The USO isn't just an organization that entertains the military. It aims to enhance the quality of life of Armed Forces personnel and their family through countless programs.
Liberty USO, which serves Pennsylvania's and Southern New Jersey's military families, is having a Dinner and Dance Fundraiser on Friday, Nov. 9 from 7 to 11 p.m. The event is being sponsored by Northampton Township.
"It's a wonderful organization," USO volunteer Lorri Loughlin said. "We get no funding from federal or state government, so basically everything comes from corporate and personal donations."
Loughlin is also the township's USO representative. She said that last year Supervisor Eileen Silver asked her what the township could do for the USO. And the idea for the dinner and dance event started forming.
Guests will be greeted by Uncle Sam on stilts upon arrival, and be entertained by the John Clark Big Little Band, swing dancers and more, Loughlin said.
Additionally, veterans will be honored.
"There will be some military, but a lot of veterans, and we will acknowledge them," Loughlin said. "Since it's Veteran's Day weekend, we are going to have a special tribute."
Roughly 150 tickets have been sold for the event, according to Loughlin, and Spring Mill Manor has allowed the organization to continue selling tickets up until the event, since the deadline passed when the most of the community was still without power.
Tickets cost $65 per person and includes the buffet meal and soft drinks, and a portion will go directly to Liberty USO. If you're unable to attend, you can donate directly to the organization or purchase a ticket for a military family member to go.
Purchase tickets on the Parks and Recreation website, or at the Northampton Township Building during business hours.
More Than Just Entertainment
While many people picture Bob Hope performing for military when they think of the USO, the organization does much more than that.
"It's not just entertainment," Loughlin said. "That is a tiny, tiny part."
She explained that the organization supports people in the military as well as their families. For example, if families cannot afford to provide school supplies for their children, Project Einstein helps. The organization coordinates sending care packages to soldiers in war zones, Christmas in July, items for stockings and more.
"If a family needs help paying their electric bill, we even have stipends for that," Loughlin said.
Loughlin often participates in serving returning soldiers their first home-cooked meal on U.S. soil. She said experiences like these are "out of this world."
"They are so humble," she said. "Giving them scrambled eggs is like giving them a porter house steak."
Participating in events like these is the "best experience of your life," Loughlin said.
"It's just a wonderful organization," she said.
The Liberty USO Dinner Dance Fundraiser will be held Friday, Nov. 9 at Spring Mill Manor from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $65.
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