Alvin Townley to keynote Coronado Ball, honor POWs Stockdale and Jenkins
April 16, 2016

CORONADO, CA (March 4, 2016) – The Coronado Chamber of Commerce board of directors and staff are thrilled to announce that the honored guest and speaker for the 31st Annual Salute to the Military Ball will be Alvin Townley, best-selling author of Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned. Since 1985, the Chamber has hosted this black tie affair giving Coronado businesses and locals the unique opportunity to show their appreciation to local military members and their families. The Chamber is certain that with Townley’s extensive background working with and researching the military, as well as his professional accomplishments, the audience will be in for an inspiring and engaging keynote address.

Alvin Townley
Alvin Townley

Townley’s work and travels have taken him around the world, during which he has discussed life and leadership with the likes of Michael Bloomberg, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Hank Paulson, Ross Perot, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Bill Gates, Sr., Jim Lovell of Apollo 13, Unbroken’s Louie Zamperini, Navy SEALs, respected admirals, POWs from Vietnam, Peace Corps volunteers, Olympic athletes, young entrepreneurs, seasoned CEOs, and members of Congress.  His fourth book – Defiant- arrived in 2014 to acclaim from The New York Times, John McCain, Jimmy Carter and many others.

The evening also includes the presentation of the 18th annual Harry T. Jenkins Memorial Award and the 5th annual VADM James & Sybil Stockdale Award to deserving military members who possess the same leadership and character exhibited by these revered past Coronado residents. Both Jenkins and Stockdale were prisoners of war in North Vietnam, and Stockdale himself is prominently featured in Townley’s book Defiant.

“We are very excited to have Alvin join us as our speaker,” Chamber Executive Director Sue Gillingham said. “We believe that all of his experience with POWs and his close ties to VADM Stockdale will give a new context to our award presentations and to the purpose of this event as a whole.”


In addition to this year’s speaker, the Chamber welcomes back television and radio personality Craig Sewing as the emcee for the evening. Sewing is a locally established and well known consumer advocate, whose focus is on confronting polarizing issues to the benefit of his listeners.

This year’s military ball is set for Saturday, April 16, with cocktail hour starting at 6 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Hotel del Coronado. There are currently 10-top tables left at every sponsorship level, including Bronze Star seating for $2,200, Silver Star seating for $3,500 and Gold Premier seating for $5,500. Couples interested in attending this event can also purchase a pair of tickets for $735. If you cannot attend but still wish to support the event, you can elect to host a hero for $220, which goes to cover the costs for the 200 military guests who attend this event at no charge.

Interested in learning more about this event or reserving your table? Please contact the Coronado Chamber of Commerce at (619) 435-9260 or email


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