Realize Bradenton Presents: “Stories of Valor: Honoring Veterans, Troops and their Families” April 12 § McKechnie Field

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March 27, 2014




Johnette Isham, Executive Director, Realize Bradenton


941-350-8563 § [email protected]





Realize Bradenton Presents:


“Stories of Valor: Honoring Veterans, Troops and their Families”


April 12 § McKechnie Field


As part of The Legacy of Valor, a campaign created by The Patterson Foundation, this family-friendly, patriotic event features live music showcases, including the National WWII Museum’s charming trio, the Victory Belles, who will take audiences on a nostalgic journey with spirited performances of classic American songs.




 (Bradenton, FL) Celebrate our nation’s veterans and their families at a USO-style, family-friendly extravaganza, “Stories of Valor: Honoring Veterans, Troops and their Families,” Saturday, April 12, 6 p.m., at McKechnie Field, 1611 9th Street W., in  Bradenton. As part of the evening’s entertainment, the National WWII Museum’s charming vocal trio, the Victory Belles, will take audiences on a nostalgic journey with spirited performances of patriotic songs, including “America the Beautiful,” “Shoo Shoo Baby,” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Ticket proceeds benefit Manasota Operation Troop Support (MOTS). Businesses are encouraged to buy a group of tickets in advance to distribute to their employees and clients. Audience members are asked to bring items that can be sent by MOTS to U.S. troops, including beef jerky, protein bars, and socks. All individuals bringing an item will be eligible to win an overnight stay in the Hampton Inn & Suites – Bradenton Downtown Historic Districtand dining opportunities. (Ticket prices and info are at end of this press release.)


This upbeat, family-friendly event, which is part of The Legacy of Valor Campaign, includes a showcase of local musicians who are veterans and musical and theatrical performances that take audiences through time with photos, films, and interviews projected on large screens. The popular local blues singer and Army veteran, Jesse Yawn, will perform at 6:30 p.m. A personable, gentle giant of a man known for his flashy suits, fedora hats, and deep, bellowing voice, Yawn has moved audiences for decades. Born in Florida in 1937, Yawn cut his musical teeth on gospel music for years before turning to the blues and working with such greats as Jack McDuff, George Benson, Grant Green and Albert King. He was drafted into the U.S. Army 1962 and earned a lead vocalist spot with the 77th Army Band, performing at military and civilian functions. His performance is sponsored by the Del Couch Music Education Foundation.


Rick Kerby, artistic director of the Manatee Players, will direct the celebrated Victory Belles in an uplifting USO-style celebration of America, 7-8:30 p.m. The Belles will perform a potpourri of songs from the Great American Song Book and patriotic classics such as “America the Beautiful,” “Service Salute,” and “GI Jive.”


Information tables showcasing organizations that provide services to veterans and their families will be at the event, including Manasota Operation Troop Support, the Patterson Foundation’s Legacy of Valor Campaign, Tidewell Hospice, Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill Manasota Industries, CareerSource Suncoast, Manatee County Veterans Services, Turning Points, State College of Florida, Del Couch Music Education Foundation, SCORE, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and De Soto National Memorial Park.


This event is sponsored, in part, by the City of Bradenton, Tropical Cadillac, Pittsburgh Pirates and Bradenton Marauders, METV, Del Couch Music Education Foundation, Manatee Players, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Bright House Networks, Bradenton Herald, NetWeave Social Networking, Sarasota Magazine, Manatee Community Federal Credit Union, Gold Coast Eagle Distribution, and Bealls Department Stores.


Two promotional events will help to build the buzz for the event. The Bradenton Herald is sponsoring contests for adults and children that request the submission of writing, art, and photographs. Watch for entry forms in the Bradenton Herald or go to to enter. From March 1 through April 11, people can go to a Bealls Department Store in Manatee County, at 6355 Manatee Avenue West, or 7365 52nd Place East, and donate $2 to MOTS to help support this region’s deployed troops. The funds donated will be presented at the event.


“Realize Bradenton and our partners are proud to participate in this inspirational, yet fun event,” says Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton. “We’re honored to be the event’s producer as part of an effort that recognizes and applauds the service and sacrifice all veterans and their families.”


Tickets purchased online, in advance, are $2 (with a $2 fee) at Tickets may also be purchased in advance for $2 (cash only) at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 3rd Ave W, Bradenton or at the McKechnie Field box office. Tickets purchased at the door are $8 (cash only). Ticket sales start at 5 p.m. on the day of the event.




About Realize Bradenton
Realize Bradenton is a non-profit organization that brings people together to create a vibrant and prosperous Bradenton area. For more information, visit:




About Legacy of Valor

Legacy of Valor is a campaign that rallies our community to honor veterans, inspire patriotism and pass freedom on to others. A mosaic of community-driven partnerships will educate and focus the community to use time, talent and treasure to recognize the service and sacrifice of all veterans and their families. For more information, please visit

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