Attending the 2023 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals Gala

The Partnership for Public Service is delighted to welcome you to an in-person celebration of the 2023 Sammies honorees. We have prepared a list of those most commonly asked, especially with respect to ethics questions that federal employees may need to ask in order to attend. Should you have a question or concern not addressed below, please contact us at

General Information

What is the name of the event?

The 2023 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals awards ceremony.

When is the event?

Tuesday, October 17, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.

Where is the event?

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Terrace Theater

2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566 

Who attends this event? 

Every year, the Sammies gala brings together leaders from the White House and executive branch, members of Congress, corporate CEOs, civil society leaders and other prominent Americans to celebrate the winners of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. Other guests include the Partnership for Public Service’s senior staff, Board of Directors, guests of the Sammies honorees and our sponsors. Past gala presenters include members of the Cabinet, agency leaders, members of Congress and White House senior staff, among many more.   

Can a partner, friend or colleague attend the event with me?

Due to the limited availability of seats, registration is by invitation only and invitations are not transferable.

Is there valet parking?

Valet parking is not available, but attendees may use the onsite parking garage. Parking is complimentary for our guests with a voucher.

What is the event attire?

The attire is black tie optional or the military uniform equivalent.

Is this event being streamed online?

Currently, we are not planning a public livestream of the event. However, the full 60-minute television special will air following this event.


Who is the sponsor of this event?  Are there any additional sponsors?  

The Partnership for Public Service is the sole host of the event. The premier and national sponsors for the 2023 Sammies are Mrs. Ronnie Heyman and the Heyman Family, Tom and Andi Bernstien, Charina Endowment Fund, Lockheed Martin and others. The Partnership is solely responsible for determining invitees to this event and assigning seats for the theatre portion of the program, which will prioritize Sammies honorees, their guests and federal executives participating in the program.  

Will someone other than the sponsor pay for the cost of the employee’s attendance?  

The cost will be partially underwritten by program sponsors and otherwise absorbed by the Partnership. 

 How many attendees are expected at the event?  

450 people. 

Is this a fundraising event? 


Is the ticket price tax deductible?  If so, please provide details about the fundraising efforts (e.g., how are the funds being raised, what are the seating arrangements).  

This is not a ticketed event. For program sponsors, the gift amount, minus the cost food and beverage cost for each attendee from a sponsoring company may qualify as a tax-deductible gift. Funds are raised throughout the year through ongoing relationships and seating at the event is determined solely by the Partnership staff with prioritization given to Sammies honorees, their guests, program presenters and other federal executives.  

What is the ticket price for attendance at the event?   

Tickets are free for all attendees.  

Is the event open to the public/are tickets available for purchase? 

The invitation is by invitation only and tickets are not open to the public or available for purchase. 

What is the estimated cost of attendance per person? 

The approximate cost of the event per person is $70.  

What additional gifts may an attendee receive (attendance for a guest/spouse, gift or memento for attendance, free valet parking etc.)?  

The attendee may receive free valet parking, valued at $25.00.  

Please describe the extent of the opportunity for an exchange of ideas or discussion among attendees. 

The 2023 gala will feature a theater screening of portions of a 60-minute film chronicling the achievements of the Sammies medal winners along with onstage appearances from the winners and other luminaries. A reception with light food and beverages will follow the theater presentation. 

Will media attend this event? 


Is the Partnership a tax-exempt/501(c)(3) organization?  


Is the Partnership a registered lobbying organization or do we have an in-house lobbyist?  


Are you paying for travel expenses?