Generous partners and Friends, a Hollywood actor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator took center stage as Gettysburg Foundation hosted its inaugural gala on Oct. 5, 2019. The gala raised funds to support the Foundation’s mission of preservation and education and ensure the lessons of Gettysburg remain alive for not only this generation, but for generations that follow.
The sold-out event, held at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, brought together more than 300 corporate and foundation leaders, members of the Gettysburg Foundation Board of Directors, donors, Friends and community leaders. The evening raised more than a half-million dollars for education and preservation while shining a spotlight on those gathered to support those goals.
“On behalf of Gettysburg Foundation Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, we are so thankful for the outpouring of support from the gala attendees, speakers and sponsors. To raise over a half-million dollars and fill the lobby to capacity shows how powerful the stories and lessons of Gettysburg are to present and future generations. Tonight’s enthusiastic gathering showed that we are all ‘Generation Gettysburg’,” said Eric B. Schultz, Gettysburg Foundation Board Chair.
The evening celebrated the passion, dedication and commitment of Bob and Anne Kinsley and family and honored their legacy with the presentation of the inaugural Kinsley Award at Gettysburg to acclaimed stage and screen actor Stephen Lang.
Named in honor of the Kinsley family for their years of service and support of Gettysburg Foundation and its mission, the award is presented to an individual or organization that exemplifies Abraham Lincoln’s vision of a humble, civil and inclusive society.
During Lang’s speech, he included remarks on how Bob and Anne Kinsley’s passion and vision for Gettysburg led to the unique development of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center more than a decade ago. His tribute summed up the Kinsley’s service and ongoing support of the Foundation.
“If I were to equate Bob Kinsley with any of the names we know so well, it would undoubtedly be Winfield Scott Hancock. For at least two reasons. Hancock was as shrewd a judge of good ground as there was, and no one sat a horse better than Hancock. Bob Kinsley knows his ground uncommonly well, and he sits a horse uncommonly good. His leadership of the Gettysburg Foundation has been an unbeatable combination of inspirational vision and rolled up sleeves hard work. Thank you, Bob, for your service and leadership, and I am honored to receive this award that bears the Kinsley family’s name,” said Lang.
Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator, writer, news analyst and member of Gettysburg Foundation’s Board of Directors, George F. Will, Ph.D. presented the keynote address during which he delved into the importance of studying history and how the sacred commemoration of America’s history at a place like Gettysburg, better equips Americans to cope with the challenges of its future. In June, Will released his most recent work, “The Conservative Sensibility.”
The founding President of Gettysburg Foundation Robert Wilburn, Ph.D. and former Governor Tom and Mrs. Susan Corbett served as the event’s co-chairs. The Ford Motor Company Fund was the event’s lead sponsor. The Ford Motor Company Fund has been a longstanding corporate partner of Gettysburg Foundation with its generous support of the Ford Motor Company Fund Education Center in the Museum & Visitor Center and its sponsorship of Ford Family Day a unique day of history, education and community providing access to the Film, Cyclorama & Museum Experience at no charge.