LOS ANGELES (December 6, 2017) – Southern California’s Bob Hope USO, an independent nonprofit that serves over 200,000 military members and their families; Los Angeles World Airports and more than 100 members of the military, donors, volunteers and supporters celebrated the groundbreaking of their new location at the historic and iconic Theme Building at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) today.
The new center, expected to open in Spring 2018, will replace the current facility, and nearly double the size of the Bob Hope USO at LAX. The current facility will be removed to make way for a new LAX Automated People Mover, part of a $14 billion capital improvements project taking place at LAX. The new USO facility will accommodate an estimated 2.7 million service members and families over the next 20 years.
“We host 8,500 service members a month at our LAX center,” said Bob Kurkjian, executive director of the Bob Hope USO. “This move will modernize the facility and give us ample room to serve the next generation of troops and military families. For a young service member traveling to a new duty location far away from all they know, our center and amazing volunteers provide a home away from home nearly 100,000 times a year. We are honored to partner with the Mayor, the Board of Airport Commissioners and the incredible team at LA World Airports to serve our troops and military families. We are thrilled to enter this next exciting chapter of Bob Hope USO.”
The Theme Building location will expand the center’s square footage from 3,600 to 7,100 square feet and will feature a curated display area honoring famed comedian and USO entertainer Bob Hope, a canteen snack bar and dining room, large nap room, family wing with play area and three private family rooms with dedicated restroom, three private connection rooms, big screen TV and movie screening room, gaming lounge, photo booth, charging stations, secure luggage storage, and an outdoor pavilion. All of the amenities and services will continue to be provided without charge to military personnel and their families.
“Today’s groundbreaking provides an opportunity to celebrate and honor the tremendous work that the Bob Hope USO at LAX does every day to provide respite and comfort to our service members and their families,” said Sean Burton, President of the Board of Airport Commissioners. “The Board of Airport Commissioners is proud to work with the USO to make this larger, modernized center a reality by approving a 20-year lease for the Theme Building Space and supporting their efforts to create an even better experience for those who walk through its doors.”
“The LAX Theme Building is an iconic space, and fitting for the important purpose of the Bob Hope USO, our members of the military, their families, and veterans who will experience this space first-hand,” said Deborah Flint, CEO of LAWA. “We are creating a world class airport at LAX and the volunteers of the Bob Hope USO share our goal. We are excited for the grand-opening next year and to welcome our American heroes into this incredible building.”
The move and construction are made possible through the commitment of Bob Hope USO’s supporters including Bob Hope Legacy, Delta Air Lines, Raytheon Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Marilyn Cohen and Chris Malburg, the Fred and Peggy Hartley Family Foundation, and other members of the community that have pledged to sponsor and support Bob Hope USO.
“I can’t think of a better way to memorialize my dad’s dedication to America’s troops than supporting the local USO operation that bears his name,” said Linda Hope, daughter of comedian Bob Hope.
The groundbreaking event featured remarks from The City of Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Ambassador Nina Hachigan, Vice Commander of the LA Air Force Base Brig. Gen. Phillip Garrant, LA Boardof Airport Commissioners Vice President Valeria Velasco, CEO of Los Angeles World Airport Deborah Flint, Chairman of the Board of Bob Hope USO Adam Michaelson, and Executive Director of Bob Hope USO Bob Kurkjian.
Bob Hope USO provides direct service to over 200,000 military members, their families and eligible military retirees in Southern California.
To donate, sign up for a volunteer position, or send supplies needed from the current wishlist, please visit bobhopeuso.org.
ABOUT BOB HOPE USO
Bob Hope USO provides USO services and programming to members of the military and their families across 50,000 square miles of Southern and Central California. Bob Hope USO is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization operating under a charter from USO, Inc., providing morale and recreational services to members of the U.S. Military. Although Congressionally chartered, Bob Hope USO is not a government agency and relies entirely on contributions from patriotic Americans and philanthropic corporations and organizations.