Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has accepted an invitation from the Congressional Award Foundation to present Mr. Dwayne Johnson, most popularly known as The Rock, the Horizon Award during its Congressional Award dinner ceremony on July 19, 2008, at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. The Horizon Award is given annually to individuals who have contributed to expanding opportunities for all Americans through their own personal contributions, and who have set exceptional examples for young people through their successes in life.
The Congressional Award was established by Congress in 1979 to recognize initiative, achievement and service in young people. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive and is open to all youth ages 14 to 23 regardless of mental or physical challenges, or socioeconomic status. It has no minimum grade point average requirement.
The Congressional Award Foundation is a private-public partnership which receives all funding from the private sector. The foundation teaches participants to set and achieve personally challenging goals that build character, and foster community service, personal development, and citizenship. Participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award medals and certificates by achieving a certain number of hours in the four areas: volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness and exploration.
During this year’s Congressional Award ceremony, the United States Congress will honor approximately 240 young Americans with its most prestigious award for young people – the Congressional Award Gold Medal.
“I am very pleased and honored to have been invited by the Congressional Award Foundation to present The Rock its Horizon Award,” Faleomavaega said. “The Rock is someone whom I have known for many years since his childhood. I have watched with great admiration his continued success since during college, in professional wrestling, and now in his new career as a Hollywood actor where he is a movie icon believed to be the heir apparent to Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
Faleomavaega also received a separate invitation from Katie Kornfield, Executive Director of The Rock Foundation to attend the same ceremony and to bring a special guest to be at the Rock’s table and an additional five guests to the event. Founded by The Rock in 2006, The Rock Foundation seeks to educate, empower, and enrich the lives of children age 0 to 22 worldwide through its youth physical fitness and obesity prevention program and its educational worldwide giving program.
Dwayne Johnson is the son of former professional wrestler Rocky Johnson and Ata Johnson, the daughter of the late Pita (Peter) Maivia, also a professional wrestler. In 2004, Dwayne was conferred the chiefly title “Seiuli” by the late Samoa Head of State, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II.
“I am pleased the Congressional Award has recognized the outstanding work by The Rock and The Rock Foundation on the lives of young people around the world, and more specifically in the United States,” Faleomavaega continued. “And, I am most thankful for Katie Kornfield, The Rock Foundation’s Executive Director, for inviting me and for allowing me to bring a special guest to sit at same table with The Rock and me.”
“I could not think of a more deserving Samoan in the Washington, DC area to invite than Army Sergeant First Class Sene Polu who is currently receiving treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and recovering from major injuries he sustained as a result of an IED explosion in Iraq last April. Sene is a Toa o Samoa who has served our country well and I was happy to extend the invitation so he could join me at this momentous ceremony honoring The Rock.”
“In addition, I have extended invitations to SFC Polu’s wife, Rosie, and their two children, Charlie and Chaztity, as well as to Reverend and Mrs. Sui “Meki” and JoAnn To’alepai to attend the ceremony. Reverend To’alepai is the senior pastor at our Samoan community church in Washington, DC.”
“I congratulate The Rock on receiving his Horizon Award and wish him continued success in his movie career. I also congratulate The Rock foundation and The Congressional Award Foundation for their incredible joint efforts in assisting young people who make positive choices in their lives reinforce the values of public service and good citizenship,” Faleomavaega concluded.