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November 22, 2014

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This is a press release submitted to the Las Vegas Sun. It has not been verified or edited by the Sun.

Press Release

Fallen heroes’ wives, daughters and mother are recognized as 'Honorary Miss Americas'

Published on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 (8:31 a.m.)

Fallen heroes’ wives, daughters and mother are recognized as “Honorary Miss Americas” at the 2013 Miss America pageant; VIP itinerary includes day spa, shows, VIP seating at Miss America Finals, visits with celebrities

Las Vegas, NV— The Got Your Back Network (www.GotYourBackNetwork) is honored to be able to once again plan, organize and implement the Fourth Annual Project Gratitude event which brings twenty wives and daughters of fallen heroes to the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas. The highlight of their VIP visit will be a ceremony Saturday evening January 12th when each will be “pinned” by former Miss Americas with a crown pin, symbolizing their status as the newest honorary Miss Americas.

The guests will travel from around the country into Las Vegas on Thursday, courtesy of American Airlines. They will be guests of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, participate in many exciting excursions including the Rock of Ages show at the Venetian and dinner at Rattlecan. Our VIP families will be royally pampered at the Canyon Ranch Spa on Saturday just in time to watch the 92nd Miss America Pageant hosted by Chris Harrison and Brooke Burke-Charvet, “live” (6 PM PST on ABC) from their VIP seats. “It's been an honor to be a small part of Project Gratitude over the last three years. These incredible families have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. There are no words or deeds that could properly thank them but it is nice to, at the very least, show them our love and gratitude in this way”, explained Chris Harrison.

Project Gratitude was started out of a deep, heartfelt sense of gratitude and highest respect for the ultimate sacrifice that was made by our nation's fallen heroes and their families”, explains Sharlene Hawkes, former Miss America and President of Remember My Service Productions. “On behalf of the former Miss Americas, it is a tremendous privilege for each of us to pay tribute to our "Gold Star" Miss Americas by folding them into our ranks. No one is more deserving of being called "Miss America" than they are. We are honored by their presence and hope to show them our gratitude with a very royal weekend.”

The chairman of Project Gratitude is Kathleen Gagg, Director of Lifestyle Management for Pope Properties in Sarasota, Florida and also serves as Executive Director of the Got Your Back Network and Co-Founder of Camp Better America. Kathleen has spearheaded and organized a group of incredible volunteers and sponsors to support the tribute each year. "Project Gratitude continues to be a program where many experiences are shared, friendships are gained and many precious memories are made to last a lifetime for these amazing families. I am so humbled to be part of this amazing event and do my part to help return the salute to these deserving families”, stated Kathleen Gagg.

Art McMaster, President and CEO of The Miss America Organization stated, "It is with such great pride that we honor these beautiful families who have given the ultimate sacrifice to our country. On behalf of the Miss America Organization we deeply thank them for their selfless dedication to the military and we are so proud to have them join us as we crown Miss America 2013.” # # # # #

American Airlines

Planet Hollywood

Miss America Organization

Rattlecan

Rock of Ages

Élan Magazine

Remember my Service

Sands Foundation

Canyon Ranch Spa

The Venetian/The Palazzo




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