Event: First Annual Col. Pete Hilgartner Community Service Award

Renew the Earth  has the great pleasure of being involved in the presentation of the 1st Annual Col. Pete Hilgartner Community Service Award.  This award was created in the name of Pete Hilgartner to honor his long, distinguished and outstanding service to country and community and to recognize and encourage a Young Marine who has contributed extraordinary effort in his or her community.

A short biography of Col. Pete Hilgartner, written by Lt.Col. Bill Holmberg who was his friend and fellow Marine, is posted on this website.  Just follow this link.

The Young Marine chosen to receive this 1st Annual Pete Hilgartner Award for Community Service is Young Marine Staff Sargent Jascha J. Ely.  He is the Young Marine with the largest number of stars on his Community Service Medal.  But this is just where it starts.  After talking with Ely (as he likes to be called) on a test program to prepare for his interview the next day, it became clear that this young man of 14 years was exceptional in many ways.  He was poised, polite, modest and well spoken – to the point of eloquence when he related his experience with the Young marines and the food ministry he helped with in his community.  You can get a sense of his presence and personality (and his interaction with his little brother!) if you watch the test on You Tube Bridges Programming (this link).  A picture is worth a thousand words.  Even if there is no slick technical presentation.  The real person shines through most often when they don’t feel pressured. 

Renew the Earth Programming is candid and intentionally not slick, though we always want to learn more about how to use the technology better.  Often interviews are spontaneous and done when we are traveling and from motel rooms as this one was.  Our goal is broadcasting as much humanitarian content as we can, ‘with what we got’ .  In spite of glitches and technical difficulties the joy and dignity of Young Marine J.J.Ely shines through.  During the final interview with Ely we were unable to get his face on the Google Hangout, but we got his voice and he expressed himself beautifully.  ( Follow this link) Congratulations  Young Marine Staff Sargent Jascha Ely!  Renew the Earth is proud to have contributed to your recognition and to encourage you on your path of community service and without a doubt you will have many more outstanding paths and adventures and opportunities for personal growth in the future.  It has been a pleasure to get to know you.  We hope you will keep us posted on what you are up to and your plans for the future.