Five members in Southern California were honored by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge in two separate ceremonies.
Receiving the George Washington Honor Medal from the Los Angeles chapter were Robert Brunner of the Santa Monica 4th Ward, Santa Monica California Stake; and James Moseley, formerly of the Anaheim California Stake and now a member of the Walnut Creek 2nd Ward, Walnut Creek California Stake.Receiving awards from the Orange County chapter were Jeffrey D. Allen of the Redondo 2nd Ward, North Torrance California Stake; Ed and Kris Gates of the Irvine 1st Ward, Irvine California Stake; and Kit Poole of the Tustin 3rd Ward, Orange California Stake.
Brunner was recognized in the individual achievement category. He composed music for the patriotic anthem, "So Many Voices Sing America's Song." His lyricist, Bruce Belland, was also honored. Brunner's composition has received nationwide acclaim and has been sung by many choirs, including the Tabernacle Choir.
Moseley was recognized for his work in the field of public communications. He was honored for a biographical dissertation on George Washington, which he prepared as a doctoral candidate at Claremont College.
Allen was also recognized in the category of public communications. A past executive director of the California Bicentennial Commission on the U.S. Constitution, he has lectured on the Constitution in more than 150 cities across the nation. He also served five years as the California director for the National Center for Constitutional Studies.
Ed and Kris Gates were honored in the category of programs and activities. They are founders and directors of a performing group of 180 children. The group has given nearly 400 patriotic performances at no charge. The couple received the "Spirit of America" award in Washington, D.C., and the Disneyland Community Service award of $5,000.
Sister Poole was also honored in the category of programs and activities. She was president of California Utah Women and produced a multi-media program on the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution. The program was written by Sister Poole and Diane Christensen of the Fountain Valley 1st Ward.
Honorary bicentennial awards were presented to two LDS women, State Sen. Marian Bergeson and former U.S. Treasurer Angela Buchanan.