Tag archives: vets

Having a Ball, Private
By Richard Mineards   |   November 14, 2023

Pomp, pageantry, and ceremonial reigned when the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation hosted its 26th annual military gala at the U.S. flag festooned Elks Lodge in Goleta with 240 guests, many in uniform, helping contribute to military charities. Belgian philanthropist Pierre Claeyssens initiated the ball, now called the Veterans Day Gala, in 1996 as a way […]

A Salute to the Memorial Day Ceremony
By Richard Mineards   |   June 13, 2023

Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation had a record turnout of more than 1,000 people when it held its annual Memorial Day ceremony at Santa Barbara Cemetery. The Pledge of Allegiance was read by retired Air Force Lt. Col. Patricia Rumpza, with the national anthem sung by retired police sergeant David Gonzales. Santa Barbara Choral Society, under […]

Pinning Ceremony Brings Together Veterans and the Community
By Montecito Journal   |   April 19, 2022

The Friendship Center and VNA Health recently co-hosted a Veteran Pinning Ceremony this past week honoring 14 veterans at the Friendship Center in Montecito. This is a rare and special treat because typically pinning ceremonies are scheduled for one veteran privately. VNA Health has made a special exception to “Come to Seniors” at the Friendship […]

An Angelic Evening
By Richard Mineards   |   December 7, 2021

Santa Barbara’s Veterans Memorial Building was socially gridlocked when 600 guests turned out for the first Thanksgiving dinner organized by Adam’s Angels, a 20-month-old nonprofit founded by Montecito realtor Adam McKaig and fellow resident Crystal Iverson. “I couldn’t do anything with real estate during the pandemic, so I asked if I could help during this […]

The Military Ball
By Lynda Millner   |   November 30, 2021

Philanthropist Pierre Claeyssens (1908-2003) believed that “to be killed in wars is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst that can happen. To be forgotten is the worst.” In order to pay tribute to all the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, he […]

Honoring True Heroes
By Richard Mineards   |   November 16, 2021

A cavalcade of uniforms from all branches of the Department of Defense descended on the cavernous Hilton ballroom for the 24th Annual Military Ball organized by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation. Some 300 guests attended the fun fete, co-chaired by John and Hazel Blankenship, which honored all service veterans. Singer David Gonzales, a retired sergeant […]

Gone But Never Forgotten, Even This Year
By Lynda Millner   |   December 10, 2020

Instead of getting all decked out in long gowns and tuxes for the Military Ball, we donned our best drive-in attire to pay tribute to veterans and have a night at the West Wind Drive-In. “Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) is proud to be able to have a Veterans Day event for Santa Barbara since […]

COVID-19 Couldn’t Stop Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation from Honoring Heroes
By Nick Schou   |   November 26, 2020

For the past 22 years, the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation has celebrated Veterans Day in style with gala events at the Hilton Waterfront Resort (formerly the Fess Parker). The group is named after the Belgian-born architect and humanitarian who fondly remembered his homeland’s First World War rescue by allied troops before moving to Santa Barbara […]

Stars & Stripes USO
By Lynda Millner   |   April 18, 2019

They were all there! Rosie the Riveter, movie stars, socialites, dancers, military, and medical personnel in the USO Hollywood Canteen aka the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM). This was their annual fundraising gala stepping back in time to the 1940s. The evening’s honorees were Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation and the Santa Barbara Navy League. Sounds […]

Couple on a Mission for Veterans
By Jon Vreeland   |   July 19, 2018

When two people like Johnny Cash and June Carter sing duets and preserve the rawness of American life while they cherish their love like a Hollywood dream, they can be easily branded as American icons. But since “The Man in Black” served in the U.S. Military, the term American Hero just might work as well.  […]

Honoring the Fallen
By Montecito Journal   |   May 31, 2018

A recent incident in Los Angeles caught my attention and has really troubled me. A high school teacher was fired for his reaction and rant to a student wearing a shirt that had the word Marines on it. His diatribe on the status of anyone in the military as being the “lowest of the low” […]

Military Ball
By Lynda Millner   |   November 23, 2017

“To be killed in war is not the worst. To be lost in war is not the worst. To be forgotten is the worst.” – Pierre Claeyssens The 21st annual Military Ball was held for more than 700 people – veterans, active-duty service members, their families, and friends at The Fess Parker, the biggest ever. […]