Portland, OR. Gene Simmons joined KISS guitarist and Portland native Tommy Thayer — along with KISS bandmates Paul Stanley and Eric Singer —for a surprise performance at the close of the “All-Star Salute to the Oregon Military” fundraising gala Feb. 18th. The exclusive event raised $1.4 million toward completing the construction of the $20 million Oregon Military Museum named after Tommy’s father, Brigadier General James B. Thayer. Rockers Alice Cooper, Robby Krieger of the Doors, Danny Seraphine from the band Chicago, and Will Lee from The Late Show with David Letterman, also performed.

The Oregon Military Museum is named after Brigadier General James B. Thayer (ret.), 94, of Lake Oswego and the fundraiser was organized by his son, Tommy Thayer.

The evening included the honors for the late Bill Bowerman, a WWII veteran and a founder of Nike. He received the Distinguished Military-Civilian Service Award. Bill Bowreman’s son, at right, accepted the award on his late dad’s behalf.

Attendees were generous with their donations.

Musicians Alice Cooper, Will Lee, Robby Kreiger and Danny Seraphine perform.

PGA tour legend, and Oregon’s own, Peter Jacobsen, served as Master of Ceremonies, keeping the evening on par and energetic. During the live auction, one bidder paid $40,000 for the Zenith Commemorative Brigadier General James B. Thayer Oregon Military Museum rose gold watch.

“Bringing in $1.4 million for the Oregon Military Museum was a godsend. Huge thanks to our friends and supporters for their generosity and support of my dad, our family and the museum,” said Tommy Thayer. General Thayer, 94, was in attendance and spoke to the crowd about how special this honor is.

“It was an amazing night of wonderful people and music raising funds for great cause. This event puts us closer to our $20 million goal to complete the museum and create an endowment for operating once the it opens,” said Amy Maxwell, Executive Director of the Oregon Military Museum Project and event organizer. “Thank you to everyone for supporting our efforts.”

About the Museum:

Once completed, the world-class museum complex in Clackamas will provide an educational resource for preserving and sharing our military history with the goal to inspire future genera- tions on the importance of citizenship, heroism and sacrifice.

The 32,000 sq. ft. Oregon Military Museum will include more than 13,000 square feet of professionally designed, state-of-the-art dynamic educational exhibits representing Oregon’s military history from the warrior traditions of Native Americans through today’s Global War on Terrorism.

The adjoining two-acre Historic Park and Honor Gardens will feature interpretive exhibits including two historic buildings that will take visitors back in time to the early 1900s.

The Brigadier General James B. Thayer Oregon Military Museum is located at Camp Withycombe 15300 SE Minuteman Way Clackamas, OR 97015

For more information: 

http://oregonmilitarymuseum project.org/