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OUR YOUTH OUR FUTURE GALA RAISES OVER $77K

Renowned country artist and Broadway star Gary Morris and award-winning radio broadcaster Devon O’Day kicked off Red Ribbon Week by hitting the stage in Nashville, Tenn. on Tuesday, October 20 to host the 2020 DEA Educational Foundation’s Our Youth Our Future Gala. The virtual gala, which raises funds for their after-school programs in over 50 cities across the U.S., featured performances and appearances by the following:

Gary Morris, Devon O'Day, Amy Danos. PLA Media

Jay Allen

Mandy Barnett

Bellamy Brothers

John Berry

Allie Colleen

Noah Galloway

Kathy Mattea

Gary Morris

Dean Norris of AMC's Breaking Bad

The Oak Ridge Boys

Juan Pablo Raba of Netflix's Narcos

Tim Rushlow

Jeannie Seely

Chevel Shepherd

Michael W. Smith

The DEAEF’s Chairman of the Board William F. Alden, DEA’s Chief Community Outreach Section Office of Congressional and Public Affair’s Sean Fearns and award-winning children’s author Ashley Mills Monaghan also made special remarks. By the close of the ceremony, $77,245 had been donated to the organization. Fortunately, for those that missed the broadcast, you can still view the program and donate to the DEAEF by visiting gala2020.deaeducationalfoundation.org. Even those that don't have time to view the program can donate today by texting drugfree to 91999.

“We are extremely honored by the tremendous support received from the community and look forward to future collaborations to continue our drug free messaging," says DEAEF's Chairman of the Board William F. Alden.

"This was our first virtual gala for the DEA Educational Foundation and I was honored to be involved in their fund raising efforts," says Gary Morris. "We didn't know what to expect, but I couldn't be more pleased. Thank you to the DEA, DEAEF, PLA team, media friends who helped us publicize the event, all the celebrities who gave their talent and everyone who donated. These efforts will help to inspire a lot of kids across the country."

To watch, go to gala2020.deaeducationalfoundation.org

About the DEA Educational Foundation

The DEAEF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a goal to educate the public on the costs and consequences of illegal drugs in society. The foundation supports the DEA through outreach, advocacy, and educational programs. 

With youth mentorship programs like the Youth Dance Program, the DEAEF provides free afterschool activities to promote fun, healthy, and expressive art forms in over fifty cities. Traveling museum exhibits create interactive experiences for students, teachers, and parents to learn about the costs and consequences of illegal drug use. The foundation has also been working on a new development called The RX Factor, which is a 1,000 square foot exhibit housed entirely inside a high-tech tractor trailer truck. The RX Factor will tour the U.S. to educate the public on the prescription drug abuse epidemic. 

The DEAEF completes its mission and goals surrounding drug prevention education and alternatives through contributions, both large and small. Through its many programs and seminars, the DEAEF aims to encourage young people to avoid the consequences of drug addiction.

About Gary Morris

Gary Morris is known world-wide for his vocal mastery, able to hold audiences mesmerized and overwhelmed by the pure beauty and inspiration of his voice. His recording career garnered five #1 and 16 Top 10 singles, including “Why Lady Why,” “The Love She Found in Me” and “Baby Bye Bye.” Morris’ original rendition of the classic “Wind Beneath My Wings” won both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music “Song of the Year” awards. Morris was also named Billboard’s “Male Artist of the Year” early in his career. At the height of his Nashville recording career, the Texas-bred tenor was tapped to play the lead role of Jean Valjean in Broadway’s epic hit “Les Misérables,” to critical acclaim.  This role led to a Drama Desk Award nomination. His famous rendition of “Bring Him Home” on the platinum-selling, Grammy Award-winning international cast album resulted in a Command Performance by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Additional Broadway roles include Rodolfo in the production of Puccini’s opera “La Bohéme.”

Morris’ love of the great outdoors, combined with this respect and compassion for veterans, has resulted in his affiliation with Fly Fishers International and its Abilene Fly Fishers club. Gary's passion for wounded veterans also motivated him to make his Mountain Spirit Ranch a place where veterans suffering from PTSD can experience the therapeutic properties of the serene sport of fly fishing to treat PTSD and other combat-related conditions.

Whether he is melting hearts with this voice and music, amazing New York City critics with his acting, using his outdoor experience to teach others respect for the environment, or using his gifts to help our wounded service men and women through a difficult time in their lives, there is no doubt Gary Morris is impacting the world with his gifts and passion.

Morris' most recent album is "Sense of Pride."

AWARDS: Billboards New Male Artist of the Year 1982; ACM Single of the Year 1984 for “Wind Beneath My Wings”

To stay updated on Gary Morris, visit the following:

Website: www.garymorris.com

Facebook: Gary Morris Music

Twitter: @garymorristour

YouTube: Gary Morris

About Devon O'Day

Devon O’Day is a career broadcaster with a resume’ that includes WSM Home of the Grand Ole Opry, The House Foundation with Gerry House, Mix92.9 Nashville, and nationally syndicated shows like Country Hitmakers, The Saturday Night House Party, and America’s #1s. She currently anchors the syndicated podcast “Main Street Today with Devon O’Day.”  This former Miss Louisiana National Teenager was a pioneer of the plus-division of the Ford Modeling Agency in New York City. Devon is also the author of 4 books for Thomas Nelson/Zondervan and two for Abingdon Press among them My Southern Food and My Angels Wear Fur. As a songwriter, she has had songs recorded by Lee Ann Womack, Hank Williams, Jr, Pam Tillis, Neal McCoy, Trace Adkins, and a #1 for George Strait called “The Big One”, co-written with Gerry House.  She is the narrator for over 50 audio books and her voice has been heard on every major network for national clients like Hilton Hotels, KFC, and Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Devon has served as the host of national radio specials for Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney, Bill Gaither, and hosted Tammy Wynette’s biography on the Lifetime network.

For more on Devon O’Day, visit https://devonodaysnashville.com/.

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For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Mark Logsdon at mark.logsdon@plamedia.com or (615) 739-4916.

Journalists can download media assets by clicking here.

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© 2020 DEA Educational Foundation

The DEA Educational Foundation is not part of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Neither DOJ nor the DEA approves, endorses, or authorizes the Foundation, its materials or its fundraising efforts.