Utah Valley Convention Center
PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: Being born during the Great Depression and losing his father when he was just seven years old provided multiple reasons for this young boy from Provo, Utah, to wonder what happiness or security the future could possibly hold for him. Yet looking back, there were very specific opportunities and experiences that would ultimately prepare him for a life of influence and service to others. He also had a mother whose leadership and work ethic set an invaluable example. The path he travelled has led him to the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court, a career as a well-respected attorney and law professor, a role as president of the country’s second-largest private religious university, the bench of the Utah Supreme Court, and a key leadership position in a worldwide religious organization with a membership of over sixteen million. This is a man who has devoted his life to supporting, defending, and declaring the values of God, family, freedom, and country.
PURO FAMILY: The five Puro sisters were raised in Utah. They shared a love for the performing arts and grew up on stage. Their parents taught them to always try their hardest, know their strengths, tell the truth, be brave, and to do things that scared them. All five attended Utah Girls State during their high school years and four have competed at Miss Utah. Yet even with all of that resulting self-confidence and strong work ethic, their parents were still surprised when one by one, they all chose military service. Each of the sisters pursued a career in various areas of interest and study and were inspired to join in different ways; but all have chosen to use their skills to serve this country. Their father refers to them as “Papa’s Patrol.” And when asked what it feels like to have five daughters serving in the military, he says, “It’s the scariest thing you’ll ever be proud of.”
LEONARD BAGALWA: Life in the Democratic Republic of Congo was difficult for Mirindi, as he was called by his mother. The country was at war, hunger was rampant, and like so many young boys, he was kidnapped from his home and taken to train as a child soldier. When he escaped and returned home, his mother sent him off alone to a refugee camp fearing he would be killed if found. He spent a decade in various refugee camps before he was able to immigrate to the United States. Crediting the kindness of others and divine guidance, he eventually ended up in Utah County. To show gratitude to God for preserving and directing his life, Leonard has devoted his efforts to helping other refugees acclimate to new and unfamiliar surroundings and customs. As the founder of the Utah Valley Refugee Foundation, he has helped countless others gain confidence and find success in their new home.
Jenny Oaks Baker and Family Four will provide the entertainment for the evening. She is a Grammy Nominated, Billboard No. 1 performer, and recording artist. As a family group they have performed around the world and have released recordings as well.
John Sargeant—the Gala’s Piano Man!—will provide the pre-show, dinner, and post-show entertainment. He is an established musician and recording artist. This will be his seventh year performing for the Freedom Awards Gala.
Red Romaine Caesar with Feta Cheese
Dressed with Caesar Vinaigrette, and Crostini
Served with Rolls and Butter
Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Shrimp Tempura
on a bed of Roasted Red Pepper Sauce,
Accompanied by Balsamic Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Baby Carrots,
and French Green Beans
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Strawberry Cream Cake
Dietary options must be requested at the time of ticket purchase.
Gluten-free option: Salad as served (without Crostini or Rolls), Pork Tenderloin replacing Shrimp Tempura Flourless Chocolate Torte
Vegetarian option: Salad as served, Grilled vegetable stuffed eggplant with porcini and truffle mushroom ravioli Served over a creamy roasted red pepper pesto sauce Dessert as served