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Congressman Joe Heck to Receive American Humane Association’s National Humanitarian Medal

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LAS VEGAS — Representative Joe Heck (NV-03) will receive the National Humanitarian Medal from American Humane Association, the nation’s oldest and largest humanitarian organization protecting the welfare of animals and children, for his steadfast commitment to improving the welfare of our nation’s veterans and his understanding of the importance of service dogs in improving the quality of life for both veterans and their families. The medal is bestowed to those who reflect the charity’s core values of compassion, caring and hope.

“Congressman Heck has been a champion to those brave veterans suffering from PTSD and other conditions related to the stress of battle,” said American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “American Humane Association has long worked with the nation’s veterans, using the undeniable healing power of animal-assisted therapy, and is delighted to honor with our distinguished National Humanitarian Medal the heartfelt commitment to heroes on both ends of the leash – our wounded warriors who keep our nation safe and the faithful service dogs who help keep them safe.”

Prior to his election the United States Congress as Nevada’s representative for the third Congressional District in 2010, Dr. Joe Heck spent more than 25 years in public service as a physician, Army Reservist, and community volunteer. Previously, Heck served as a volunteer firefighter and ambulance attendant, Search & Rescue team member and SWAT physician. A Colonel in the U.S Army Reserves, he was called to active duty three times, including deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Heck was recently included on a Pentagon list of officers recommended for promotion within the Army Reserve, in his case to brigadier general. He would become one of a small number of Congress members who ever attained flag officer rank in the military. Along with the new rank, Heck was recommended for assignment as deputy commander in the Atlanta-based 3rd Medical Command.

Congressman Heck currently serves on the Armed Services Committee and Education and Workforce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and is the only freshman appointed to serve on the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, chairing the Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. He has spoken out strongly on the need to provide resources to prevent suicide in the armed forces.

“I am honored to receive the National Humanitarian Medal,” said Congressman Heck. “There is no responsibility I take more seriously than supporting fellow veterans. Part of that support requires ensuring our veterans have access to tools and resources that will help them assimilate back into civilian life. Service dogs provide exceptional service to our veterans by giving them assistance, comfort, and company upon a service member’s return home. I hope that through the support of organizations like the American Humane Association we will be able to keep providing our disabled vets with animals to help them in their daily lives.”

The “Lights of Compassion” weekend is a star-studded collection of public figures, philanthropists, entertainers, and television and movie stars who are coming together in a constellation of compassion to raise funds for American Humane Association, the country’s first national humane organization, local animal rescue efforts, and wounded warriors who need the healing care of a therapy dog.

On Friday, May 17 the “Lights of Compassion” weekend will kick off with an Afternoon Tea and Fashion Show at Bellagio to demonstrate that compassion is always in fashion. Guests will be treated to a fabulous lineup of adult, child and even animal models showing off Elie Tahari and Fifi & Romeo creations during an elegant afternoon showcasing the talents of Las Vegas “Headliner of the Year” Frankie Moreno, star of “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Lisa Vanderpump with her dog Giggy, and two-time Oscar-nominated singer/songwriter Carol Connors. Paul Mitchell The School – Las Vegas will be donating hair and makeup services for talent.

On Saturday, May 18 Bruce and Barbara Lee Woollen will host a Great Gatsby-themed gala at their Anthem Country Club estate in Henderson. The evening will feature elegantly clad ladies and tuxedoed gentlemen, classic cars provided by Jim and Beverly Rogers’ Sunbelt Classic and Antique Automobile Museum, exquisite jewelry from the Hollywood Collection of Kazanjian of Beverly Hills, entertainment by Frankie Moreno, renowned concert pianist Lola Astanova and classical guitarist Eric Castro, a live and silent auction, and lively emceeing by NBC-TV anchors Jim Snyder and Jessica Moore. In addition to Congressman Heck, Wayne Newton, Lisa Vanderpump, Mrs. Howard Hughes (actress Terry Moore), Christine Robinson CEO of Las Vegas’ The Animal Foundation, and philanthropist Patrick Park will be honored for their charitable work.

Proceeds from both events will establish a disaster preparedness program for the rescue of animals in Nevada and American Humane Association’s programs benefitting our military veterans through the healing power of animal-assisted therapy.

For tickets or more information, please call 866-242-1877 or email

About American Humane Association

American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at today.

“Lights of Compassion” Dinner Chairs: Bruce and Barbara Lee Woollen

Host Committee: Jaki Baskow, Bob Benzo, Lisa Bobak, Lynette Chappell, Mayor Andy A. Hafen, Eileen Hayes, Congressman Joe Heck and Lisa Heck, Dorothy Huffey, Sally Kimball, Christian W. Kolberg, Jeanne Marie Korn, Ken and Dianne Merkey, Cheryl Purdue, David Rangel, Laurence Ring, Esq. and Caren Caty, PhD, and Jim and Beverly Rogers

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