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November 04, 2011 - Marine Corps Marks 236th Birthday

What: The United States Marine Corps celebrated their 236th birthday Friday, Nov. 4, at the Denver Athletic Club. The luncheon featured a cake-cutting ceremony and speeches from Maj. Gen. Robert S. Walsh and Canon Bert Womack. The Adams City HS Band provided martial music for the occasion.

Where: Denver Athletic Club

When: Friday, November 4, 2011

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Ticket Prices: $35

Beneficiary: Wounded Warrior Regiment, Marines For Life, and the USMC Scholarship fund

Master of Ceremonies: Rick Crandall

Committee Members: Tom Barrett, Bob Cowan, Robin Guilford, Mitch Hoffman, Paula Sarlls, Michael Boian, Bill Croyle, Leo Hayward, Burrell Landes, Craig Sundquist, Rob Brooks, Mike Dighero, Joe Heins, Rick McFadden, Berk Thornton, Maj Brian Hutcherson, 1stSgt. Robert Cebina

Invocation: Canon Bert Womack

Welcome: Rick Crandall

Speaker: MajGen. Robert S. Walsh, USMC

Libations: Beer brewed by a Marine for Marine's at Rockyard in Castle Rock

Music: Adams City HS Band

Of note: Cake-cutting and a salute to the living veterans of WWII

Sponsors: Helm Investment Mgmt., The Perfect Landing Restaurant, Mitch and Judy Hoffman, Leo Hayward, J. Isaiah Chronopoulos, The Women Marines Association, BHL Assoc LLC, Berk Thornton and Veronica Radcliffe, Colorado Catering Co., The Denver Athletic Club

Quote of the evening: "It's no coincidence that the Army and Navy have songs and the Marine Corps has a Hymn," Burrell Landes

Menu: Garden salad, sliced steak, with potatoes and mixed steamed vegetables

Attendance: 200

Event Coordinator: Burrell Landes

Board of Directors: for information on Marines for Life, visit the website at For information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment, see For information on the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, see

Blacktie Photos by: Bob Fontneau

 In time-honored tradition, distinguished Marines take the first bites of the 236th birthday cake
In time-honored tradition, distinguished Marines take the first bites of the 236th birthday cake

From the Halls of Montezuma to the Denver Athletic Club, the United States Marine Corps celebrated their 236th birthday Friday, November 4, with a luncheon and cake-cutting ceremony.  The gathered Marines and their guests were called to attention at 11:30 as the Adams City HS band, under the direction of bandleader Josh Shellard, accompanied the USMC Color Guard in the posting of the colors. 

Master of ceremonies Rick Crandall, of Denver's KEZW radio, addressed the crowd, then introduced Maj Brian Hutcherson, who served as the narrator for the cake-cutting ceremony.  Maj Hutcherson read the words that are read at Marine Corps birthday celebrations around the world as an honor guard of Marines wheeled in the cake to the center of the room.  The cake was then ceremoniously cut, as the band played 'Auld Lang Syne,' with the first piece of cake going to MajGen Robert S. Walsh, USMC, Director of Operation, US Northern Command.  The second piece was then shared by the oldest Marine, Marge Alexander, and the youngest Marine, Cpl Flores.  The band played 'Anchors Aweigh' and 'The Marine Corps Hymn' before the cake was removed.

After the cake-cutting, as Marines and guests lunched on a fresh garden salad, followed by sliced steak served over potatoes and fresh steamed vegetables, Crandall introduced Canon Bert Womack, who delivered a stirring speech and invocation.  Canon Womack read from a letter written by a Marine, which highlighted the uniqueness, courage, and dedication of the fighting men and women of the Corps. 

During lunch, Crandall asked the half dozen living Marine veterans of WWII to stand and they were honored, in a very moving moment, with a standing ovation from the assembly.  

The festivities concluded with an address by MajGen Walsh, who spoke with reverence of the Corps' past and rich tradition before finishing by discussing with pride the current generation of Marines and the bright future that they present to the Corps.  Crandall then concluded the luncheon and thanked everyone for attending.

Tables were set up to highlight the work of the Wounded Warrior Regiment (, the Marines for Life (, and the USMC Scholarship fund (  Guests were encouraged to support those organizations.

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