WWII, Olympic hero to speak at Boys & Girls Club fundraiser event

Louis Zamperini's life story is what movies are made of

Joe Buttitta, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor/Reporter, jbuttitta@keyt.com
POSTED: 01:27 PM PDT Jun 25, 2013    UPDATED: 03:18 PM PDT Jun 26, 2013 
Louis Zamperini shares his captivating life story
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County will welcome former Olympian and World War II veteran Louis Zamperini to the Earl Warren Showgrounds. 

Zamperini, 96, competed in the 1939 Berlin Olympics and then joined the United States Air Force and fought in WWII.

He was part of a B-24 bombing crew who's plane went down in the Pacific killing eight of the 11 men on board. Zamperini and two others survived the crash and then spent the next 47 days floating in shark-infested waters before the Japanese Navy found them and held them captive for two years.

His life is now the subject of a New York Times bestselling book and a movie that will be released soon.

"I think it's really important that the kids at the Boys & Girls Club hear his story," said Sal Rodriguez with the United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara County. "How he over came all kinds of obstacles and got his life together, and it's a great story to hear."

The benefit luncheon is Thursday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday is the last day to purchase tickets. For more information and CLICK HERE.

All proceeds benefit the United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara County.