SAN DIEGO, Aug. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 18th annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival, September 19-20, is proud to announce award-winning actor and long-time supporter of the U.S. Military, Joe Mantegna, as Grand Marshal. As a man with a rich military family history, Mantegna has been a major supporter and fundraiser for the armed forces.
San Diego area WWII veterans will have the opportunity to co-host as Honorary Grand Marshals along with Mantegna, as the event pays tribute to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The festival will celebrate the legacy of service and sacrifice of these men and women.
Seventy years ago, the Allies' victories in Europe and the Pacific finally brought an end to World War II. Even as the world celebrated, our nation bore devastating costs: over 400,000 U.S. troops were killed serving their country; more than 60 million men, women and children were lost worldwide.
Mantegna's military-related charity work has allowed him to raise thousands of dollars for Operation Iraqi Children in 2007, a charity formed by fellow-actor and friend Gary Sinise, to give school supplies to children in Iraq and Afghanistan delivered by U.S. Military troops.
In May of 2012, Mantegna was appointed the National Spokesperson for The U.S. Army Museum, to lead the fundraising campaign to build the long-planned National Museum of the United States Army. The following year Joe received the USO of Metropolitan Washington prestigious Merit award for his work in entertaining and supporting our troops and their families.
About Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival
The Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival is Fleet Week San Diego's preeminent event featuring fast-paced, thrilling auto racing and exhibitions for car enthusiasts of all ages. Staged at one of racing's most distinctive locations – Naval Air Station North Island, the birthplace of Naval Aviation – it's the only place to see live racing on an active U.S. Navy runway. Proceeds for the event benefit the San Diego Fleet Week Foundation and the Navy Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) program.
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association is the premier vintage racing organization in the United States. Founded in 1981 by Ford Heacock III, the SVRA has 2,000 members. It currently sanctions 14 events at some of the finest racing venues in the United States, including: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sebring, Road America, Watkins Glen, Auto Club Speedway, Road Atlanta, Pocono Raceway, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Sonoma Raceway, Portland International Raceway and Virginia International Raceway. The rapidly growing organization also hosted the first U.S. Vintage Racing National Championships in 2013 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Further information on SVRA can be found on our website, www.svra.com, on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/sportscarvintageracing, and on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/SVRAcom, featuring more than 70 action packed videos of SVRA events.
SOURCE Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival