The Wildwoods to Host All-New Celebration of Heroes Weekend

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The Wildwoods to Host All-New Celebration of Heroes Weekend Beach Festival Saluting America’s Military Service Men, Women & Families

To Benefit Liberty USO, National Military Family Association and the

Vietnam Veterans Association Chapter 955; Entertainer Joe Piscopo to Emcee Inaugural

World-Class USO Variety Show

The Wildwoods, NJ – March 13, 2012 – One of America’s best loved family vacation destination resorts – The Wildwoods, NJ – today announced plans to host the Celebration of Heroes, a three-day Memorial Weekend Festival featuring live music, celebrity entertainment and family fun . . . all in tribute to America’s military servicemen, women, veterans and first-responders and their families.

“This new family-friendly festival, for the military and the general public, will ensure that Memorial Day Weekend in the Wildwoods is unforgettable in every sense of the word, and will attract visitors to the Wildwoods Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall,” explained John Siciliano, Executive Director of the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWTIDA).

Thousands of active duty servicemen, women, veterans, first-responders and their families will be invited to participate in the weekend’s festivities, which include a military parade, family beach events and a recognition ceremony, as well as VIP treatment with special hotel rates, restaurant offerings and discounts to area attractions. for active military, veterans and first responders will be in effect the entire weekend.

A USO-style variety show and concert at the Wildwoods Convention Center emceed by Entertainer Joe Piscopo will take place on Sunday, May 27. The Saturday Night Live star alum will perform his orchestra-backed Sinatra musical set, and Philadelphia’s own Bobby Rydell will perform “Wildwood Days”, in addition to a number of other special musical artists and entertainers.

“Liberty USO and our membership base is excited and appreciative of the incredible effort being generated by this ‘dream team’ of supporters from the tourism, government, corporate, media and community sectors,said Joe Brooks, President and COO of Liberty USO.

“The National Military Family Association is very proud to join Liberty USO in this initiative and together, will reach out to over 250,000 military families in the tri-state area to participate in this exciting weekend,” said Joyce Raezer, Executive Director.

Organizers are also excited to have garnered the support of the White House and Mrs. Obama’s initiative, “Joining Forces.” Captain Brad Cooper, Executive Director, expressed his “heartfelt thanks for remembering these military families who have given up so much for this country….this is an ideal way to give back to them and allow them to bond with other families for a weekend of fun and tribute to the military.”

The National Constitution Center, which hosted the press conference announcing the Celebration of Heroes Weekend today, joins these very prestigious organizations in coordinating another feature of the weekend, the Military Interactive Center, whereby families and friends can reach out to their loved ones located overseas and on military bases around the world. Operation Homelink Founder/President Dan Shannon has graciously donated 100 computers which will be used in the Center and distributed to military families after the weekend celebration.

Several media partners including Philadelphia’s NBC-10, the Celebration’s official TV partner, will actively promote the event on-air in advance and throughout the weekend, along with Philadelphia and New Jersey public television stations WHYY and NJTV. Radio sponsors include Philadelphia’s B-101 and WXTU 92.5, New Jersey 101.5 and South Jersey’s Longport Media Group.

The Ford Motor Company and the tri-state area Ford Dealers Association was the first corporate sponsor to step up to insure the success of the new event and cause. “Ford and the Quality Plus Ford Stores are proud to support the Celebration of Heroes event,” states Dave Principato, Regional Manager for Ford Motor Company. “Everyone has a role in recognizing and supporting the brave men and women who fight to protect our country. I hope the Celebration of Heroes event is enormously successful and we are pleased to do our part for military families.”

The “Celebration of Heroes” Festival will be produced and directed by Diane McGraw, President of McGraw Productions, and her event team. McGraw has an extensive sports and entertainment background, having served as President of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission, the Orlando and Louisville Sports Commissions and Executive Director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress.

“We’re in the process of establishing a very special annual event with broad regional and even national appeal,” said McGraw, in articulating the long-term vision for the Celebration. “That said, we are actively soliciting corporate sponsors to ensure that it is a first class event in every way. Celebration of Heroes is a wonderful, high-profile platform for corporate sponsors to gain exposure to the thousands expected to be in attendance, build their brands, sell products and demonstrate corporate social responsibility by supporting our military service partnering organizations.”

Tri-state area music fans, foodies and Jersey Shore beachgoers are also invited to attend and are encouraged to make their travel plans and hotel reservations early, as this promises to be one of the nation’s largest Memorial Weekend tributes, outside of Washington, D.C.

Corporations interested in sponsoring The Wildwoods “Celebration of Heroes” should immediately contact Ms. McGraw at (484)420-4660, or email at

For more detailed event information and a schedule of events visit

For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit or call 800-992-9732.

For more information about McGraw Productions, visit