Cision PR Newswire

Leaders & Legends Celebrates Veterans and the Dogs that Change Their Lives

A message from baseball legend Tony La Russa

PHOENIX, Nov. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The 12th Annual Leaders & Legends event honored a remarkable group of veterans, most from the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame. Seven Purple Heart recipients took the stage, including Tom Kirk and David Allwine, former POWs who endured the infamous Hanoi Hilton. Kirk even celebrated his 95th birthday with us.

Leaders & Legends brings together icons from sports, business and the military. For 11 years, the event has showcased the importance of improving the lives of Veterans by connecting them to the unconditional love of service and emotional support dogs.

The heart of Leaders & Legends is its unique and engaging presentations. This year's theme was "Trust—the tangible intangible." This was significant because of a changed situation. It was also a clear example that success is possible when "the more things change, the more they stay the same!"

The "change" was the venue, the Arizona Biltmore and not a Las Vegas casino. And this year, two new beneficiaries will share the lucrative amount raised. The "same" is a November weekend where attendees have up close and personal opportunities with the presenters. 

The first beneficiary is The PenFed Foundation, led by PenFed Credit Union President/CEO James Schenck and Foundation President Andrea McCarren. They have a history of prioritizing the welfare of Veterans. In fact, 99 cents of every dollar raised by the Foundation goes directly to their Veterans' program. We are pleased to partner with them and help fund their efforts to provide Veterans with life-changing service dogs, free of charge. 

The second beneficiary is Rick Hogg's "In Honor of Duco Project." Hogg is a 29-year US Army Special Forces Veteran with Delta Force experience. He served with Duco, his Combat Assault Dog. Hogg's primary mission is to prevent Special Ops Forces K9 handlers from having to make a medical decision for their partner based on their finances. 

Sports always play a key role at Leaders & Legends. Hall of Famers Dara Torres, Kurt Busch and Rickey Henderson gave career insights. World Series highlights were provided by Jim Leyland, Joe Torre and Bernie Williams. I hosted a panel with Chris Carpenter and Jim Edmonds

The Military was well represented by Hogg and Delta Force teammates Tom Satterly and Chris VanSant, Brian Mahler, a Marine and Navy SEAL, and Captain Walt Slaughter, a Naval Aviator with extensive aircraft carrier experience including more than 1,000 carrier landings! Also featured was Jim Dimatteo, Top Gun Adversary leader and Aviation Hall of Famer!

Other memorable sessions featured David Pratt, who explained the history and development of Three Forks Ranch, and its unprecedented river restoration, along with its Health and Wellness center. Harold Hamm, Continental Resources Founder and Executive Chairman, spoke on energy and America's oil and gas industry. Ron Kruszewski, Stifel Financial Board Chairman and CEO tackled the economy, inflation and related issues.

Onward to Leaders and Legends 2024!

About PenFed Foundation
Founded in 2001, The PenFed Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that supports veterans in their transition from service to success. Affiliated with PenFed Credit Union, the Foundation has provided more than $55 million in financial support to veterans, active-duty service members and military families. The credit union funds the Foundation's personnel and most operational costs, allowing 99% of incoming donations to go directly to our programs. To learn more, please visit

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SOURCE PenFed Foundation

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