president, and Donald Kendall,
and Edie Falco
Edie Falco with
Miss USO 2004 Lynelle Johnson
(left) and Miss New York USA
METROPOLITAN NEW YORK
Earn Standing Ovation
Story and Photos by Tim Boxer
soldiers who returned after a year of fighting for freedom in Iraq
got a standing ovation at the USO of Metropolitan New York’s 38th
annual luncheon at the Pierre Hotel. They flocked around Carmela
Soprano of HBO’s hit series The Sopranos – in the person
of Edie Falco – to have their pictures taken.
Falco, who received the USO
2004 Entertainer of the Year Award, said, “We owe a huge debt of
gratitude to the men and women fighting for our country.”
Comedian Caroline Rhea,
who emceed the program, said Edie is one actor you wouldn’t want
to meet at an audition. Caroline hailed luncheon co-chair Marylou
Whitney whose horse won the Belmont Stakes.
president of Pepsi-Cola North America, received the Woman of the
Year Award. She said when she thinks USO, she thinks Bob Hope. Her
husband served in Vietnam and ran into Bob Hope and Raquel
Welch. That was a special day!
I asked Donald Kendall,
chief executive and founder of Pepsico, for his card and he replied,
“I’m 82. I don’t have to carry a card.”
The USO Troupe entertained
with several generational songs, such as Bei Mir Bistu Shayn,
plus the official songs of every military branch. It was so
patriotic – and so moving.
president of film programming at HBO and USO chairman, announced
that the luncheon raised $400,000.