Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations
Guthrie Mayes Public Relations
Tonya M. Evans Wins Grand Prize 2013 Rare Life Award
Champion of Kansas Memorial to Fallen Warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan
KANSAS CITY, KS (February 21, 2013) /PRNewswire/ — Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has named Tonya M. Evans of Lawrence, Kansas as the winner of the Grand Prize 2013 Rare Life Award. Eagle Rare will donate $30,000 to Evans’ charity, American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation (www.afwmf.org). Evans, who founded the charity in March 2011, is in the process of raising funds to establish a 20-acre, $30 million memorial honoring the memory of all military personnel lost since the first Gulf War and in Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and all peripheral operations in the war on terror.
The Rare Life Award is an annual recognition program created to honor individuals who exhibit courage, leadership, survival, devotion, character and heroism. Candidates are nominated by friends, family and colleagues. Their stories and photos are posted online at www.eaglerarelife.com, where visitors vote on these inspirational stories. Evans topped the voting with 91,065 votes among 142 different nominees all submitted through the Rare Life website.
A Utah native, 2013 Grand Prize Winner Evans was first inspired by six Utah fallen service members, and by the courage and dedication of the Gold Star mothers and families who are left to adjust to the loss of a family member in the U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The memorial site is near Kansas City, Kansas, chosen for its central location to most of the continental United States and in the country’s heartland. The memorial will display photo plaques of every serviceman or woman who has given his or her life in the service of defending and protecting our country, including PTSD/Suicides. The photo plaques will contain QR codes that will be assigned to each Fallen Warrior. Scannable by smart phone, the codes will direct visitors to a website that will detail the warrior’s story in pictures, video, and text, bringing a personal connection to all who visit. The memorial, larger than any in Washington, D.C., will include a large flag archway standing 130 feet tall and adorned with the seals of each branch of the military. The center of the memorial contains all 55 flags representing each state and the territories of the U.S. To date, Evans has secured the land for the memorial, contingent on raising 50% of the funds needed, and works full time garnering support and funding while raising three children as a single mother.
Kris Comstock, Eagle Rare brand manager, said, “We continue to be humbled by the incredible people and their stories each year. It’s incredibly gratifying to recognize these remarkable individuals and help advance their worthy causes. Tonya Evans truly exemplifies a Rare Life. We congratulate her, our other winners and all the nominees for their selfless contributions to society.”
Eagle Rare will also donate $3,000 to the charities of choice of the six runners up, each one embodying a distinct characteristic of a Rare Life: Courage, Leadership, Heroism, Character, Devotion and Survival. Eagle Rare’s total prize donations total $48,000.
The six 2013 runners up are:
- Amanda Charney of Eagleville, PA: Courage Award, for Small Steps in Speech
- Dana Nelson of Mechanicsville, VA: Leadership Award for Operation Hope
- Tim Miller of Milton, TX: Heroism Award, for Texas EquuSearch
- Anna Cannan of Fort Kent, ME: Character Award, for The Puppy Rescue Mission
- Al Cecere of Lakewood, TN: Devotion Award, for American Eagle Foundation
- Julie Genser of Parker, AZ: Survival Award for re|shelter
For more information on the Rare Life Award or Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, visit www.eaglerarelife.com.
About Eagle Rare Bourbon
Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is part of the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery, a family-owned company based in Frankfort, (Franklin County), Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Eagle Rare Bourbon is a 10-year-old single barrel bourbon that has won multiple awards, including five double gold medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. To learn more about Eagle Rare visit www.eaglerarelife.com.
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