The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families to Hit the Road with New Wheels, New Show and New Character

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Sesame Street and the USO Ask for Help Naming Elmo and Friends’ Tricked Out New Ride Via Facebook

Sesame Street and USO logos

TWITTER:    @the_USO and @Sesame Street announce new stateside military tour coming to a military base near you

WHAT:    The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families to visit more than 70 installations over next eight months and kick-off at Scott Air Force Base

WHO:    Characters from Sesame Street (specifically Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster, Rosita and Katie, a new military character designed exclusively for military families)

WHEN:    April 7, 2012

WHERE:    Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

WHY:    The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families - the USO’s longest running, free traveling tour based on Sesame Street’s military family initiative – is once again rolling onto U.S. military installations across the country.

    But before these fuzzy, furry monsters get on their way, Sesame Street and the USO are reaching out to their fans via Facebook for help naming their new ride. Fans should visit http://www.facebook.com/SesameStreetForMilitaryFamilies to submit ideas for bus names and stay tuned to http://www.facebook.com/theUSO later in the month for a chance to vote on the final name. In early April, Sesame Street and the USO will announce the winning name and unveil Elmo and friends’ new tour bus.

Along for the roadside adventure is Elmo’s new friend, Katie – a military child who is relocating to a new place. Created exclusively for this tour, Katie was first introduced to military families in April 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Biden at a Joining Forces rally in Columbus, OH.

Produced in partnership with VEE, this year’s tour showcases the power of friendship when Elmo and his Sesame pals help Katie open up about her fears and excitement as she deals with change and making new friends. The show comprises a 30-minute character performance with special giveaways and outreach materials for those who attend.

The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families made its debut in July 2008 to help families deal with the challenges of deployment and homecomings. Since the tour's inception four years ago, the tour has taken its message to more than 248,000 troops and military families, and performed 433 shows on 131 military bases in 33 states and eleven countries.

QUOTE:    Attributed to Sloan Gibson, USO President and CEO
“The USO is very excited to partner again with Sesame Workshop as we return the tour to the U.S. with a fresh new look, theme and character. Our nation’s military community is our top priority, especially our youngest heroes. Elmo’s new friend Katie helps military kids just like her learn how to make new friends wherever they are.”

        Attributed to H. Melvin Ming, Sesame Workshop President and CEO
“The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families is near and dear to the heart of Sesame Workshop, and we are thrilled to call the USO our partner on this adventure,” said H. Melvin Ming, Sesame Workshop President and CEO. “Our goal is to reach as many military children and their families as we can with Elmo and Katie’s messages of hope and resilience. And as we begin our sixth phase of this tour, we are proud to see the growing number of troops and their families reached by this effort.”

NOTE:        To learn more about the tour visit uso.org/sesame

About Sesame Workshop:
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 140 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company and Pinky Dinky Doo. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at http://www.sesameworkshop.org.

About the USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.

The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, Clear Channel, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Lowe’s, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft Corporation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

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Karen Hart
United Service Organizations
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