Dearfoams’ Celebrity Slipper Fairies Give the Gift of Comfort to the USO This Holiday Season

Dearfoams is honored to give back to the USO (United Service Organizations) this Christmas by hosting the Celebrity Slipper Fairy Challenge. Celebrities, including Mario Lopez (host of “Extra,” “Saved by the Baby”), Gretchen Rossi (“The Real Housewives of Orange County”), Madison Pettis (The Game Plan, Disney’s “Cory in the House,”), Shaunie O’Neal (“Basketball Wives”), George Wallace (performer, The Flamingo Las Vegas), and You-Tube sensation Elle Fowler, will be donating over 3,500 pairs of Dearfoams to the soldiers as a holiday gift. The goal of The Celebrity Slipper Fairy Challenge is to visit USO locations across the country and bring comfort to the soldiers and their families this holiday.

“We are so pleased to honor the USO and give back to the soldiers and their families,” says Rachel Iannarino, Dearfoams Sr. Brand Manager, R.G. Barry Corporation. “We want our gift to bring joy, comfort, and happiness to the soldiers who fight every day to protect our country. To have help from our celebrity friends is an extreme honor and we couldn’t be more proud of being able to deliver the gift of comfort. We are grateful for the privilege and opportunity to give something back to those who give their all.”

“On behalf of the USO we would like to say thank you to Dearfoams for their gracious gift to our service men and women,” said Cathy Martens, USO Vice President of Corporate Alliance. “This is a great touch of home for our troops during the holidays.”

Dearfoams will donate 3,500 slippers to soldiers and their families at various bases across the United States including USO Fort Riley (Kansas), USO Denver, USO South Carolina, USO Houston, and USO Fort Hood (Texas). Each location will receive a generous donation on the behalf the Dearfoams Celebrity Slipper Fairies just in time for Christmas.

For more information about Dearfoams, visit http://www.Dearfoams.com and to watch The Celebrity Slipper Fairy Videos, visit www.slipperfairy.com. To learn more about the USO and to give a little to those who give their all, visit: http://www.uso.org.

“A Tribute to Military Families” and United Through Reading

Twelve-year old actress Madison Pettis stresses the importance of United Through Reading on today’s military families at the 2010 USO Gala on October 7, 2010. The youngest entertainer to take part in a USO tour, Pettis’ brother is a member of the U.S. Army and served in Iraq in 2008 and 2009. (USO photo by Bill Auth)

We can hardly believe it’s been almost a week since the 2010 USO Gala, and we still have many great stories to share with you!  One of the highlights of the evening was getting to meet the Hofman family.  Dad is deployed, but mom and the kids (all four of them!) are staying connected with him via United Through Reading’s Military Program.

We shared their story at the Gala and we want to share it with you now.  A big thank you goes out to our new USO Kandahar center, where CH (CPT) Peter T. Hofman’s portion was filmed.  And a HUGE thank you goes out to the entire Hofman family, who let us into their home and their lives for a slice of what it’s like when a loved one is deployed.  Enjoy!

USO Gala 2010 Live Blog

16:47 pm We just saw Sons on Anarchy’s Kim Coates walk through the lobby! Can’t wait to see all of the other celebs throughout the evening…

17:05 pm – Madison Pettis is on stage rehearsing her remarks and she’s talking about her brother, who’s in the Army.  Be sure to check out the video of their reunion on The Bonnie Hunt Show last year.

17:36 – This year’s Volunteer of the Year is Herb Schmeling, who regularly gives 60-80 hours a month to USO Puget Sound Area.  You can read his story here!

17:45 – The Service Member of the Year Award recipients are getting their light and sound check finished up.  We’ll tell you more about each honoree later, but one of the recipients was deployed since the nomination and his wife will be accepting on his behalf.  Way to go!

18:10 – We’ve created a special message wall just for tonight’s event.  You can leave a message of support for troops and their families by clicking here!

18:18Miss USA and Miss Teen USA have both arrived.  They probably have the best jewelry of the night (love the crowns!).

The ballroom at the Marriott Wardman Park is almost ready to welcome troops and their families for USO Gala 2010! (USO photo by Em Hall)

18: 58 – We just met the amazing Hofman family: Dad is deployed and Mom and the four kids are staying in touch with United Through Reading’s Military Program.  They’ll be honored tonight in a special video – be sure to join us for the Military.com live stream at 7:30pm!

19:38 – The live stream will be starting in just a few moments!

19:47 - Just finished the presentation of Colors by the Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard.  Now “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band is performing a rousing medley of each branches’ theme songs!

The Color Guard ascends the main stage at the USO Gala. This year's theme is "A Salute to Military Families." (USO photo by Joe Lee)

19:53 – Bill Engvall just took the stage!  Get ready for some laughs…

20:01 – USO President Sloan Gibson is at the podium thanking our great partners at United Through Reading, TAPS, National Military Family Foundation, The Moyer Foundation, Operation Homefront, United States Olympic Committee, Ride 2 Recovery.

20:09 – Past and present servicemen and women are asked to stand and be recognized, as are all of their family members.  Wounded warriors also stand to be recognized, and they receive a standing ovation!

20:17 – Madison Pettis is taking the stage to introduce our special video on United Through Reading – are you watching along with us on the live stream?

20:30 – Admiral Mullen is at the podium to begin the recognition of the Service Members of the Year.  We’re proud to honor Sergeant Zachary Caleb Dispennette, USA; Sergeant Eric B. Walker, USMC; Petty Officer Kenton J. Stacy, USN; Staff Sergeant Gino P. Kahaunaele, USAF (who is currently deployed, so his award is being presented to his mother, Kimberly Watkins), and Petty Officer Robert T. Emley, USCG.

21:00 – Trisha Yearwood is singing “How Do I Live Without You” right now and there’s not a dry eye in the house…

21:05 – Now she’s singing “We Shall Be Free,” a hit song by her husband, Garth Brooks!

21:20 – It’s time for dinner here at the gala, so take a few minutes to view our first photo album of the night!

21:50 – …and we’re back!  Trevor Romain is sharing a special message with the audience.  He travels around the world helping military kids with tough topics like deployment and loss of a loved one.  And his newest project with us will be specifically for children of wounded warriors – more details coming soon!

22:18 – Chairman of the USO’s Board of Governors Ed Reilly is getting ready to present Volunteer of the Year Herb Schmeling.

22:26 – Bill Engvall has the audience cracking up with a great story about the time he flew in a Thunderbird out of Nellis AFB.  Trust us, he was a little out of his element – ha!

22:34 – President and CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance David McIntyre is getting ready to present our Spirit of the USO award to Admiral Thad Allen!

22:43 – It’s all over and what a tremendous event it was!  Thanks for following along with us online and we invite you to visit USO.org for more photos and fun tomorrow morning…

Madison Pettis Heads Out on Her 2nd USO Educational Tour!

Madison Pettis addresses school children in Hawaii as part of her first USO Tour

Arlington, VA -Actress Madison Pettis is heading to Germany on her second USO tour, January 9-13.  As part of her 4-day trip, Pettis will visit elementary and middle schools, where she will connect with military school children, take part in school activities and sign autographs.

In April 2009, Pettis traveled to Hawaii and participated in her first USO tour.  The young star visited seven military schools and delivered inspirational messages to more than 800 military children.  A big supporter of the U.S. Military, Pettis spent this holiday season campaigning for the Trees for Troops program, which delivered more than 16,000 trees to needy military families. The young star was recently surprised on “The Bonnie Hunt Show,” when she was reunited with her brother, who had been deployed to Iraq for most of the year.

“I had such a good time on my first USO tour, I knew I had to do it again,” said Pettis. “My brother is in the Army so I know what it’s like to have family in the military. It’s hard not being able to see the people you love everyday and I’m just glad I can help.”

Check out the clip where Pettis discusses her new sweatshirt for charity (guess who she chose?!) and reunites with her brother: