Towey speaks at Orange County Spirit Awards dinner

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by Barry Frost – 

SPIRIT AWARD WINNERS (l-r): Others award recipients Donald and Dorothy Kennedy; Volunteer of the Year award recipient Dr. Tom Bay; and William Booth award recipient Don Gilchrist.

Jim Towey, deputy assistant to President George W. Bush since 2002 and director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, spoke at The Salvation Army Orange County Advisory Board Spirit Awards annual civic dinner. Towey spoke on the subject of the event’s theme: “Others!…Still Our Mission.” Spirit Awards were presented to individuals and groups who have given exemplary community service in Orange County, Calif. Orange County Fire Authority Chief Chip Prather presented the Volunteer of the Year award to Dr. Tom Bay. The Spirit of the Army award went to Santa Ana High School’s American Red Cross Club, with Dr. Al Mijares, superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District and member of the Army’s Orange County Advisory Board presenting the award. Major George Hood, Salvation Army National Community Relations and Development Secretary, handed Don Gilchrist the William Booth award. Donald and Dorothy Kennedy received one of the Army’s highest awards, the Others Award, which was presented to them by the Honorable Gaddi Vasquez, a long-time City of Orange resident and member of the Orange County Advisory Board. The evening’s program, introduced by Master of Ceremonies Ed Arnold, featured The Salvation Army Tustin Ranch Band, led by B/M Edward Freeman, with guest trumpet soloist Ryan Anthony. Anthony, a former Canadian Brass member, has been hailed by Doc Severinsen as “one of America’s finest trumpeters.” Also featured was the Tustin Ranch Timbrel Brigade, led by Margaret Arnold. Several special and poignant moments came during the two “Hero of the Faith” segments as James and Audrie Taylor and Jeremy Fraser gave their testimonies of how their lives were changed through their association with the Army.

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