The San Francisco Post held its Annual Holiday Gala fundraiser, Dec. 9, 2015 at the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco.
Vice Adm. Jody Breckenridge, USCG (Ret.), former Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, delivered the keynote. Introduced by Post member Zack Bedford of MacDonald-Bedford, Adm. Breckenridge focused her address on the fact that the engineers and leaders within the military engineering community are well-suited to step forward to help society solve the infrastructure challenges of today.
She also extoled the benefits of public-private partnerships and encouraged attendees to apply their scientific minds and creative talents, to think outside the box, and to derive solutions that not only meet the challenges we face but improve our quality of life.
San Francisco Post President Lt. Cd. Todd Wimmer, P.E., USCG, presented Adm. Breckenridge with a Post coin as well as an SAME picture frame in gratitude for her speaking at the gala.
The gala program began with a trumpet solo of the National Anthem by Tony Petroccitto, P.E., GHD Inc., and immediate Post Past President. Invocation was given by Dawn Antonucci, Towill Inc., and a past San Francisco Post President. John Jones, P.E., LEED AP, F.SAME, Martinez Services and also a past Post President, led the toasts. Lt. Rachael Love, P.E., USCG, Chair of the Post’s Young Members Group, and Capt. Caleb Bury, USAF, delivered the Fallen Soldier Table tribute. Maj. James Boyette, USA, San Francisco District Deputy Commander, served as Master of Ceremonies.
Several members from the uniform services delivered holiday greetings—including Capt. T. Wade Gesele, P.E., USCG, Commanding Officer of Civil Engineering Unit Oakland; Lt. Col. John Morrow, P.E., USA, USACE San Francisco District Commander; Lt. Col. James Duke, USAF, Commander, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.; and Lt. Cdr. Ning Yuan, P.E., CEC, USN, Resident Officer in Charge of Construction at Travis AFB.
Special awards for outstanding contributions to the San Francisco Post were presented during the evening to Sheila Higgins, Towill Inc., Post Secretary; Arvind Acharya, Gilbane Inc., Post Programs Chair, and Tony Petroccitto, past Post President and Golf Tournament Chair.
The 2015 Holiday Gala began with an elegant reception and included the opportunity for guests to have pictures taken with Adm. Breckenridge, with voluntary donations going to the Wounded Warrior Project. Proceeds from the gala benefit the Post’s charitable efforts: the Nicholas Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance for Bay Area high school graduates who plan to study engineering or architecture; the Bentley Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to support the professional development of the Post’s Young Members; as well as the Wounded Warrior Project. In addition, the Post collected toys for Toys for Tots and held a raffle with proceeds going to the chosen charities.
For more information on the San Francisco Post, visit its webpage at www.samesanfrancisco.org.
(Contributed by Susan E. Bedford, MacDonald-Bedford LLC, San Francisco Post Holiday Gala Chair)