The USO (United Service Organizations) of Illinois is brought the USO Carnival to the Rock Island Arsenal on July 7th as part of the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Arsenal. Sponsored by PepsiCo, the USO Carnival brought Quad Cities military and civilian families together in support of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Arsenal.
The USO is preparing to stuff 10,000 packages for servicemen and women overseas. They’re looking for volunteers, and a free concert follows. Alison Ruble of the USO joins us from Navy Pier.
JACK DANIEL’S/USO “TOAST TO THE TROOPS” CAMPAIGN ROLLS ON
WITH VISIT TO NAVY PIER CHICAGO
10,000 USO Care Packages to Be Stuffed for Servicemen and Women By Volunteers and General Public; Free Concert by Craig Morgan
LYNCHBURG, Tenn. (June 8, 2012) – The Jack Daniel Distillery and USO are bringing their “Toast to the Troops” campaign to Navy Pier Chicago on June 18th, with a special “Stuffing Party” to fill 10,000 Operation USO Care Packages for our servicemen and women serving overseas.
As part of the day’s activities, groups of volunteers will stuff the bulk of the packages, but the famed distillery and the USO are also asking the general public to help out and stuff a bag of their own for our soldiers. All of the packages will include a “toast” – a special message of support – for our troops.
The daylong event will conclude with a special free and open-to-the public concert by ten year veteran and country music superstar Craig Morgan at 7:00p.m. on the East End Plaza of the Pier. Concert attendance will be limited, and free wristband tickets will be available at the USO Navy Pier Center (700 E. Grand Ave. #105) beginning Friday, June 8th on a first come, first-served basis.
Since the first Toast to the Troops event in 2005, 15 stuffing events have been held across the country delivering more than 160,000 Operation USO Care Packages to our troops serving overseas. The Chicago event will be only the second event held off a military installation. In addition to the toast card message of support, the packages include items requested by service members, such as prepaid international calling cards, toiletries, sunscreen, playing cards, disposable cameras and snacks.
“We’re so proud of our troops and their families and hope everyone will come out, sign a toast card and stuff their care package in honor of these heroes,” said Jennifer Powell, Senior Brand Manager for Jack Daniel’s. (more)
“Even though more and more of our troops are coming home, there are still thousands serving our nation overseas and in harm’s way,” said Craig Morgan. “We want them to know that they have our unconditional love and support, and sending them a Care Package with a special message of support means a lot. I know – I’ve been there.”
“This initiative is exciting for the USO of Illinois, as the Chicagoland community comes together to help deliver a touch of home from the heartland to wherever our troops are serving around the world,” said Alison Ruble, President & COO. “We are especially excited to welcome Craig Morgan who has not only served so honorably in uniform, but embodies the true spirit of patriotism that we hold so dear.”
One of country music’s best-loved artists, Craig Morgan has made a name for himself with massive radio airplay of his signature hits: “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “That’s What I Love About Sunday” and “International Harvester”. His latest single “Corn Star” is the follow up to Morgan’s Top 15 hit and title track “This Ole Boy.” Craig received one of country music’s highest honors when he was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. Prior to becoming a country music and TV sensation, Craig Morgan spent over 10 years of active duty in the Army and an additional nine years in the Army Reserves. He is an avid supporter of America’s military personnel and a recipient of the 2006 USO Merit Award.
Due to heightened security, individuals can no longer send letters and packages addressed to “Any Service Member.” The Operation USO Care Package program is the best way to send a message of encouragement directly to troops and provide a touch of home. The USO has distributed more than two million care packages since the program began in 2003.
On Tuesday, June 5th, 2012, the USO of Illinois hosted its second annual USO Heartland Golf Classic, an opportunity to “Tee-Off for the Troops” and raise funds for USO of Illinois programs and services that serve over 300,000 military and military families in Illinois. The event is a one-of-a-kind experience for sporting enthusiasts and features a full day of golf, recreation and entertainment, including the chance to sponsor a premier golf experience for active duty military members. The USO Heartland Classic will be held at the Harborside International Golf Center.
Located just 16 minutes from the downtown loop area, Harborside brings championship style links golf, open to the public, to Chicago’s doorstep. No other course in the area can combine the rugged links exterior, with sculpted fairways and manicured greens that make Harborside the finest choice for locals and travelers to enjoy traditional links golf.
USO Volunteers and Staff Will Support the Tireless Efforts of the Troops with Round-the-Clock Presence Outside Tribune Tower.
In partnership with the Chicago Blackhawks and thanks to the generous support of WGN Radio, the will show their support 24 hours a day by camping outside Tribune Tower round-the-clock, just as the troops tirelessly serve our country, night and day.
WHEN: 24 hours a day: May 24, 2012 – 5:00 a.m. to May 28, 2012 – 11:00 p.m.
WHERE: Tribune Tower (Pioneer Court, south side of building) 435 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL
Can’t stop by the both but want to show your support? Click the buttons below to Donate or learn about Volunteer opportunities.
Thanks to the generous contributions of PepsiCo and the Pepsi Valor team, the USO of Illinois celebrated the grand opening of the PepsiCo Theater Room at USO Great Lakes Thursday, May 24, on Naval Station Great Lakes.
Adding to the “Home Away from Home” experience of USO Great Lakes, the PepsiCo Theater Room features theater-style seating and a state-of-the-art sound system, providing service members the opportunity to put up their feet, grab a snack and choose a movie from the center’s extensive movie catalog.
The USO of Illinois would like to thank PepsiCo for their continued support of our military service members and their families.
View before and after photos of the Great Lakes PepsiCo Theater Room.
Great Lakes Theater Before and After
Beyond Sports is the ESPN AM 1000 public affairs show. Airing Sunday mornings, from 5-6am, Beyond Sports presents topical guests and stories in an entertaining and comfortable format. Each week your host, Hannah Stanley, brings a new show covering a current issue, news item, upcoming event, or local charity.