Build the Center Benefit to Raise Funds for the Creation of the Education Center at The Wall to be held on November 10

Build the Center Benefit to Raise Funds for the Creation of the Education Center at The Wall to be held on November 10

Awards to be presented to individuals who have brought greater awareness to the values that will be honored in the Education Center: Loyalty, Duty and Service


Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) will host its fifth annual signature fundraiser, the Build the Center Benefit, on November 10, 2014 at the National Building Museum. The event is held to raise awareness and funds for the building of the Education Center at The Wall – a state-of-the-art facility on the National Mall that will educate future generations about the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, promote healing, and honor all those who have served our country. Awards will be presented at the event that honor individuals who have been visible in their efforts to bring greater awareness to the values of loyalty, duty and service.

“VVMF is committed to making sure our military heroes’ stories are never forgotten and The Education Center at The Wall will preserve their memories and ensure that future generations will continue to honor their sacrifice,” said Jim Knotts, CEO of VVMF. “As it was with the building of The Wall, the Education Center will be built entirely with private funds so our Build the Center Benefit is vital to the success of our capital campaign. We are grateful to the University of Phoenix for serving as our lead sponsor, as well as to HISTORY for their sponsorship and continued support.”

The 2014 Legacy of Service award will be presented at the Benefit to General John H. Tilelli, Jr., USA (Ret.) and Chairman and CEO of Cypress International, Inc. for his lifetime of service to our country. The Legacy of Service award was created to honor individuals who promote American values of freedom, justice and duty through steadfast service and tireless dedication to the men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

General Tilelli served two combat tours in Vietnam and commanded the 1st Cavalry division during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He served as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and concluded his active-duty career as commander-in-chief of the United Nations Command, Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Forces/U.S. Forces Korea. He was then appointed President and CEO of USO Worldwide Operations from 2000-2002. He recently completed the two-year term as chairman of the board of directors for the military officers association of America.

The 2014 Hometown Heroes award will be presented to Libby H. O’Connell, Ph.D., Chief Historian and SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility for HISTORY/A+E Networks for her exceptional dedication to educating others about our veterans and ensuring that our military heroes’ stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Dr. O’Connell is a three-time Emmy Award winner, preservationist, and cultural historian. She oversees corporate and educational outreach for A+E Networks, including HISTORY, A+E, H2, and the BIO Channel. She developed: Mission to Honor: The Veterans Campaign; Take a Veteran to School Day; and Save our History. She and her team supported the highly-regarded Vietnam in HD – a six-part series that aired originally on HISTORY Channel and focuses on the first-hand experiences of 13 Americans during the Vietnam War.

The Build the Center Benefit will be held at the National Building Museum located at 401 F Street Northwest, Washington, DC on Monday, November 10, 2014 beginning at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails, followed by dinner and an awards program at 7:30 p.m. Major General James A. “Spider” Marks, USA (Ret.), Executive Dean, University of Phoenix, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. Visit for more information.

About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF is dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing and educating future generations about the impact of the Vietnam War through programs, ceremonies and education.

Three decades later, the mission continues as VVMF raises funds to build the Education Center at The Wall. The Center will be an interactive learning facility on the National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall and honor America's Legacy of Service, including those serving in our nation's Armed Forces today. Time Warner is the Lead Gift Benefactor in the campaign to build the Education Center at The Wall. To learn more about VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall, visit or call 866-990-WALL.