73rd Annual Liberty USO Gala

uso-gala--40x540

The 73rd Annual Liberty USO Gala was held at the Marriott Downtown Saturday night, as the hotel filled with uniformed military personnel, guests, and supporters of the USO. Outside in the street were military vehicles, including a tank which attracted a lot of people wanting to take photos with it.

The USO makes sure help goes to those who need it the most: troops serving in combat, their families, wounded warriors and their families, and families of the fallen.

The evening began with a cocktail party, where service people “warriors” from various military branches enjoyed a small-plates buffet while bidding on the silent auction. The dinner program recognized several military members including Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Jessica L. Garfola Wright (recipient of the Liberty Award), who told heartwarming stories of how the USO is always there, doing all they can for the soldiers and their families.

Photos from the USO Gala after the jump »

Eagles Predictions, From Jeremiah Trotter to Billy King

We reached out to a handful of local sports figures to get their predictions for the upcoming season. What will the Eagles’ record be? Here’s what they had to say:

Name: Jeremiah Trotter
Credentials: Star Eagles linebacker, 1998-2001, 2004-06, 2009. Four-time Pro Bowler. Analyst, 97.5 The Fanatic.
Prediction: 10-6

Michael Barkann
Credentials: Seven-time PA Sportscaster of the Year. Emmy Winner. Host at Comcast Sportsnet since 1997. Talk-show host.
Prediction: 10-6

Vai Sikahema
Credentials: Philadelphia Eagle, 1992-93. Two-time Pro Bowler. NBC 10 Sports Director. Goal-post puncher.
Prediction:  9-7

Ron Jaworski
Credentials: Eagles quarterback, 1977-86. One Pro Bowl. 28,190 passing yards. ESPN Analyst.
Prediction:  9-7

Keith Byars
Credentials: Eagles running back, 1986-92. Former 10th overall pick. One Pro Bowl. Analyst, YES Network.
Prediction:   11-5

Herm Edwards
Credentials: Eagles defensive back, 1977-85. Scored “Miracle at the Meadowlands” touchdown against the Giants. Former head coach.
Prediction: 11-5

Billy King
Credentials: Sixers team President, 2003-07. Philadelphia-area resident.
Prediction: 12-4

What King lacks in football experience he makes up for in sheer optimism.

Consensus: 10-6

Meanwhile, another former Eagle believes that Andy Reid‘s club is Super Bowl bound.  Here’s what Mike Golic had to say on Wednesday.

“I’m kind of buying all-in on them this year, to say this will be a year they stay healthy enough to get there,” said Golic. “Obviously this one could implode on me.”

Golic also has Michael Vick as his offensive MVP.

Follow Tim on Twitter and email him at tmcmanus@phillymag.com.