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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Community commemorates Marines’ 237-year legacy

By Staff Sgt. Juana DeLosSantos and Capt. Kyle Thomas | | November 16, 2012

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Two by two, Marines marched from the shadows of a hallway into Darton State College’s Physical Education Complex with swords at the carry.

Anonized medals glinted in the light of a single chandelier hanging in the center as other Marines marched in the traditional Marine Corps birthday cake.

Except for the spotlights that shown intermittingly throughout the ceremony, the time-honored event retained a candlelight ambience as Marines from Marine Corps Logistics Command, Marine Corps Systems Command and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, guests and spouses observed the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 8.

To turn the Physical Education Complex into a ballroom-like atmosphere so Marines could commemorate the Corps’ legacy, traditions and celebrate all of their achievements and hard work, one would think Superman himself put it together in the speed of light.

On the eve and day of the Marine Corps Ball, it took several dedicated Marines and a few of our civilians to put it all together.

The event planning, however, took place months before the actual date. It required a multitude of meetings and fundraisers.

The Marine Corps Ball Committee started taking its form in late April.

Master Sgt. Jason E. Spangenberg led the Marine Corps Ball Committee as the president and ensured not only fundraisers and ticket sales ran smoothly, but everything from the venue, meal and lighting were all locked on.

He, of course, could not have done this by himself. 

The Marine Corps Ball Committee started taking its form in late April.

It really started to develop between May and July, with more than 15 Marines on the committee collectively from Marine Corps Logistics Base, Marine Corps Logistics Command, and Marine Corps Systems Command. 

After several meetings, some fundraisers were established and the ball was on its way to success.

The Pizza Hut card sale took effect, followed by a paintball tournament and the effort was epitomized by a golf tournament.

All fundraisers contributed to the money used to make the ball victorious but a lot of work and effort made it happen.

Sgt. Irvin L. Stalls led the Pizza Hut card sale effort and spent more than three months promoting and selling.

Sgt. Brian E. McLean spearheaded the paintball tournament by getting sponsors, off-base participation and ensuring it all came together.

Gunnery Sgt. Keith A. Challet and his wife, Heather, facilitated the venue and set up of the golf tournament to ensure its absolute success. 

Lastly, Sgt. Essic D. Stroman devoted all his lunch hours from Sept. 17 - Nov. 2 to sell ball tickets and keep track of all monies as the Marine Corps Ball treasurer.

Of course, these were only a few of the many Marines who put in countless hours.

Although this may seem like a lot of work already, it was nothing compared to a few days before the ball. Sgt. Brandon L. Wilson had the arduous task of storing all the mementos and ensuring they were delivered to Darton State College.

Sgt. Marcus T. Pfister assisted with the setup and coordination of the event.

Gunnery Sgt. Maranda T. Townsend and Jacqueline Clark ensured the room was decorated and prepared to the standards of a successful Marine Corps Ball. 

Meanwhile, 108 tables were being draped. The lighting was being adjusted. The disk jockey was being directed. All centerpieces were being created. The cakes were being transported. Mementos were being placed. The wait staff was being briefed on sequence of events and rehearsals were conducted. 

Amidst the chaos, the Marines still found time to laugh, talk, and project what the night’s events would be. 

 When asked what he thought of the night, Spangenberg stated, “It was a long road and a lot of people don’t know all the work (that was) put into making this happen, but thanks to all who contributed, the night was a success.”


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