The event will be held Saturday, November 6th beginning at 5 PM at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort and will feature Special Guest Speaker, Francis Gary Powers Jr.
Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) is pleased to announce the 24th Annual Military Ball to honor local veterans and active duty service members. The ball will be held Saturday, November 6th from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. The event will feature special guest speaker Francis Gary Powers Jr, an author, historian and lecturer.
The Military Ball is a formal event where attendees can connect and celebrate during a lively evening complete with an evening of live music, cocktail hour, silent auction, gourmet three-course dinner and dancing. Guests will also have a chance to shop in PCVF’s GI Bag pop-up shop. GI Bags are individually crafted handbags and totes from donated upcycled military uniforms.
PCVF co-founding director John Blankenship is delighted to welcome the greater Santa Barbara community, fellow service members and friends of PCVF to one of the year’s most anticipated events. “We look forward to welcoming our guests back to the 24th Annual Military Ball after missing this event last year. We’ve developed a logistical plan to create a safe, inviting, in-person atmosphere where we can enjoy a wonderful evening of conversation and camaraderie. PCVF is looking forward to honoring our local veterans, so when you see someone at the ball in their dress uniform, be sure to say, ‘Thank you for your service!”
Guests will be treated to a sumptuous menu and enjoy the rhythmic sounds of The Replicas Music, a team of professionally trained musicians and singers who have toured and recorded with some of the biggest names in the music industry. The Replicas have had the pleasure of being the chosen entertainment for organizations such as NASA, Google, LinkedIn, GM, Ford, AppFolio, UBS Bank, and Milken Institute, to name a few. They recently performed at the famous Rainbow Room in New York City. The Replicas know how to start any party and keep it going all night while performing with passion to create a fun and happy environment.
The evening program will commence with a color guard, representing all four branches of the military. This year’s special guest speaker is Francis Gary Powers Jr. Mr. Powers is the son of Francis Gary Powers Sr., who was involved in one of the most talked-about events of the Cold War – the downing of the American CIA U-2 spy plane he piloted over the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960. Recently, Gary consulted for the Steven Spielberg Cold War thriller, Bridge of Spies. It tells the story of James Donovan, who brokered the 1962 spy exchange between KGB spy Rudolph Abel and Gary Powers, Sr., who was captured by the KGB, subjected to a televised show trial, and imprisoned, all of which created an international incident. Powers was exonerated of any wrongdoing while imprisoned in Russia on his return to the United States, yet a cloud of controversy lingered until his untimely death in 1977. Spy Pilot, a new book authored by Mr. Powers Jr., details the U-2 Incident and controversial Cold War legacy that involves his father. Published in 2019, this new account of his father’s life is based on personal files that have never been previously available. Powers sets the record straight by researching old audio tapes, the transcript of his father’s debriefing by the CIA, other recently declassified documents about the U-2 program, and interviews with his military colleagues.
Mr. Powers is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cold War Museum, a 501(c) (3) charity. He founded the museum in 1996 to honor Cold War veterans, preserve Cold War history, and educate future generations about this time period. As Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study he works with the National Park Service and leading Cold War experts to identify historic Cold War sites for commemorating, interpreting, and preservation.
Mr. Powers is also the author of Letters from a Soviet Prison (2017), serves as a Board Member of the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum near Omaha, NE and is an Honorary Board Member of the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. Because of his efforts to honor Cold War veterans, the Junior Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” for 2002. Gary lectures internationally and appears regularly on C-SPAN, the History, Discovery, and A&E Channels.
Dress uniform or black tie attire is optional. Tickets to the Military Ball are $175 per guest. Enhanced COVID-19 health and safety measures will be in place and space is limited to 300 guests.
COVID-19 protocols: To create the safest possible environment for our guests, patrons of all ages (including children 12 years old and younger) must show proof of being fully vaccinated OR supply a negative Covid-19 medical test result (taken within 72 hours of the Military Ball), along with an official photo ID, before entering. Masks are currently required indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
The Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort has taken extra precautions for the health and safety of staff and guests. Engineering has replaced the standard MERV 8 filters with all new, higher value MERV 13 filters specifically designed to eliminate circulation of airborne microbes; installed sterilizing UV light systems on evaporator coils to irradiate and kill airborne microbes in the duct work before reaching the general air supply, and the system has been re-programed to inject 100% fresh air while eliminating recirculation of inside air.
To purchase tickets, visit: https://www.pcvf.org/military-ball
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 pcvf.org or call (805) 259-4394.