ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Supporting and honoring the men and women of the U.S. armed services has always been a priority for Anheuser-Busch. Continuing in this effort, the brewer and its flagship brand Budweiser are announcing their continued sponsorship of the Here's to the Heroes program through 2011. Here's to the Heroes provides free admission to SeaWorld and Busch Gardens for members of U.S. and coalition armed forces and their families. Initially created in 2001 in appreciation of our military and first responders as a result of the tragedies of September 11, the program was renamed in 2005 and has awarded over six million theme park tickets to service members and their families.
"We are honored that so many members of the armed forces have chosen to visit our parks through Here's to the Heroes," said Jim Atchison, president and CEO, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "We want to thank Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser for their continued sponsorship of the program and we look forward to joining with them in recognizing our troops – and their families – who sacrifice so much to preserve the freedoms we all hold so dear."
Here's to the Heroes provides a single day's free admission to any one SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park, Sesame Place, Adventure Island or Water Country USA for the service member and as many as three of his or her direct dependents.
Any active duty, active reserve, ready reserve service member or National Guardsman representing any of the five service branches is entitled to free admission under the program. He or she need only register, either online at www.herosalute.com or in the entrance plaza of a participating park, and show a Department of Defense photo ID. Also included in the offer are members of foreign military forces serving in the coalitions in Iraq or Afghanistan or attached to American units in the U.S. for training.
"Here's to the Heroes is a small gesture to show our thanks and support to the soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and their families, who sacrifice so much for each of us," said Dave Peacock, president, Anheuser-Busch. "Whether lending resources or raising funds for veterans and dependants of military families, we are committed to America's troops and their families. It is our hope that Here's to the Heroes will provide these families a much deserved day of fun and entertainment."
Three parks operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment – SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld San Diego* – operate year-round. The company's remaining parks are seasonal, with varying opening dates this spring. Each park's operating schedule is available online.
Inactive, standby and retired reserve members, military retirees, U.S. Merchant Marine and civilian Department of Defense workers are ineligible for the program. The program does not include Discovery Cove or SeaWorld's waterpark, Aquatica.
Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates 10 theme parks the U.S.: SeaWorld Florida in Orlando, SeaWorld California in San Diego, SeaWorld Texas in San Antonio; Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Fla., Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia; and waterparks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. Aquatica, SeaWorld's waterpark, opened in spring 2008.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment play host to more than 23 million guests each year and employ 20,000 people nationwide. Learn more on the Web at www.herosalute.com.
* Here's to the Heroes is sponsored by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment at Sesame Place and SeaWorld San Diego.
SOURCE SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment