Salute to Veterans: 5,000 people donated 9.7 tons of food at free community event on Veterans Day

COSTA MESA (Nov. 13, 2017) – More than 5,000 attended Salute to Veterans on Saturday, Nov. 11, an annual community event hosted by OC Fair & Event Center in collaboration with California labor unions and the Orange County Market Place.

Attendees donated a record 9.7 tons of food to Disabled American Veterans, a charity that helps disabled military veterans and their families, as well as $1,000 for care packages to be sent to troops overseas.

“When men and women make the ultimate commitment to serve our country, they should never go hungry when they return home, and we should be there for them the way they’ve been there for us,” said Jennifer Beuthin, General Manager for the Orange County Employees Association.

“We are proud to have a venue where the community can come together to make a direct impact on the lives of veterans and their families,” said Kathy Kramer, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “We look forward to continuing this Veterans Day tradition as just one of the ways in which we celebrate, honor and thank those who serve.”

The event also featured live entertainment, a postcard project for kids and about 70 booths with information on services for veterans, including free health screenings, job access and resources. There were also several military vehicles on display.

At Heroes Hall, more than 1,100 visitors had a chance to view the new photography exhibit Kimberly Millett’s Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the Medal of Honor Courtyard, three new plaques were unveiled, honoring local veterans.

By the numbers: Salute to Veterans
9.7 tons of food donated
$1,000 donated for care packages
5,000 attendees
1,119 Heroes Hall visitors
70 booths for veterans services
3,000 hot dogs served
8 swing dancers
2 live bands performed
1 10-year-old boy played Taps
3 plaques unveiled at Heroes Hall

OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa is home to the annual OC Fair, which attracts more than 1.3 million people. The fairgrounds’ year-round attractions include Centennial Farm, Table of Dignity, Heroes Hall and Pacific Amphitheatre. Imaginology, a free three-day family event focusing on S.T.E.A.M.-related activities and hands-on fun, is presented each April. Throughout the year events ranging from recreation shows to cultural festivals are held at the fairgrounds. 

Support of OC Fair & Event Center provides year-round educational opportunities and helps fund community give-back programs.