Valley Forge Chapter Local Heroes

2019 Local Hero Award Recipients

Click on image to view

Operation Enduring Warrior 

is a veteran founded non profit whose mission is to honor, empower and motivate our nations wounded veterans through physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation.  OEW helps participants overcome adversity and hardship through innovation, teamwork and perseverance.  This ultimately enables the lives of wounded veterans to go in directions they may have once thought were impossible.  OEW is a 100% volunteer run organization.  Donations go directly towards operational support of the organization and various programs like; adventure, athletic events, scuba diving, sky diving and veteran outreach visits to Walter Reed hospital, military bases and VA’s.  Also, they have a program called Warrior’s Voice to create interaction between wounded veterans and the community, they sent their heroes to public speaking courses in order to increase their comfort level with engaging large crowds and obtain a new lifelong skill.

‘He gave me a purpose’: N.J. veteran says service dog saved his life – view video here


Lansdale Area Fundraising Society (LAFS)

Founded in 2009; a locally organized, locally driven group of Lansdale area citizens who recognize the need for local residents to take the ownership and responsibility for the financial well-being of local charities, who give so much to our community in which we live.  Through large and small events their primary goal is to raise money for these Lansdale non-profit organizations.  All proceeds of these events will be funneled back to deserving local charities.  They work in conjunction with the Lansdale Borough Administration and local business community to utilize the event to drive people to the downtown district as part of overall revitalization efforts.


Miss Jada Landis

Jada Landis is a Senior attending Souderton Area High School.  She works on the family farm taking care of horses, goats, chickens and various other animals. She excels in school and hopes to secure an admission to West Point Military Academy.  She is a natural leader, leading by example in her 4H club, school and various clubs.  Jada is the organizer for the Memorial Day Veterans Benefit Horse Show which raises money for PA Veterans Foundation through 4H and Pieces Club and SAHS Support Our Troops Club.  She helped to organize veterans baseball game to raise over $1000 for PA Veterans Foundation in 2017.  She has also volunteered her time on medical missions to Dominican Republic and South Carolina and so much more.  Jada is an example of what we at Freedoms Foundation are all about.  Educating our youth to become active engaged citizens in their communities and to lead by example.


Arthur Russell Memorial Scholarship
Jada Landis

The Arthur Russell Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to award Scholarships to local students to attend Freedoms Foundation’s Spirit of America Programs.



Youth Essay Award Recipients



Meet the sixteen Valley View High School students in Beverly Lesnefsky’s AP History Class who received the National George Washington Medal for their essay: “Why might helping others be an important component of responsible citizenship?”  The essay contest was sponsored by the Freedoms Foundation Of Valley Forge, and these students will be recognized at Freedoms Foundation Valley Forge Chapter Local Heroes Gala on February 23, 2019.
Front Row, left to right: Cheyenne Worden, Megan St. Ledger, Taralyn Reilly, Sophia Williams, Morgan Siefring, Sarah Capwell, Simal Sami.
Back row, left to right: Ian Kovatch, Jake Jarosh, Josh Castellani, David Kuzmick, Ryan Turlip, Taylor Seprosky, Madison Pachucy.  Absent from photo was Zachary Carone, and Andrew Hall.

Marissa Liner, Sarah Capwell & Andrew Hall 

View photos here

2018 Local Hero Award Recipients

Frank Horvath

Frank , a 95 yr old, WW2 Army Veteran has received France’s highest award for valor for rescuing innocent French Citizens in a bunker during WW2.  Frank suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.  Frank’s actions in protecting the French citizens has earned him the Legion of Honor Medal, 2 Bronze Stars, The Purple Heart, a Good Conduct Medal, an American Theater Service Medal and a Victory Medal.  Frank rescued these French citizens with an unloaded gun, as he ran out of bullets.  Frank enjoys playing his banjo and speaking with our teachers at the Freedoms Foundation Teacher Graduate Program held in June and July.

Travis Manion Foundation

The Travis Manion Foundation exists to carry on the legacy of character, service and leadership embodied by Travis Manion a 1stLt in the USMC.  Travis was killed on April 29, 2007 by an enemy sniper while saving his wounded teammates.  Travis’ words before leaving for his last deployment were, “If not me, then who.” are a constant reminder for all to live with character and put other people’s interest before our own.

Heather Sliwinski

Heather is a wife, mother, birth doula and veteran advocate.  Heather volunteers with numerous organizations that support our military.  She is a case Manager for Operation Ward 57.  Heather provides support to veterans with PTSD and TBI all hours of the day and night.  She also started the Wounded Hero 5K held in Warminster.  This year’s 5K is being held on 6/16/18. Wounded Hero 5K raises money for our wounded veterans in need.

Luke Sliwinski

Luke is a 17 year old HIgh School Student whose goal is to one day serve in the US Marine Corp. Luke makes frequent trips to Walter Reed Military Hospital and makes weekly calls to our wounded warriors to make sure they are doing ok.  Luke spearheaded Operation Ward 57’s Honor and Courage Program and to date has raised over $65,000 for our wounded warriors.

View photos here