Thursday, July 14 was a beautiful night. Not only was the District thrilled that another impending DC-area rainstorm was avoided, but those that gathered on the rooftop of 600 14th Street NW for Students for Life of America’s 2011 Summer Social were especially pleased.

This year, SFLA decided to do something a little differently when presenting their 2011 Wilberforce Leadership award. Thanks to the unyielding efforts of Maria Ciarrocchi, SFLA’s Development Director, the 2011 Summer Social went off without a hitch, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and his family graciously attended to receive the award.

The Wilberforce Leadership Award, which is presented annually by SFLA to a prominent pro-life leader, activist or politician, is named after the British social justice pioneer William Wilberforce, who was a key figurehead in the movement to abolish slave trade.

The Attorney General thanked Students for Life of America and Executive Director, Kristan Hawkins, for acknowledging his tireless efforts to protect the unborn.

“We often forget the most recognized words from our Declaration of Independence,” Cuccinelli said. “’We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator – their Creator - with certain unalienable Rights, [of] Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ And that ‘Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed’. We don’t have any other rights if we don’t have that first one.”

Cuccinelli went on to emphasize the need to garner strength in the face of adversity, and to rely on the pro-life community for support.

Before the Attorney General accepted his award, Representative Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1) addressed the attendees.

“I come from a small town of Nebraska farmers,” Rep. Fortenberry said. “Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli isn’t a farmer, but he has those same small-town ideals. The same emphasis on family.”

Event hosts included the Hon. Mike and Maureen Ferguson, Dr. Michael New, Peter Singleton, John Stewart, Ed and Deborah Whelan, Bob Adams, League of American Voters, Alliance Defense Fund, Bonnie K. Arthur, Colin and Pricie Hanna, Nancy Tanner and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth J. Wolfe .