Guest speakers, ticket sales announced for UTANG 70th Anniversary Gala

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jennifer Eaton
A world renowned celebrity trainer and fitness expert, and a distinguished Air Force veteran and Hanoi Hilton POW survivor will headline the Utah Air National Guard's 70th Anniversary Gala, a resiliency-themed event scheduled for the evening of Nov. 4 at The Grand America Hotel.

Tony Horton, creator of the P90X fitness series and healthy lifestyle expert, and retired Lt. Col. Jay Hess, local Air Force veteran and war hero, will share their motivational stories with an audience expected to draw approximately 600 local and out-of-state military members, retirees, community partners and other distinguished guests.

"It's always a privilege to visit and instruct our amazing American Airmen," Horton said. "I look forward to celebrating the Utah Air National Guard's proud heritage and meeting the heroes whose sacrifice and vigilance safeguard our American way of life."

Horton will also host an exercise session for Air National Guardsmen Thursday, Nov. 3 in the afternoon. More information will follow as it becomes available.

"P90X is a great fitness program with solid results," said Capt. Leonardo Lozano, a budget officer with the 151st Air Refueling Wing's financial management office. "I'm really looking forward to meeting and working out with Tony, as well as hearing first-hand at the gala about his motivation and success in the industry."

The Utah Air Force Association is the official host of the Gala, along with presenting sponsor Zions Bank and a variety of additional local supporters. Dress is semi-formal civilian attire for all attendees, and event organizers hope the wardrobe flexibility will be particularly attractive to military members.

"If any of our Guardsmen would like to wear their Air Force mess dress, they are certainly welcome to," said Col. Kurt Davis, 70th Anniversary planning committee chairman and Joint Force Headquarters Director of Staff. "It's our hope that endorsing civilian attire as a primary option will encourage maximum participation at this fantastic event."

Tickets for the event are now on sale online at Tickets are $25 each (plus processing fee) for currently serving E-6 and below for the first 200 tickets sold. Tickets cost $45 each (plus processing fee) for E-7 and above, as well as officers, retirees, and community members for the first 300 tickets sold. Once these numbers are met, all remaining tickets will be sold for $50 each. Ticket sales will end at midnight on Nov. 1.

The dinner menu includes mini San Juan pear salad, chicken saltimbocca with forest mushroom risotto, asparagus and thumbelina carrots, and pre-set, alternating pot de crème (valrhona dark chocolate mousse with Italian meringue) and dulce de leche cheesecake.

"What an amazing opportunity to get together and commemorate our proud heritage," said Brig. Gen. Christine Burckle, Utah Air National Guard Commander. "A beautiful venue, excellent food, and top-notch entertainment; you don't want to miss this celebration."