Each November, the Santa Barbara community comes together to recognize and honor the local men and women in uniform who have served our country. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on social gatherings is forcing many local non-profits to pivot to virtual fundraisers on Zoom, Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) has found a new, novel way to gather supporters and continue their annual Veterans Day celebration in a safe, family-friendly way.
This year the organization is breaking with their longstanding tradition of hosting the formal Military Ball (which sells out well in advance and is known for its “pomp and circumstance”), and, instead, is hosting a very special Veterans Day “Night at the Drive-In!” It will be held on Wednesday, November 11, with doors opening (actually, gates) at 4:30 PM at Goleta’s West Wind Drive-In, located at 907 Kellogg Avenue. There attendees will pick up a gourmet BBQ boxed dinner and proceed to their “seat,” er, parking space.
The program will begin at 5:30 PM, will feature a stage show presentation, silent digital auction, screening of the World War II movie Memphis Belle, starring Matthew Modine and Santa Barbara’s own Eric Stoltz, and a few surprises. General admission tickets may be purchased online.
The price is $50 per person, & $10 for children ten years old and younger. Scholarship is available for veterans or those on active duty (proof of service will be required upon entry for scholarship recipients). Proceeds raised by the event will honor and support our local veterans and those on active duty.
PCVF co-founder Lt. John Blankenship (USN former) says, “While the PCVF team takes the pandemic precautions very seriously, we also felt it was important to find a bit of normalcy; a meaningful way to continue our mission to remember and celebrate our veterans. We decided that an enjoyable night out at the movies under a star-lit fall sky, surrounded by people who care about our men and women in uniform, yet safely socially distanced, was the perfect answer. To add to the festivities, we are asking attendees to show their patriotic spirit by decorating their car, which will also serve a dual purpose as their “dining room” and “theatre.” Entrants will be judged and prizes will be awarded for the “most spirited” vehicle.”
According to IMDb.com, “The B-17 bomber “Memphis Belle” is nearing the historic 25th mission, which is a tour-of-duty for American bomber crews. She is the first plane to survive long enough to achieve this feat, and her crew is likely the first to return successfully to the States. Captain Dearborn (Matthew Modine) and his crew are not at mission #25 though. As PR man Lt. Colonel Derringer (John Lithgow) hovers around, waiting to capture the glorious moment of triumph, the Memphis Belle has to complete her last mission. The top brass are not going to give them a “milk run” over France that they could easily survive either– their group’s next target is Hamburg, Germany.” The film was singer/actor Harry Connick Jr.’s debut film, and the audience will be treated to his rendition of the song, “Danny Boy.”
Sponsorships for Veterans Day “Night at the Drive-In!” are available; your organization will be featured in PCVF audience program, on the “big screen,” and on stage. Some sponsorship levels will feature your logo in promotional materials and advertisements. For tickets or sponsorship, please visit pcvf.org.
About Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation
Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to honoring the men and women who have served in uniform at any time. PCVF does this by supporting veterans and active duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, as well as preserving military history and legacy. The Foundation works to uphold Pierre Claeyssens’s vision that those who have served are “Never Forgotten.” PCVF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information, visit www.pcvf.org or call (805) 259-4394.