By Shannon Revelle
Commander, Navy Installations Command Commercial Sponsorship Program
WASHINGTON – Even a pandemic hasn’t stopped the folks behind Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Navy Entertainment from doing what they do best – supporting the quality of life of Sailors and their families.
MWR Navy Entertainment, in partnership with Navy Exchange Command (NEXCOM), quickly launched the Surprise Guest of the Day program after stay-at-home and restriction of movement orders went into effect in March. The Surprise Guest of the Day program includes daily virtual videos posted on Navy Fleet and Family Readiness’s (FFR) social media page, (www.facebook.com/navyffr), and on Navy MWR’s website, (www.navymwr.org). NEXCOM also shared posts on their social media outlets.
“MWR Navy Entertainment has always been there to provide quality live entertainment for Sailors and their families at installations, and we are continuing to provide digital versions at home,” said Karen Fritz, CNIC’s MWR Navy Entertainment program manager. “While it isn’t the same as live shows, we hope that we are able to give our Sailors something to look forward to during this unprecedented time.”
MWR Navy Entertainment contacted entertainers around the globe who previously toured with the program. The artists recorded a personal message to Sailors and their families, thanking them for their service to our country and shared previously recorded concert footage or recorded original content.
The program received outstanding participation and curated over 75 individual videos. Videos included the Harlem Globetrotters teaching kids an exercise routine and ball skills and the Washington Redskins cheerleaders teaching both kid-friendly and adult dance classes. Multiple musicians demonstrated how to perform magic tricks and artists who previously performed with MWR Navy Entertainment shared music videos. Genres include county, hip-hop, reggae, pop and Americana. In addition, celebrity chefs shared recipes and demonstrated how to make some of their famous foods including salsa and dumplings. The cheesesteak king, Tony Luke, shared his best Philly cheesesteak recipe. Stephen Lang, actor from “Avatar,” read poetry he wrote from his home.
MWR Navy Entertainment also participated in the “We Stand Together” promotion anchored by NEXCOM. The promotion featured Navy Entertainment artists and showcased original content during daily scheduled posts.
“We were able to reach some new emerging artists for this promotion,” Fritz said. “Live cooking demos from our Messlord celebrity-cooking team was a highlight of this promotion.”
Memorial Day is around the corner! This is a time to celebrate the arrival of summer, connect with family and friends from around the world and, most importantly, honor those who have sacrificed in service to our country.
This year, MWR Navy Entertainment and NEXCOM are marking the occasion with waves of music, entertainment, and the spirit of community. MWR Navy Entertainment and NEXCOM will launch a #RememberThisMoment virtual event and campaign May 21-25. This event will feature artist premieres in six different time zones. Keep an eye on Navy FFR and NEXCOM social media sites for the Messlords BBQ live events and more celebrity music!
MWR Navy Entertainment provides top-quality live entertainment for Sailors stationed overseas and on deployed ships at sea, and assists patrons in the continental U.S. locations with talent referral and production of shows.