By ROSIE GITHINJI
MT. VERNON —
Saturday, Nov. 10 marks the 237th birthday for the Marine Corps and there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than with a party.
The annual Marine Corps Ball is open to family and branches of all service . It will be the seventh annual ball for the Mt. Vernon community and will be held at the Rend Lake Resort Conference Center.
“There seems to be a larger concentration of marines in Southern Illinois than any other place I have ever been,” said Sgt. Curtis Meadows, USMC, who is a member of the Marine Corps Ball planning committee. “It’s [marine ball] one of the biggest traditions in the Marine Corps.”
The celebration marks the founding of the Marine Corps on Nov. 10, 1775. The formal recognition of the birthday began on Nov. 10, 1921. According to Meadows, on Oct. 21, 1921, Major Edwin McClellan, officer in charge, historical section, headquarters Marine Corps, sent a memorandum to Major General Commander John A. LeJeune, suggesting the date be declared a Marine Corps holiday to be celebrated throughout the Corps. LeJeune issued the Order No. 47, which summarized the history, mission and tradition of the Corps and directed that it be read to every command on Nov. 10 for each subsequent year in honor of the Marine Corps.
In addition to the reading of the declaration, other traditions will be at the celebrated during the party, including serving the first piece of birthday cake to the oldest Marine present and the second piece to the youngest Marine present.
The night will begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by the ceremony at 7 p.m. and the dinner will be held after the ceremony. Entertainment will be provided by Exit 69 and there will be dancing and other festivities, Meadows said. There will also be a silent auction, various raffles, giveaways and a guest speaker during the event.
“It’s just more of less a chance for the local marine corp to come together and celebrate,” Meadows said.
Tickets will be $25 per person or $40 for a pair and the ticket is all inclusive. Meadows said that although they will sell tickets at the door, they would rather people bought the tickets in advance so there is a better head count for the dinner. Rend Lake Resort is also offering special rates on rooms for those who wish to spend the night.
Dress attire will be formal and semi-formal and uniforms are recommended.
Tickets are available at the American Legion post 141. For more information on the Marine Ball, contact Meadows at 231-6868. Those who wish to reserve a room can contact the Rend Lake Resort at 629-2211.