News Item

Elvis Fans Worldwide Focus Fundraising Efforts on USS Arizona Memorial

July 09, 2012

Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and Pacific Historic Parks have announced a joint effort to help raise funds for the refurbishment of the USS Arizona Memorial.

Dedicated on Memorial Day 1962, the structure is one of the world's foremost architectural icons of remembrance and one that had special significance for Elvis Presley. On March 25, 1961, at Pearl Harbor’s Bloch Arena, Presley performed a historic benefit concert that raised over $64,000 for the building of the Memorial.

Over the years, due to the natural exposure to weather, salt water spray and foot traffic of more than 50 million visitors, the Memorial is in need of an extensive restoration.

The restoration project has been designated as the spotlight non-profit for the Elvis Presley Fan Club President’s Event in Memphis on August 14, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the Elvis Week Main Stage at Graceland. Elvis fan club presidents, officers and members, who are gathered from around the world for the 35th Anniversary celebration of his life and legacy, will hear more about the Memorial and refurbishment from special guest, Brad Wallis, President and CEO of Pacific Historic Parks.

The bi-annual Elvis Fan Club Presidents’ Event is an opportunity for Elvis fans gathered in Memphis to hear about the latest Elvis and Graceland-related initiatives, products, services and releases from the Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. leadership team. The event also focuses on the fund raising efforts of Elvis Presley fan clubs and includes a segment for charity check presentations.

“We know, like Elvis, when fan club presidents and members visit the Memorial, they find it to be a moving experience that they remember forever,” said Wallis. “We’re so grateful to have this opportunity to give fans an update on the refurbishment and the recent addition of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and exhibition space.”

Special events and Elvis exhibits are also being planned at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center when Elvis fans gather in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 10 – 15, 2013 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of “Aloha from Hawaii.”

In addition to a visit to the Memorial and access to the existing exhibit spaces, on January 12, 2013, guests will be able to view a mini-documentary about Elvis and the 1961 Bloch Arena concert in the education facility, enjoy a photo exhibit with rarely-seen photos of Elvis in Hawaii and check out a new, temporary display about Elvis in the exhibit galleries at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.

Still in the early stages of planning is a public benefit concert to be held that evening at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.

“We know from his friends and family that the USS Arizona and the 1961 benefit concert were very important to Elvis and were a big part of his love of Hawaii,” said Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. “Many of us, through home movie footage, have witnessed Elvis’ gratitude and support for the Memorial in later visits with his friends and family and I know when we visit in January, the USS Arizona will be a special part of our experience as well. Like Elvis fans everywhere, I am looking forward to hearing more from Brad about the USS Arizona at the Elvis Fan Club Presidents’ event in August.”

This Elvis Presley Fan Club Presidents’ event will also will feature a special guest segment with TCB Band members James Burton and Glen Hardin, plus Elvis’ musical director and conductor from 1970 – 1977, Joe Guercio.

EPE is asking that all fan club presidents and attendees to the event bring at least a $5.00 donation to go towards Pacific Historic Parks’ USS Arizona Restoration efforts. The donation will be collected at the door of the event. Fan club presidents will get an invite and registration form directly from EPE to attend the event for free.

Tickets for other fan club members and the general public are $15. To purchase, call Graceland Reservations at 800-238-2000 or 901-332-3322, or click here to purchase online.