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"Evening with Bob Hope" To Benefit Beck PRIDE Center


JONESBORO — Arkansas State University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions department, in conjunction with Fowler Foods, is presenting a special show, “An Evening with Bob Hope,” to benefit the Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans, Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. The event takes place at Riceland Hall in the Fowler Center. Tickets are $20 each.
Bill Johnson, a Bob Hope impersonator, will entertain the audience as ‘Bob,’ bringing to life the comedy of the real legend. Johnson dresses in a tuxedo, classic Bob Hope golf attire or in military apparel similar to the clothes worn by Hope during all of the years he entertained the troops overseas and at home.
“The Beck PRIDE Center has served over 500 veterans and their families since its inception in 2007,” said Dr. Susan Hanrahan, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. “The center relies on donations for its operations. This is our first major fundraiser.  We are very excited to have “Bob” and other featured performers in Jonesboro for a spectacular night of laughs, talent and song. I hope the community will be able to join us for a very memorable evening.”
The Beck PRIDE Center is focused on Personal Rehabilitation, Individual Development and Education. The center’s mission is to provide combat wounded veterans with first class educational programs and services at Arkansas State University. These include, but are not limited to resources to access to the higher education experience, resources for counseling, personal rehabilitation, advocacy, and financial assistance; supporting these individuals to achieve their post military service goals.
Hope’s commitment to boosting the morale of the country’s military spanned almost 60 years. In 1941, it all started when Hope and other performers did a radio show for servicemen and women in March Field, Calif. From then on, he hosted radio shows that aired from military bases through the U.S. and theaters in Europe and the South Pacific. He soon began visiting war areas and he and his wife, Dolores, started the Christmas appearances on foreign soil to greet the soldiers.
Johnson captures the comedy of Bob Hope and brings a song and a smile to all of those men and women in uniform.
Also performing is “Two on Tap,” a creative collaboration of two musical theater performers—Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano. The pair of song-and-dance showstoppers represents the era of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers or Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in their act. It is a creative collaboration of these two performers with vocal harmony and dance numbers.
There is also a special performance by the A-State Jazz Band.
Tickets can be purchased at the A-State Box Office in the lower red entrance of the Convocation Center or online at astate.edu/tickets. Call the Box Office at 870-972-2781 or toll-free: 888-278-3267. For more information about the event itself, contact Arkansas State University College of Nursing and Health Professions at 870-972-3112 or email Dr. Hanrahan at hanrahan@astate.edu.


Bill Johnson as Bob Hope
Bill Johnson as Bob Hope