The 2012 NMHS Washington Awards Dinner was held on Thursday, 12 April 2012, at the prestigious National Press Club. It was a memorable evening, filled with camaraderie, powerful images, moving speeches, and stirring patriotic music.
NMHS was honored to recognize three individuals who have made significant contributions to our maritime heritage. As Chairman of the Naval Historical Foundation Admiral Bruce DeMars, USN (Ret.), has used his expertise to support the Navy’s Cold War Museum in the Washington Navy Yard and partnered with organizations around the country to tell the Navy’s story. His award was presented by Senator Christopher J. Dodd. George J. Collins, former CEO of T. Rowe Price, owner of Chessie Racing and other Farr yachts, presented the award to Bruce K. Farr OBE, Director and Vice President of Farr Yacht Design, Ltd. of Annapolis, one of the top racing yacht designers in the world. Our third honoree was Patrick O’Brien, one of America’s outstanding maritime artists, who uses his remarkable ability to capture the age of sail by painting all the sea battles of the War of 1812. Charles Raskob Robinson of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) made the award presentation.
Highlights of the evening included David and Ginger Hildebrand of The Colonial Music Institute, who performed an 1814-era version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and 1812-era songs; great videos on each award recipient by NMHS Vice-Chairman Rick Lopes; special appearances by Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., Commandant, US Coast Guard, who spoke on the Coast Guard’s “Revenue Cutter” service in the War of 1812, and former US Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley, who spoke of Maryland’s leading role in commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812; and the Washington Awards Dinner Artist Gallery, featuring original art works from Tim Bell, Marc Castelli, John Barber, and Patrick O’Brien.