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Cathy Costello Highlights 2015 Defenders of Liberty Awards

By: Constitution Staff

Cathy Costello, widow of the late Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, accepted the Samuel Adams Statesman of the Year Award on behalf of her husband, at the 2015 Defenders of Liberty banquet in Tulsa. She then delivered a moving recollection of Commissioner Costello as a family man.

The award, given to an outstanding public servant, will be re-named in honor of Costello. It is the lone award given to someone by the group to any person who holds public office. The purpose of all the other awards is to honor the efforts of those who work in the trenches for the cause of liberty -- the grassroots. As Samantha Jones, the president of Defenders of Liberty said, "We are excited to come together for our third year celebrating grassroots activists from across the state. It was our hope from the beginning that we could build this even as a yearly get together for activists from across the state to get to know one another better and to recognize the hard work that goes on day in and day out in the great state of Oklahoma."

Those receiving awards included the following:

Frederick Douglas Outstanding Achievement Award: OK2A

James Madison Award: Gary Lanham

Barry Goldwater Award: David Brooke

George and Martha Washington Award: Paul and Mary Wehrenberg

Patrick Henry Award: Ron Cross

Thomas Paine Award: Kenny Bob Tapp

Murray Rothbard Award: Larry Williamson

Benjamin Franklin Award: Charlotte Harer

Paul Revere Award: Morgan Dunsmore

Dolly Madison Award: Diane Engel

Lysander Spooner Award: Tracey Montgomery

Thomas Jefferson Award: Steve Byas

Martin Luther King, Jr., Award: Norma Sapp

Sponsors of the event included The Tulsa 912 Project; Friends of Jim Bridenstine; Holly Gerard; New Valley Forge Partners; Senator Kyle Loveless; Americans for Prosperity Oklahoma; Scott and Debbie McEachin; Senator Anthony Sykes; Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel; KFAQ Radio; Representative Jon Echols; Elaine Leone; and Heritage Action.

Those wishing to help with the 2016 awards banquet are asked to email the offer of help to:

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