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Bennett Creates Custom Sculpture for Defender of the Nation Award

Bennett Awards, working in conjunction with Skiver Advertising, created a new custom sculpture award for the inaugural Defender of the Nation Award. This new recognition award, presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club, honors a college football player from one of the nation’s service academies, including Air Force Academy, The Citadel, Coast Guard Academy, Naval Academy, Norwich University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Tech, VMI and West Point. The award is based on is based on exceptional leadership qualities on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The recipient must also exhibit a high standard of integrity by leading through example.

For this award, Bennett Awards created a new, unique custom sculpture award based on a design developed by Skiver Advertising. The main component of the award was in the form of a battle shield, a design leveraging the award sponsor’s logo (The Independence Fund) and an ancient roman shield. The battle shield sculpture was created from hand-rubbed rustic bronze-plated pewter encasing light stained oak wood. The pewter and wood combined to contrast the positive and negative spaces in the shield. The service academy logos were sculpted into the pewter back of the shield. The shield was attached to a custom handcrafted ebony-stained mahogany sculpture that served as both a stand and base for the shield. A plate was attached to the base of the award with engravings of the award name, year of presentation, and logos of The Independence Fund and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.


The 2016 recipient of the Defender of the Nation Award was Andrew King, a Cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. King was a 3-year starter at linebacker, and also served as a Platoon Leader and Honor Officer. He is majoring in Law and Legal Studies.

King received his award at the Bronco Nagurski Awards Banquet, held December 5, 2016, at the Charlotte Convention Center. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club, in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America, to the nation's most outstanding NCAA Division I defensive football player.

About The Independence Fund

The Independence Fund is a nonprofit organization that empowers our nation's severely wounded veterans and the caregivers who support them to take control of their lives. Through its dedicated mobility and treatment programs, the Fund assists veterans in transforming their lives toward a better future. The Independence Fund believes we owe it to our veterans to provide the resources they need to move forward and build a strong foundation toward lasting emotional and physical healing in order to reestablish their independence. To learn more, visit

About The Charlotte Touchdown Club

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, North Carolina region. Since its inception, the club has grown as well as diversified boasting a sponsor team of more than 80 companies.  The Club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding Citizenship, Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Leadership of area athletes and coaches.  Through individual and corporate support, more than $2,000,000 has been raised to benefit the Touchdown Club's scholarship efforts.