GATOR DETACHMENT 990 - MARINE CORPS LEAGUE - GAINESVILLE/ALACHUA

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  • 17 Nov 2022 10:13 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    The 2022 Birthday Ball was held on 12 November 2022 at the Best Western Gateway Grand.  It was a great event.  Our 207 guests were treated to a traditional ceremony, a plated dinner, live entertainment, raffles and dancing. Our Guest of Honor was the Marine Corps League Department of Florida Commandant Scott Westervelt. 

    The Ball does not happen without some dedicated workers and generous sponsors.  For sponsors, our premier sponsor ($2,000) was the N.FL/S.GA Regional Health System.  Our Eagle Sponsors ($1,000) were Bass Assassin, Jeffrey Meldon and SkyFrog Tree Service.  Our Globe Sponsors ($500) were Campus Credit Union, Dan Newlin, Vernon Kisling and Milam Funeral Home.  Our Anchor Sponsors ($250) were Adam Stout, Charles Berg, ComfortTemp, Trenton Animal Hospital, WastePro and Affordable Chiropractic.  Between these sponsors and our program advertisements, there were over $9,000.00 in donations to help support this event.  

    No matter how much money you throw at it, the success of the event will be in the hands of those planning and executing.  The staff of the Best Western Gateway Grand were super in the preparation of the event and then brought superior service at the Ball. 

    The Ball Committee paid attention to the details, even when the Chairman was out of town.  Jim Hutto excelled on point for many of the preparations and planning. This included the major task of receiving all payments and assigning all seating.   Sandra Torres-Pintos oversaw the traditional ceremony and the team members it took to carry it out.  Sandy Golden added her touch to the decor  - table cloths, flags, meal cards, table numbers, final room preparations.   

    Linda Yakubsin once again took on the task of acquiring and assembling the gifts for the raffle with the value of each item being at or above $200.  She and her volunteers helped raise over $3,300 for the detachment. 

    Other Ball Committee members who met throughout the year for planning include Commandant Vernon Kisling, Past Commandant Jim Yakubsin and Chairman Scott DuPree. 

    The band Crooked Counsel provided us with great song selections which kept people on the dance floor.  

    Everyone enjoyed the venue.  So we have secured the Best Western for our next Ball on November 10, 2024, which will also celebrate 100 years of the Marine Corps League and 25 years of the Gator Detachment.   You can mark the date on your calendar, but when we open it for reservations, be quick to pay so you do not end up on a waiting list.


  • 18 Sep 2022 3:32 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    With the Birthday Ball just two months away, our annual event is sold out.  We sold to the limit of 200 tickets.  We are grateful for the sponsors and advertisers who are graciously supporting us.  We look forward to putting on a great event.

    The Birthday Ball serves a couple of purposes.  First and foremost, it serves as the Marines' celebration of 247 years of the Corps.  It includes a traditional ceremony and this event is celebrated every year by Marines in every clime and place.

    On a local level, we typically observe a secondary relevant theme or historical observation.  In previous years we have celebrated Marines of World War II, Korea, Vietnam or Iraq/Afghanistan.  We have highlighted Women Marines and FMF Corpsman.  We have acknowledged notable members of our society who served wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. 

    This year, we will be observing 75 years of rebuilding under the National Security Act of 1947, under which the Marine Corps was affirmed after a couple of years of push by some in our government to dissolve the Corps. 

    We invite the community to attend and observe our celebration so that they may observe those of us who hold the Marine Corps and the military branches of our country in high regard.  We let them see the Marine Corps family, our dedication not only to the service but also to each other and to our community.  While all understand the Marine Corps is the strongest fighting force on the planet, we aim to show that the men and women of this force go on to serve in our community.  We are law enforcement, businesses, doctors, nurses, accountants, farmers. We are young and old. We are citizens with the Marine Corps in our hearts and we are all around you.  

    We look forward to our birthday celebration and all that goes with it.  

    If you did not get a reservation this year, please keep an eye out for our messages next year and get your reservations in up front.

  • 24 Mar 2022 10:30 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    Your birthday ball committee has been working fast.  We have the ball scheduled for November 12th at the Best Western Gateway Grand - always a great location!  Really excited about that.

    Your Guest of Honor is the current Marine Corps League Commandant for Florida.  Scott Westerveldt served 38 years on active duty, from Private to Lieutenant Colonel.  Just a great guy and I know you'll enjoy having him there as much as he will meeting all of you.

    You will get a veteran (no pun intended) crew running the traditional ceremony. They always do such a great job.

    We have Crooked Counsel coming back to provide the live music so bring your dancing shoes!  You can dance right up to either of the two cash bars when you need to recharge your dancing talent.

    For our out-of-town guests, the hotel is right off of I-75.  Even though there will a college football game in Gainesville that day, the hotel is only charging our guests $109 per night plus tax.  See our birthday ball page for the reservations desk number.

    You will leave with your own piece of commemorative glassware.  And if you want to leave with more, you can get tickets for the raffle items.  The items are so nice we hire a security guard to watch over them during the event!! Bring your money and even your credit cards - we got you covered!  More about that as the time gets closer.

    I will meet with the ball committee again on April 2nd to cover more details and solidify assignments.  We all need to get people in our community to put ads in our program book and help us with their sponsorships.  

    Attendance will be $50 per person by reservation form with payment and we will only be selling 200 so that we don't overcrowd the event.   Look for those to be available in April.  We will announce. 

    So I'm really excited and the ball committee members are already working diligently to make sure this event is one to remember!!

    - Scott


  • 30 Dec 2021 11:36 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    I am excited to announce that our 2022 Marine Corps Birthday Ball will have us going back to the Best Western Gateway Grande.  The ball will be on Saturday, November 12, 2022.  Social Hour will start at 5pm and the ceremony will begin at 6pm with dinner and dancing to follow.

    Dinner will provide you with a choice of Prime Rib, Herb Roasted Chicken, Herb Crusted Salmon, or a vegan option (which is being selected).  Included with your dinner is salad, rolls, water, coffee, tea and dessert. 

    Our Guest of Honor will be Scott Westervelt.  Scott is currently serving as the Commandant of the Department of Florida, Marine Corps League.  Scott served on active duty for 38 years, serving as a Private through Lieutenant Colonel.

    We are bringing back the band Crooked Counsel, since they were enjoyed by many in 2020 and 2021.

    Seating will be limited to 200 guests.  The hotel will also have a favorable room rate.  Details, including ticket price,  will be published as soon as those details are settled.

    Looking forward to an awesome ball.

    Scott DuPree
    Birthday Ball Chairman
    GatorDet 990 MCL

  • 14 Nov 2021 7:41 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    It has been a while since I have updated you.  The Birthday Ball was held on 6 November at Clark Plantation.  The venue was well decorated and our guests were treated to great food and excellent music from Crooked Counsel.  Of course our ceremony was special.  Thanks to Dennis Wait for stepping up in the unavoidable absence of our expert MC, Sandra Torres Pintos.  Our ceremonial unit was excellent.  We had raffle winners and lots of dancing.

    MARINE OF THE YEAR - we made two presentations at this event.  The Marine of the Year for 2020 was Junior Vice Commandant Matt Yakubsin, who put together the birthday celebration in 2020 at the High Springs Brewery and lined up future events there.

    The 2021 Marine of the Year was presented to Adjutant/Paymaster Jim Hutto.  He has been instrumental in getting a lot of things done this year and volunteers to help everyone.  He also volunteers regularly at the VA driving a golf cart for those who need help getting to their cars or across the campus to another building.

    As soon as we get the links to the photos from this event, we'll get that posted.

  • 26 May 2021 10:52 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    We are now taking reservations for the birthday ball.  It will be on Saturday, November 6th, at Clark Plantation in Newberry.  (We will soon have directions on the website.)  Tickets are $50 each and we have a maximum capacity of 250, so don't wait.

    We have a beautiful venue, a live band, great prizes, a great ceremony and great catering.  You're going to enjoy it!! 

    To make reservations, call Vernon Kisling 352-727-1961, Jim Yakubsin 352-222-8837 or Jim Hutto 386-984-6925.

  • 26 May 2021 8:34 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    For a few months, Commandant Kisling allowed us to meet in Gainesville and Alachua in alternating months.  The premise was to allow those from each city to attend the general meeting in their town, which would expand our participation.

    What we found was that pretty much the same people traveled to the meeting, wherever it was being held.

    Therefore, beginning in June, we will return to the schedule where all of our general meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the First United Methodist Church in Alachua.  We will resume the schedule of having our social hour from 1800 to 1900 including a covered dish dinner.  The entree will be provided and announced each month.  The general meeting will begin at 1900. 


  • 29 Mar 2021 10:02 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    We were saddened to hear of the passing of Emory Gouge.  He has been a member of the Gator Detachment for many years.  He often provided insightful opinion, usually along with some comedic relief.  He enjoyed being happy with his Marine buddies and you could always count on him for a good laugh.

    He was active in other organizations as well.  He was a Korea Marine, so he held memberships in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Korean War Veterans and the American Legion.  I am told that he was active in their fundraising activities along with his buddy Jack Harris.

    He was a member of the Military Order of the Devil Dogs.  We took field trips and Emory usually made his way, even if there were just a handful of us.  We have visited a few military museums and even Blount Island.  

    When we had a party for our group, it was Emory who insisted on having a Turkey Shoot with a pop gun that shot corks.  Of course you had to pay to shoot (there's the fundraiser.) But that is just Emory.  We actually had fun but we did not keep score.  I'm quite certain we were all qualified snipers with his cork gun.

    There will be a service honoring him at Forest Meadows Cemetery Central in Gainesville on Friday, April 16th at 3:00pm.  Reception will follow at the American Legion Post 16.

    Fair winds and following seas, Marine.

    -SD

  • 26 Jan 2021 10:00 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    Just to let everyone know we are back to meeting and getting some business done.  These are not the official minutes - just casual notes.

    First we welcomed new member Marine Joe FERNANDEZ.  

    ACCOUNTS: the Commandant announced that we now have one bank account instead of three, to reduce fees and improve efficiency.

    NEW GENERAL MEETING SCHEDULE - Commandant Kisling announced that the General Meeting will alternate between Gainesville and Alachua.  In the odd months (Jan, Mar, May, etc) we will meet in Gainesville.
    In the even months (Feb, Apr, Jun, etc) we will meet in Alachua.
    * In Alachua, dinner will be 6pm to 7pm and business meeting at 7pm.
    * Meetings in Gainesville will only be the business meeting at 7pm.

    Just watch the event calendar and reminders.

    AWARDS - the Commandant awarded Matt Yakubsin the Distinguished Citizen Award for his hard work with the 2020 Ball.  He presented Past Commandant Jim Yakubsin with a Distinguished Service Award for his seven terms as Commandant.  He awarded Forest Hope with the Distinguished Service Award to recognize him for Most Volunteer Hours for 2018 and 2019. 

    Reminder: Detachment Social at Gators Dockside on Feb 1st.

    UF NROTC: Gator 990 will pay for the annual leadership award.

    Chaplain Bob Wright: John Murdoch's wife Barbara has passed and Sandy Golden's mom has passed.  We are remembering those folks.

    THE BALL was successful.  High Springs Brewery would like to see us come party with them again.  So we are tentatively planning a Social event there on June 12th with food trucks available.  

    We are looking to have the ball on Saturday, November 6th at the soon-to-be rebuilt Clarke Plantation.

    Scott DuPree mentioned that the detachment's hard drive was located with content from 2009/2010.  DuPree invited people to share their photos that could be placed on the hard drive.

    NOMINATIONS: we opened nominations for the February elections.  So far the current slate of officers are nominated and for the vacant Jr. Vice position, Marine Matt Yakubsin has been nominated.  Nominations will reopen at the February meeting, followed by an election and installation.

    Sgt At Arms Bill Beck spoke about the Color Guard and the need for practice.

    Forest Hope mentioned that the annual Veteran Stand Down has been pushed back to October.

    That's pretty much it.  Hope to see YOU at a meeting soon.

    Semper Fi!

  • 11 Nov 2020 2:35 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    We held the Gator 990 celebration of the Marine Corps Birthday on the evening of November 10th.  During a week leading up to a tropical storm, this one evening turned clear and comfortable. Just as the first Marines gathered at Tun Tavern, about 180 of our Marines and guests gathered at the High Springs Brewing Company for an evening of outdoor celebration.

    The Birthday Ball Committee did a great job, with Matt Yakubsin and Dennis Waite doing most of the heavy lifting.  Guests were treated to a flagpole dedication at 5pm, the Commandant of the Marine Corps' video message, a traditional ceremony at 6:15pm featuring Marines in Dress Blues and black masks, and a generous barbecue buffet at 7pm.  Live music was provided by the local band Crooked Counsel.  

    There was a drawing for the Marine Corps Special Edition Colt .45 M1911. We had sold all of the tickets for this drawing and the winner was Stephen Homewood.  

    We had six prizes claimed by guests, including a smoker, a grill,  a wooden flag and cross, a Birthday Edition Ka-Bar knife with two Bass Assassin drink containers, a Medal of Honor dog tag display with guidebook, and a gift basket.

    The ceremony was streamed live on Facebook and the recording can be viewed at any time on our detachment's Facebook page.


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Phone: (352) 727-1961

Email: gator990@gmail.com 


Mailing Address:  
Gator 990 MCL
PO Box 14
High Springs FL 32655 

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