USSOCOM’s Care Coalition to be Grand Marshal

At Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest Parade of Pirates


TAMPA, Fla. (November 8, 2013) – Care Coalition, an agency within the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base which supports wounded, ill or injured Special Operations Forces and their families, has been chosen as the Grand Marshal for the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock (SHR) Gasparilla Pirate Fest Parade of Pirates.


“We’re grateful that Care Coalition accepted our invitation to be a part of this monumental city event,” said SHR President John Fontana. “We’ve worked with them in the past, and when the decision making came down to it, we all agreed these folks are true heroes and should be properly honored as such.”


The SHR Gasparilla Pirate Fest Parade of Pirates is scheduled for Saturday, January 25 at 2 p.m. and will include colorful costumes and festive music. It will also contain more than 90 elaborate floats, 14 marching bands, over 50 distinct Krewes and the infamous YMKG pirates.


The Care Coalition was founded in 2005 and has about 80 employees, half based locally at MacDill Air Force Base. The employees are a mix of active and retired military, plus civilians with special skill sets, registered nurses and social workers. 


“Our nation’s elite forces like the Green Berets, Army Rangers and Navy SEALs protect our freedom on a daily basis,” added Fontana. “We couldn’t think of a better way to thank them for their service than shining the spotlight on them on a day of celebration in Tampa Bay.”


In September, SHR announced it would be the title sponsor of the Gasparilla Pirate Fest for the next three years.


“The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is a very important celebration for the Tampa Bay community and now with the inclusion of Care Coalition we are ensuring our community is highlighting all of our assets, and USSOCOM right in our backyard is one of them,” said Fontana.


“The Pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla are very excited to have Care Coalition serve as our Grand Marshal in the 2014 Parade of Pirates,” said Captain Jim Von Thron of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. “We look forward to showcasing these hometown heroes in Tampa’s signature parade on January 25th!”


About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa recently completed a $75 million expansion, making it the world’s sixth-largest casino, based on gaming positions or number of seats at a table or slot. This ultimate entertainment destination features 118 table games including Blackjack, Mini and Midi-Baccarat, Pai Gow Tiles and Poker, Three Card Poker and Texas Hold ‘em Poker, along with over 5,000 slot machines and a smoke-free poker room with 50 tables offering high stakes action. The luxurious High Limit Table Games Room features 17 tables for blackjack and midi-baccarat and offers higher table limits, a personal cashier and attentive bartenders. For the sixth year in a row, the American Automobile Association (AAA) has awarded this 250-luxury room hotel its prestigious Four Diamond rating. Guests can enjoy a new pool area and restaurants including the Hard Rock Cafe Tampa, part of Hard Rock’s 142 globally recognized rock ‘n’ roll themed restaurants, the award-winning Council Oak Steaks & Seafood Restaurant, and Rise Kitchen & Bakery™, which features freshly baked breads and entrees made with fresh ingredients. The new Asian gaming complex Jubao Palace features 17 table games and an accompanying 15-seat, quick service noodle bar. Valet and more than 5,000 free, self-parking spaces are available. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is located off of I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, between I-75 and I-275, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa. For more information, please call 1-800-937-0010 or visit us online at  or Follow us on Twitter at


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