TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar & Good Grief Camp Wins 2022 ILEA Award
Each year the International Live Events Association (ILEA) hosts the ILEA Esprit Awards to recognize excellence in live events across the globe. These awards honor industry professionals’ most creative and innovative events and contributions across 28 different categories. This year, TAPS is proud to announce that Platinum Travel & Events won the 2022 ILEA Award in the category of Best Meeting/Conference Program (Over $500,000 USD) for their work producing the 27th National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp in 2021.
“I am pleased to have received this award for such an amazing program. Being a military widow myself, it has been an honor and pleasure having the opportunity to produce the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp,” said Tamra Sipes, CSEP, TAPS Senior Advisor, Director of Events, and Owner of Platinum Travel & Events. “I could not have produced this event without the assistance from TAPS departmental staff and am grateful to each person who was able to work through the challenging COVID time. It was a successful event filled with hope and healing for so many. I am humbled and honored to receive recognition for such a worthy cause.”
What is the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar?
The TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp is hosted on Memorial Day Weekend each year in Washington, D.C., as a way for surviving military families to come together, connect, and share the stories of their fallen heroes. At the 2021 seminar, TAPS hosted 1,200 attendees and saw appearances from special guests including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks, Chef Robert Irvine, Voices of Service, and country music stars Brett Jones and Brice Long. It was TAPS first in-person, large-scale event since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, but Sipes was up to the challenge and provided a meaningful, safe experience for all.
“There were so many challenges due to COVID leading up to this event, but TAPS pushed forward,” Sipes explained. “It was a hard time with isolation, but especially hard for those adults and children grieving the loss of their military loved ones. The country was just starting to open and after many precautionary steps, navigating state occupancy restrictions and purchasing lots of Personal Protective Equipment, we were able to provide a safe environment and bring survivors together.”
This annual seminar provides grieving families the opportunity to participate in activities, workshops led by experts in grief and loss, and small-group sharing sessions. There are family-style meals, evenings of entertainment, and special events throughout Washington, D.C., all intended to help survivors connect and build lasting bonds with one another. Surrounded by the monuments and memorials of our nation's capital, this annual seminar provides TAPS’ families a reminder that a grateful nation never forgets.
“TAPS is the national organization caring for the families of America's Fallen Heroes, and our National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp is our annual flagship event,” said TAPS Founder and President Bonnie Carroll. “We are so grateful to have the leadership of Tamra Sipes for this complex event providing emotional support to more than a thousand who are newly bereaved, offering opportunities to honor their Fallen Heroes during Memorial Day in Washington, and conducting a parallel program for hundreds of grieving children in the same venues.”
Photos from the Seminar
View more photos from the 2021 National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp.
Photos: TAPS Archives