OAKHURST — This weekend marks the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps (USMC), and the Griswold Mountain Detachment of the Marine Corps League is celebrating by sponsoring a dinner and dancing party on Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO).
The USMC Annual Birthday Ball commences at 1700 hours, or 5 p.m., with a no-host beer and wine bar and social hour.
At 6 p.m. a toast and cake cutting ceremony will be held, followed by a dinner of salmon or prime rib and an evening of dancing.
The sold-out dinner dance is expected to draw over 100 people, including Marines, family, and friends of the Marine Corps. Karl Aube is one such friend, formerly attached to the 1st Marine Division as a Naval officer, which is why he “likes his Marines.”
Aube says the Marine birthday bash is full of traditions, including one that has the current detachment Commandant Jim Winney cut the birthday cake with a saber or sword. The first two pieces of cake are given out ceremoniously: one to the youngest Marine and one to the oldest Marine present.
A toast to the Marines will include the reading of two orders. The first is a 1921 birthday message to the Corps from General John A. Lejeune. A second order is a nod to the USMC birthday, a new greeting added on every year by the current United States Marine Corps Commandant.
The Griswold Mountain Detachment has plenty to celebrate, considering all the charitable activities they participate in around town.
“We provide community service and encourage the traditions of the United States Marines,” explains Aube. “We give scholarships at Yosemite High to graduates who have Marines in their family. We collect for national wounded veterans programs and injured Marine funds, and we supply the manpower to the Toys for Tots collection drive.”
Linda Aube is one of the primary organizers, or the self-admitted ringleader, behind some of the fun making up the birthday celebration this year. She gets help from special committees like those who do set-up and handle the ceremony.
“We have another team that puts together the silent auction – that’s a skill set!” Linda says, with a reminder Griswold Mountain Detachment’s many important endeavors. “They do outreach for military funeral honors.
“Sometimes it’s flag-folding, sometimes it’s seven rifles doing the salute, or they play Taps.”
The group also helps place U.S. flags at cemeteries in the mountain area on Memorial and Veterans Day.
“They also work with Marines in the area who need help,” adds Linda, including local wounded warrior Toran “Chance” Gaal. The Griswold coalition raised nearly $3,000 to help Gaal purchase a modified automobile. “That’s part of the deal with the detachment and younger veterans, to guide them and make sure they know about Veterans Affairs, Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations, and the organization for wounded Marines, Semper Fi Fund.”
On Sunday night, though, you’ll find friends and neighbors of the Griswold Mountain Detachment, and the members themselves, kicking up their heels and celebrating the 238th birthday of the Marine Corps. Looking good!
For more information contact Karl or Linda Aube at (559) 683-6323
Visit the webpage for ECCO.