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Mike Beebe Veterans Fund gala to be
held Feb. 20 at Governor's Mansion
Feb. 19, 2009 --
Injured combat veterans
attending Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will reap the benefits
when Grammy-winning country and western recording artist Tracy Lawrence
and TRICARE deputy director Major General Elder Granger, M.D., are
honored at a special event at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, at 6 p.m.
in Little Rock Friday, Feb. 20.
Both Lawrence and Major General Granger will be recognized at
the second annual Sigma Pi Walter M. Schirra Gala Benefit for their
accomplishments in public service, philanthropic efforts, character and
leadership. A significant portion of the evening’s proceeds will support
the Mike Beebe Veterans Fund, an educational endowment for the injured
combat veterans at ASU’s Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded
Veterans at Arkansas State.
“We are very
proud to be associated with this event,” said Susan Tonymon, director of
the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans at ASU. “The
scholarship fund is to honor those individuals who have served in combat
for our country during present day conflicts and to honor the families
who have lost a loved one in the service of our country. We are truly
appreciative of the hard work and efforts by Sigma Pi fraternity at
Arkansas State and the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation in Nashville,
Tenn., and look forward to honoring both Tracy Lawrence and Major
The Mike Beebe Veterans Fund was established in honor of Arkansas
Governor Mike Beebe by members of the Alpha Pi chapter of Sigma Pi at
ASU. More than $20,000 in scholarships has been awarded to
student-veterans since the program started in the spring of 2008.
During Friday’s program, a member of Sigma Pi who distinguishes himself
through public service, philanthropy, leadership, character and personal
accomplishment will receive the Walter Schirra Leadership Award.
Founders of the Beck PRIDE Center for Wounded Combat Veterans at
Arkansas State, Buddy and Charlotte Beck of Fairfax Station, Va., will
also be honored for their generosity and support of Arkansas’ combat
injured veterans with a special presentation by Major General William
Wofford, The Adjutant General for the Arkansas National Guard. Buddy
Beck is an alumnus of Arkansas State University and the Alpha Pi chapter
of Sigma Pi fraternity.
Major General Granger serves as the principle advisor to the
assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) on Department of Defense
health plan policy and performance. Major General Granger serves as
chairperson for the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans’
National Advisory Council and is an alumnus of Arkansas State University
and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In 2008, he was
recognized as a distinguished alumnus by both educational institutions.
born in Atlanta, Texas, and raised in Foreman, Ark. He played in his
first band at the age of 16 and later attended Southern Arkansas
University in Magnolia where he was a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity.
In 1990, Lawrence left Arkansas for Nashville, Tenn. where he hoped to
find success as a recording artist.
For more information, contact Richard Robinson,
CEO, Sigma Pi Educational Foundation by cell phone at (615) 587-4804, or
contact Susan Tonymon,
director, Beck PRIDE Center for America's Wounded Veterans, via cell
phone at (870) 530-2994 or via e-mail at