clime (PassionFish) and SSG Michelle Brown (Army), pastrami made from smoked mesquite, piquillo pepper, and N’duja tapenade.
- The Coast Guard Table, run by Kyle Bailey (The Salt Line) and CSCS Derek Johnson (Coast Guard) wow’d the crowds with Hiramasa Crudos made from blood orange ponzu gelee, popped amaranth, and nasturtium leaf.
- The National Guard table, run by Chef David Guas ( Bayou Bakery) and TSgt Tyer Gaswint (Air National Guard), crafted Gulf Shrimp Burgers.
- The Marine Corps table, run by Chef Todd Grey (Equinox) and SSgt Hiram Carrion (Marine Corps) delivered on the Tahini Grits and Lamb Meatballs.
- The Navy table, run by Chef Ris Lacoste (Ris) and CS1 Frida Karani (Navy) fed a warm heaping of New England Clam Chowder.
Along with memorable dishes, renown mixologist Todd Thrasher concocted memorable beverages such as The Pea-triot made from White Rum, Lemon, and Pea Flowers and The Wake up Call made from Bourbon, Decaf Coffee, Sugar, and Orange.
As a whole, this celebration celebrates the kindness of military supporters across the country and their impact on the military family community. Blue Star Families (BSF) is the non-profit behind this great celebration. Blue Star Families mission is to use community as the solution for military family problems. Military life is hard and BSF leverages data-driven insights to curate resources for military families, including career development tools, local community events for families, and care giving support. Because of Blue Star Families, 1.5 million families have been helped.
Blue Star Families is a remarkable non profit that has impacted the lives of several military families across the U.S. Click here to make a donation.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a non profit that strengthen military families every day. Through career development, caregiving, and our leading research on military family life, this organization is striving to better understand and provide solutions to the challenges facing today’s military families. This organization started in April of 2009, when a group of military spouses got together in the hopes of making a difference in the lives of military families. They knew the issues surrounding military families and saw a need for a platform where military family members could join forces with the general public and their communities to address the challenges of military life.
Since then, BSF has grown from a few military spouses around a kitchen table to more than 150,000 members and over 35 communities and chapters around the globe. Blue Star Family programs and services reach more than 1.5 million military family members every year.
Tune into Sharing the Details for an exclusive interview with the Founder and CEO of Blue Star Families, Kathy Roth- Douquet.