Appreciation Banquets

Each banquet has its own special tributes and sense of honor; however, all dinners follow a similar agenda. 

A typical dinner includes:

  • Pre-Dinner Reception: This time of fellowship is reserved for the honorees to gather and take photos.
  • Walk of Honor: Each honoree is introduced while walking through a saber salute comprised of JROTC cadets. They are presented with a gift as their military branch, years of service, & their war era(s) served is announced.
  • Proclamation by the Mayor and Chair of the County Commissioners for each honoree.
  • Keynote speaker
  • Presentation of Colors by Color Guard
  • Music by local bands/groups/choirs
  • Great food!

The purpose of the Dinner is to honor those who have shed their blood for our Country. As a result, we do not ask them to speak - simply relax and enjoy being in the presence of their Purple Heart peers, family, friends, and the community-at-large.

Purple Heart Foundation of NC Mission

The mission of the Purple Heart Foundation of North Carolina is to unite communities in honoring Purple Heart recipients and their families, while fostering fellowship among combat-wounded veterans, promote patriotism and encourage the sharing of veterans’ experiences so future generations may know of the sacrifices made by our heroes and their loved ones.


Purple Heart Foundation

of North Carolina



Founded in 2010, the State Purple Heart Foundation honored local men and women who fought in all U.S. military conflicts and were bestowed with the Purple Heart medal. The State Purple Heart Foundation ultimately became the nonprofit known today as The Purple Heart Foundation of North Carolina. The Purple Heart Foundation of NC is an all-volunteer organization established to organize appreciation banquets throughout North Carolina. These dinners are held every year during the month of August as National Purple Heart Day takes place on August 7th.

As the success and popularity of these dinners grew, other cities in North Carolina wanted to participate. The most recent cities to begin hosting annual Purple Heart Dinners are Raleigh/Durham. Known as the Triangle Purple Heart Dinner, this dinner honored 93 Purple Heart recipients, 12 Gold Star Mothers and 4 family members representing an individual Killed in Action. In 2019, they honored our heroes in a sold out venue with over 900 in attendance.

"Celebrating Service - Honoring Sacrifice"
The Second Triangle Purple Heart Dinner will take place at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport at RTP in 2020. There will be an additional ceremony to recognize and honor the families of Law Enforcement and Firefighters killed in the line of duty.

These impressive dinners are free for Purple Heart recipients and their families. We also honor and provide complimentary tickets to Gold Star Mothers and a direct family member of an individual killed in action. However, all are encouraged to buy tickets as the dinners are open to the public! The Foundation wishes to encourage the public to get involved and attend in a show of appreciation by enjoying dinner, a speaker, and fellowship in meeting our local heroes. 



Board of Directors

George Aux - Purple Heart recipient (US Army Col. – retired)

Cara Coleman - Insurance Agent 
William Ebersbach - Past MOPH Department Commander - State of NC
Neil Ellis - Attorney​

Jon Evans - News Anchor WECT-TV (Wilmington)
Bill Graham - Chair - Goldsboro Purple Heart Foundation, (US Navy Seabee Veteran)
Malcolm Harris – Attorney
Sonya Hemingway - Business Consultant - Charlotte, NC
Michael Johnson – Board Chair, Army Veteran, Business Owner

Robin Johnson - Exec. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
Lenny Lazzara - Region IV - MOPH Commander (7 states and Puerto Rico)
Ed McMahon - Sheriff, New Hanover County
Ryan Nemitz – CPA
Andrea Tebbe - Chair, Sandhills PH Dinner

Jesse Torres - State Office - Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH)