ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To celebrate last night's world premiere of Pitch Perfect 3, the USO partnered with Universal Pictures to host more than 200 service members at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Five service members had the chance to walk the red carpet alongside the cast of the film, including USO tour veteran and Pitch Perfect 3 actress and producer Elizabeth Banks. Banks credits her USO tour experience in 2015 for inspiring the events in the new film. During her USO tour, Banks participated in 17 events in Italy, Djibouti, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Germany, where she interacted with more than 3,000 service members.
"Participating in a USO tour is such a unique honor, and my experience was so inspiring that I wanted it to be part of the next Pitch Perfect movie," Banks said. "The tour gave me a chance to express gratitude to the most deserving men and women on the planet – our nation's service members and their families."
Prior to the premiere, service members, USO staff and supporters pitched in to stuff 600 care packages at the American Legion Hollywood that will be delivered to some of the 1,350-plus California National Guard members activated to fight the Southern California wildfires. USO CEO and President Dr. J.D. Crouch II and Bob Hope USO President Bob Kurkjian dedicated the USO premiere reception to California National Guard members, encouraging attendees to help assemble the care packages and to write personal messages of support on them.
"We are proud to support the California National Guard as we participate in the premiere to see the USO featured as part of Pitch Perfect 3," Crouch said. "We are grateful for all those who pitched in as a Force Behind the ForcesSM to produce these care packages. We are also thrilled that our good friend Elizabeth Banks incorporated her USO tour experience into the Pitch Perfect series, and that Universal Pictures and director Trish Sie brought our entertainment mission to life so well."
USO Entertainment programming has long served as an inspiring means to bring America's collective support, gratitude, and goodwill to service members through the presence of entertainers thanking them as they serve around the world. Our entertainment programs bring recreation and celebration to the doorsteps of service members and their families through a diverse range of activities. By providing programs that focus on America's culture and pastimes, the USO brings a grateful nation closer to service members and their families in times of both separation and celebration.
Stay tuned this week as the USO and Pitch Perfect 3 cast members – including Banks, Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Chrissie Fit, Ester Dean and Hana Mae Lee – are scheduled to be on NBC's TODAY show as Al Roker visits service members at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. Following the taping of the show, the cast will take part in a USO tour experience and a meet and greet with service members and their families.
About the USO: The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners, and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.
In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President's Circle Partners: AT&T, Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, The Boeing Company, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx, Harris Teeter, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, NFL, Southern New Hampshire University and Four-Star Partners: Altria, BBMC, BIC, ConAgra Foods, GEICO, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Prudential, Target, TKS, USAA and the Wawa Foundation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.