Trust for the National Mall Celebrates Annual BALL for THE MALL
The Trust for the National Mall, an official non-profit partner of the National Park Service, hosted its twelfth annual benefit event yesterday evening underneath the stars and amongst the monuments on the National Mall. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer reprised his role as the Master of Ceremonies for the BALL for THE MALL, which featured dynamic speakers, honored two members of Congress, and showcased critical improvement projects on the National Mall.
The benefit gala included an opening reception, seated dinner with guest speakers, and live music and entertainment. Support for the event was provided by: Premier Patron, David M. Rubenstein; Facebook, Bender Foundation, and many other generous sponsors.
“Many in Washington may want to think that the White House or the Capitol is the center of Washington, but it is the Mall that unites this city. Protecting the Mall is important. We have to teach the next generation the importance of conservation and the important history this space holds. We can’t lose a part of ourselves.”
-Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), accepting the 2019 History, Heroes & Hope award on behalf of her late husband, Rep. John Dingell
As the centerpiece of the event program, the Trust for the National Mall welcomed President and CEO of Walmart, Inc. Doug McMillon as keynote speaker. McMillon started out as a hourly summer associate with Walmart in 1984. Later, McMillon became a store assistant manager before moving to merchandising . He was named President and CEO in 2014.
Businesswoman and Trust board member Sheila C. Johnson introduced McMillon. Johnson has given generously over the years through multiple gifts to express continued support in restoring and enhancing the National Mall.
Businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein presented the “History, Heroes, and Hope Award” to two Members of Congress, the Senator Lisa Murkowski and the late Representative John Dingell. Murkowski could not be present at the event. Her husband, Verne Martell, accepted on behalf. Representative Debbie Dingell, wife of the late John Dingell, accepted on his behalf.
History, Heroes and Hope Award
The Trust for the National Mall developed the “History, Heroes, and Hope Award” in 2014 to honor an individual, corporation or organization that embodies the visionary spirit and courage exemplified on the National Mall. This year the Trust selected two individuals who have made a significant impact on public lands legislation as Members of Congress.
Senator Lisa Murkowski has served as one of Alaska’s Senator since 2002. She is the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where she is the Chairman of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee.
Representative John Dingell passed away on February 7, 2019 at age 92, after a lifetime of committed public service. He represented Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives from December 13, 1955 to January 3, 2015, serving for more than 59 years, the longest uninterrupted Congressional tenure in U.S. history. An avid conservationist and outdoorsman, Representative Dingell wrote the Endangered Species Act, the 1990 Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and legislation to build North America's first international wildlife refuge.