ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9/USO-Metro) --- The USO of Metropolitan Washington hosted its 10th annual Stars and Stripes fundraiser to honor the troops and the area businesses who support them, Oct. 4, 2013.
Inside the Sheraton Pentagon City hotel, the celebration raised over $145,000 to fund military programs and services including emergency food and housing, holiday programs such as Turkeys for Troops and Project USO Elf. Guests enjoyed a night with a "New York City" theme.
Military members, their families, wounded warriors and their caregivers enjoyed music, food and a silent auction. The annual fundraiser brought together over 450 people including representatives from area businesses who support USO-Metro including WUSA 9.
Military members and their families continue to face significant challenges with more than 12 years of war, sequestration and the ongoing government budget issues. In addition, military spouses experience a high level of unemployment often due to frequent moves or multiple deployments.
"This event is such a great way for members of the business community to network in a fun and patriotic environment, while showing their tremendous support for our local troops, their families, our wounded warriors and their caregivers," said Elaine Rogers, president and CEO of USO-Metro.
Special guests included TV celebrity Kevin Chapman of "Person of Interest," the newly-crowned Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, Miss Maryland Christina Denny and WWE Superstar Mark Henry.
A highlight of the evening's event included the announcement of USO-Metro's 2013 Circle of Stars winners. A total of 37 companies were recognized including: The Boeing Company, Cisco, DynCorp International, Giant Food, Verizon, 300 Brand ATK and WUSA 9.
The evening's silent auction raised more than $18,000 with items including signed guitars from Sting and Toby Keith, a ride in a Lockheed Martin Fighter F-35 and F-22 cockpit simulator, courtside seats for the Wizards, and VIP tickets to the "Jon Stewart Show."