Only One Week Left to Support the Troops with Just a Click!

My, how time flies!  It seems like only yesterday that we were telling you about the “60 Second Cocktails” program, brought to you this summer by Bacardi USA to support the USO.  Well summer’s almost over, but it’s not too late to show your support!

Now through Labor Day, we encourage you to click away and help us reach our goal.  So far, we’ve only raised about 15% of our goal of an additional $25,000, and only YOU can help us reach the ultimate goal of $100,000 being donated from Bacardi to the USO.  You can click as often as you like, share it on your own Facebook profile, and tell your friends by posting on their profiles, too!

We want to thank everyone who has shown their support with just a click this summer.  As a special treat, we wanted to bring you this video clip from 60 Second Cocktails!

Former US Marine and top mixologist, Bryan Stowe, demonstrates how to mix a BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Collins Cocktail made with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin. Delicious but perfectly simple, each of the 60 Second Cocktails can be crafted in 60 seconds or less. Prep your mixers and garnishes in advance, and be ready to impress your guests.

Don’t forget to “Like” 60 Second Cocktails on Facebook to download the recipe book and to help support the troops!

Help Support USO Hawaii’s Back-To-School Program

USO Hawaii is happy to announce that they’ll be making the back-to-school process a little better for military kids this year. Director Eva Laird Smith explained the importance of providing free backpacks and school supplies for military families to Hawaii News Now earlier this week. “This is a great opportunity for our community to show their aloha support for our military and their families with their children’s back-to-school needs. It will be one headache less, one challenge less on the homefront for our deployed troops,” said Laird Smith.

Click here to watch her video interview!

The community is encouraged to get involved: now through July 25, donations of new backpacks and school supplies appropriate for any age may be dropped off at the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange Aloha Desk, ground floor, as well as the USO Honolulu Airport Center.  Click on the poster above for more information or to spread the word.

Online donations are also being accepted online or you can call William Johnson at (808) 836-3351 for information on making a donation via PayPal.

And if you’d like to be one of the families that receives these great back-to-school basics, contact USO Hawaii’s Programs & Marketing Manager Barb Troegner at (808) 256-7744 or via email.  Items will be available for distribution this Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Hickam Air Force Base Officers’ Club area.

Check out the flyer at left for more info on how to participate.  Aloha!

Support the Troops with Just a Click!

Former US Marine and top mixologist Bryan Stowe demonstrates how to mix a cocktail the right way. Delicious but perfectly simple, each of the 60 Second Cocktails can be crafted in 60 seconds or less. Prep your mixers and garnishes in advance, and be ready to impress your guests.

With Independence Day just a week away, many Americans are looking forward to a long weekend full of quality time with their family and friends. While it’s great to unwind and celebrate, it’s also important not to lose sight of what the holiday stands for, and to remember the men and women who have fought for our country. If you’re planning to entertain your friends and family in style this 4th of July, an easy way to support the troops at home and abroad while having fun is through the “60 Second Cocktails” program, brought to you this summer by Bacardi USA to support the USO.

As a former Marine and a bartender, the charity partnership is very close to my heart. In support of the program, I’ve come up with some awesome and easy party tips and cocktail recipes that are sure to impress your guests this summer. There’s nothing worse than throwing a party and spending the entire time slaving away in the kitchen. Just because you’re the host, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too! The ‘60 Second Cocktails’ – made with a number of brands including: Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Bacardi Superior Rum, Bacardi Limon, Cazadores and Dewar’s Blended Scotch Whisky – are the perfect solution.

First things first, make sure to prepare in advance. For décor, a great tip is to select ripe, colorful foods and beverages, which bring a natural flavor to the table. Bright, fresh ingredients, such as vegetable crudités, lend a fresh, vibrant touch perfect for summer. When selecting music, a great time-saver is to set your satellite radio before your guests arrive, then you can let loose and let your favorite songs play throughout your party without even thinking about it!

When mixing drinks, the most important thing I can emphasize is to use fresh ingredients! They make all the difference in the taste of your cocktails, and your guests will definitely notice the extra effort and better taste! Also, remember to always pack the glass fully with ice. A stronger body of cold provides for a better drink, especially during the hot summer months. And, remember to have a good time. Above all else, a great attitude will help your party flourish.

Another great way to save time is by batching your cocktails in advance. A great batched recipe that I love is the Cazadores Margarita! Create this margarita in advance for an easy way to please an extra-large crowd. When you make drinks in advance, always wait until they’re served to add the ice to avoid dilution. Also, if a recipe calls for a sparkling ingredient such as club soda, be sure to add that at the very end once your guests arrive so it doesn’t go flat.

Tequila CAZADORES® Margarita
Serves 129

4 liters of Tequila CAZADORES® Reposado
2 liters of triple sec (40 proof)
10 bottles (750 mL) of sweet and sour ready-to-use (not concentrate)
1 gallon of orange juice
1/2 gallon fresh lime juice

Mix all ingredients in a large container and stir; serve over the rocks with salt on the rim. Garnish with a lime

Remember to visit the 60 Second Cocktails Facebook page, for many more recipes, updates and interactive cocktail videos! And, be sure to visit the donate tab and click on the link, as Bacardi USA will donate $1 to the USO for every click up to $100,000. What an easy way to make a difference! Enjoy the holiday with delicious cocktails brought to you by Bacardi USA to support the USO. Happy Independence Day!

Bryan Stowe is a former US marine and top mixologist who knows it only takes 60 seconds to show support for our Troops. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mr. Stowe and do not necessarily reflect those of the USO.

Wounded Warriors Escape to the Vineyard for a Night

Griff Jenkins of Fox News and Sloan Gibson, president and CEO of the USO, enjoy conversation with the wounded warriors at the vineyard vines-USO Tied to a Cause reception in Georgetown, Washington, DC, June 22, 2010. (USO photo by Katherine Ruddy)

By Samantha Quigley, Senior Editor, ON PATROL

For a few hours on Tuesday night two wounded warriors and their wives escaped to the Vineyard.

The USO and vineyard vines hosted a reception at the retailer’s Georgetown location in Washington, D.C., to celebrate being “Tied to a Cause.”

Tied to a Cause, a campaign through vineyard vines recognizes the efforts of community and grassroots organizations. This month, Tied to a Cause is supporting the USO’s Operation Enduring Care, an initiative to create a national network of care and support for America’s wounded warriors and their families. Proceeds from the sale of the custom USO-vineyard vines ties and totes will be donated to the USO.

The wounded warriors and their wives enjoyed a vineyard vines makeover at the start of the evening and mingled with more than 100 friends of the military, vineyard vines, and the USO, including USO President Sloan Gibson, Fox News’s Griff Jenkins, and the late Tim Russert’s son, Luke.

Perhaps the highlight of the evening, however, was the warriors and Gibson each signing two ties. One will join the many others hanging as decoration in the Georgetown store. The other will be displayed in the USO Arlington office.

The promotion will last through the Fourth of July weekend, with receptions also happening in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.

To see more photos, please visit our flickr gallery and enjoy the video below!

Let’s Go Krogering…for the USO!

From now through mid-August, visit a participating Kroger retailer and drop your cash donation into the coin collection canisters to show your support for the USO!  The Kroger Co. is pleased to partner with the USO to thank the men and women of the armed forces and their families.

Customers and associates at participating locations of the Kroger family of stores will be able to show their appreciation and gratitude to service members by donating spare change in specially-marked coin boxes at check stands. All of the funds raised will support the broad range of programs and services the USO provides to military personnel and their families.

The campaign will run in select Kroger stores in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas; in Ralphs and Food 4 Less stores in California; in Dillon Stores in Kansas and Baker’s stores in Nebraska. Roughly 1,300 stores will participate.

“We are deeply indebted to our service members and their families for the many sacrifices they make on a daily basis on behalf of all Americans. Kroger is honored to partner with the USO to thank our military families for all they do,” said Lynn Marmer, group vice president of corporate affairs for Kroger.

If you shop at a participating Kroger store, be sure to keep an eye out for the sign below, and know that you’re supporting the USO and the Troops!

Look for this poster on the coin collection canisters at the register at participating Kroger stores!