It’s Official… Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families Tour Surpasses Half A Million Milestone at Fort Benning, GA

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Elmo and friends celebrate visiting and entertaining more than 500k military families around the world with free cookies, commemorative photos and loads of fun

Sesame Street and the USO celebrate reaching 500K service members and their families. Photo by Dave Gatley for USO.

'500,000 represents the number of smiles Elmo and Katie have brought to military kids and their families over the past six years as the tour has traveled around the world,' said J.D. Crouch II, USO President and CEO.

Today, the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families tour celebrates visiting and entertaining more than half a million troops and military families around the world. The impressive milestone was celebrated at Fort Benning, Georgia, the characters’ 63rd tour stop this year. The tour, which is the USO’s longest running, traveling tour based on Sesame Street’s award-winning Military Families Initiative, has been traveling to military installations throughout the U.S. since April 2014. *** USO photos available at http://bit.ly/1Bckqpm. ***

In addition to being treated to the free 30-minute show about moving to a new place, kids and their parents posed for a photo with the Sesame Street characters to commemorate reaching the 500k milestone. Sesame Street and the USO also passed out more than 500 free cookies at both of the day’s performances.

“Sesame Street is both pleased and humbled to be celebrating this milestone with the USO and our friends at Fort Benning,” said H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop. “The Sesame Street/USO tour is making an incredible impact, while creating special moments for military kids and their families. We are proud of this accomplishment and look forward to continuing our support for our service members and their families.”

This is the sixth year the tour has created heartfelt moments and memories for our littlest heroes and military families through its character performances. The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families tour joined forces this year with USO’s Every Moment Counts campaign – a year-round, national initiative that rallies Americans to honor and create real, everyday moments that matter for our nation’s troops and their families.

Each month, Sesame Street and the USO have honored a local service hero and/or military spouse as its “Moment Maker of the Month.” Each person named has been recognized for his or her assistance in bringing the tour to life on base and highlighted on USO.org/Sesame. To date, the tour has honored six volunteers - with Elizabeth Gasper out of Fort Benning serving as the tour’s final “Moment Maker for the Month” this year.

“The USO is proud of its partnership with Sesame Street and we are thrilled with how much this partnership has provided to our service members and their families. 500,000 represents the number of smiles Elmo and Katie have brought to military kids and their families over the past six years as the tour has traveled around the world,” said J.D. Crouch II, USO President and CEO. “We thank our friends at Sesame Street for helping to make this possible and we look forward to seeing many more smiling faces as the tour continues its journey.”

The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families has toured the globe since July 2008 and, through the power of song and dance, has skillfully taken its message of facing fears and embracing change to more than 500,000 troops and military families. With help from Katie, a military child who is moving to a new place, and all of her friends, the tour has performed 893 shows on 147 military installations in 33 states and 11 countries. To learn more about the show, upcoming tour stops and great new resources, like Sesame Street’s The Big Moving Adventure app, visit uso.org/sesame. For more information on Every Moment Counts visit USOmoments.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #USOmoments.

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About the USO
The USO 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, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services 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: American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF Railway, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, Grand Canyon University, JCPenney, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, Northrop Grumman Corporation and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, BIC, The Boeing Company, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, Harris Teeter, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Procter & Gamble, TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG and Wawa Inc. 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.

About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help all children reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, including television programs, digital experiences, books and community engagement, its research-based programs are tailored to the needs of the communities and countries they serve, helping children everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. For more information, visit us at http://www.sesameworkshop.org.

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