SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — After a year in which almost all of its events were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is gearing up for a week filled with festivities.
Although its Veterans Day Parade won’t be taking place yet again this year, the PCVF’s 24th Annual Military Ball will be held on Saturday night at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.
The formal event is a way for civilians to celebrate local veterans and active duty service members with live music, cocktails, dinner, dancing along with a silent auction.
It’ll also feature special guest speaker Francis Gary Powers Jr., known for his bestselling non-fiction books, Letters from a Soviet Prison (2017) and Spy Pilot (2019) which both help to dispel the misinformation surrounding the U-2 Incident, and his consulting work on Bridge of Spies directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks
When asked what the event means to him, PCVF founding director John Blankenship responded with excitement.
“You really can sort of tell war stories and so on,” he said. “Be together with all the uniforms and the younger people just love it.”
“It’s that time where they get to reflect on their experience in the military and their loyalty to each other,” PCVF associate board member John Fly added. “They just get to have that opportunity that one night to share again.”
On Thursday, November 11th a special Veterans Day Ceremony will take place at the Santa Barbara Cemetery at 10 a.m.
It’ll be highlighted by a flyover from the Condor Squadron and special musical guests.
The Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to ensuring that the men and women who have served in U.S. military are never forgotten. PCVF is funded entirely by private donations.
To purchase tickets to the Military Ball, click here.