More than 4,000 U.S. military members, veterans, their families and Gold Star families (families who have lost a loved one in the service of our country) gathered together for a complimentary, weekend-long celebration at Westgate Resorts Military Weekend in Orlando held during Military Appreciation Month. Guests represented 37 states and all five branches of the military.
On Friday, May 4, 2018 attendees were treated to a special evening dedicated to honoring U.S. military featuring an address by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a $50,000 donation to military charities from the Westgate Resorts Foundation, and outdoor concert.
Highlights from the evening included a national anthem performance by Alyssa Raghu, 2018 American Idol contestant, daughter of a U.S. Air Force veteran, and Lake Nona High School student; headline concert performance by southern rock band, The Chris Weaver Band, 2015 Music Row Independent Artist of the Year; and, a patriotic fireworks show.
The Westgate Resorts Military Weekend continues the company’s seven-year tradition giving away vacations on Veterans Day to allow these service members to spend quality time with their families, totaling more than 25,000 donated room nights.
“The men and women who serve in our armed forces are our nation’s heroes,” said Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel, who is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “These families make sacrifices for the rest of us regularly. We are proud to honor them with this weekend celebration.”
In addition to the Friday night festivities, guests received complimentary resort accommodations, free access to Westgate’s Ship Wreck Island water park, admission to SeaWorld Orlando and access to a military resource fair.
“This weekend is one way of showing our commitment to our military,” said Chief Operating Officer Mark Waltrip, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “Additionally, veteran employment and providing support to military organizations are top priorities for Westgate.”
Westgate Resorts Foundation awarded grants of $10,000 each to five foundations that support service members and veterans: American Gold Star Mothers, Camaraderie Foundation, Fisher House Foundation, Green Beret Foundation and The Mission Continues.
Eligible families registered online on Veterans Day to receive the vacations.
About Westgate Resorts
Founded in 1982 by David A. Siegel, Westgate Resorts is one of the largest resort developers in the United States. Westgate features 28 themed destination resorts with over 13,500 luxury villas and hotel rooms in premier locations throughout the United States such as Orlando, Florida; Park City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Williamsburg, Virginia; Miami and Cocoa Beach, Florida; Branson, Missouri; Mesa, Arizona; and Tunica, Mississippi. Most Westgate Resorts locations feature a variety of unique restaurant, retail and spa concepts, including Drafts Sports Bar & Grill, Westgate Smokehouse Grill, Edge Steakhouse, Westgate Marketplace & Deli and Serenity Spa by Westgate. For more information about Westgate Resorts, visit www.westgateresorts.com