Two Virginia charities saluted for helping war veterans

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Afghanistan,Iraq War,Veterans,Wounded Warriors

The Washington area's newest resort is hosting a splashy benefit Saturday night for two Virginia charities credited with assisting financially distressed veterans pay their bills and helping wounded warriors over the hump of their injuries.

The newly opened Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Va., is the setting for the benefit and concert by tenor Anthony Kearns, a founding member of popular singing sensation The Irish Tenors.

The fundraiser will help fund the Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness in Bluemont, Va., and the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes in Leesburg, Va.

Boulder Crest is a new 37-acre retreat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains that provides free accommodations as well as recreational and therapeutic activities and programs to veterans and their families. The goal is to help vets recover and reconnect with their families.

The coalition, established in 2004, provides direct financial assistance to help veterans in jeopardy of losing their homes and cars. It also helps veterans with other bills, even paying for food, utilities or baby diapers.

"We're very grateful that Salamander Resort & Spa has chosen to support the coalition through this important event," said David Walker, president of the coalition. "I've attended several functions at which Mr. Kearns has performed, and he is truly magnificent. This is going to be an inspiring evening of song and patriotism."

"We're honored to have the incredibly gifted Mr. Kearns perform at this very special event to support our mission of helping military members and their families," said Ken Falke, founder of Boulder Crest Retreat.

"Anthony Kearns is delighted to lend his powerful voice to support two outstanding veterans' organizations," Kirsten Fedewa, Kearns' publicist, said in a release.

Kearns is popular around Washington and inside military circles. Last year, he performed as the guest of Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in tribute to Medal of Honor recipients and at the World War II Memorial to honor the nation's "Greatest Generation." Kearns will be accompanied by Patrick Healy, who has performed with the English National Opera.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.