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  • 27 May 2024 10:00 AM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    From Thursday April11 to Sunday April 14, Gator Detachment 990 joined Devil Dogs of First Coast Pound 263 in hosting the Department of Florida's 2024 Spring Conference.  The effort, spearheaded by Jim Hutto from Gainesville and Bill Nantz from Jacksonville,  was a qualified success and drew lots of compliments from attendees.  Volunteers from both groups provided spaces and services to the conference while the Best Western Gateway Grand Hotel staff accommodated rooms, catering and other services to the event.  It was a job well done by all involved.

    On May 18th, the North Central Florida Veterans Foundation sponsored the Hot Rodding For Heroes Car Show at the High Springs Brewery.  Gator Detachment members helped at the event which saw about 100 entries and hundreds of visitors. 

    There will be other events this summer and fall, but one event already in the planning is the Gator Detachment 2024 Birthday Ball set for Friday, November 1st  at the Best Western Gateway Grand.  The forms for advertising and sponsorships are already on our website.  We will announce when we are ready to begin taking reservations.  Attendees will pay $50 per person.  We will have the ceremony, dinner, live music, dancing and a raffle.  Mark your calendars now to attend. 

  • 05 Nov 2023 4:06 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    Gator Detachment 990 will join forces with the First Coast Pound 263, Military Order of the Devil Dogs to host the 2024 Department of Florida Spring Conference April 11 - 14 at the Best Western Gateway Grand.

    We will utilize the ballroom for the big meetings and banquet, and will use smaller rooms for committee meetings.  The Presidential Suite will be converted to a Hospitality Room.

    Proceeds from the event will be pledged to two Children's Hospitals - one in the Jacksonville area and one in the Gainesville area. 

    We have a core committee setting up the basic event.  We will need members to help us run the registration tables and raffle ticket tables. 

    There will be more talk about this event.  Please consider putting this on your calendar and helping us make this a success as Marine Corps League members from all across our state come to Gainesville.  

    For more information, contact Adjutant/Paymaster Jim Hutto.

  • 16 Jan 2023 10:47 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    I have had the good fortune to be a part of this detachment since its inception.  It began with an idea by Jim Yakubsin in 1997.  We were assisted by two Department of Florida officers at the time:  Northwest District Vice Commandant Preston Freburger and Department of Florida Judge Advocate Joe Tisone.  We were grateful for their guidance and assistance.

    Jim Yakubsin became the recruiter. We had Marines who were law enforcment and reservists. They had friends.  We had our meetings at the VFW and Marines from there also had friends. I think we needed 20 to get a charter but we had a few more than that.  

    In February 1998, at the National Mid-Winter Conference, the charter was issued for Gator Detachment 990.  We held a meeting in March at the Fraternal Order of Police building where Department of Florida Commandant Ralph Fredette presented us with our charter.  We had a cookout, took pictures and ate some cake.  

    One old Marine in a motorized scooter was approached during recruiting and was asked if he wanted to join.  He said no, that they tried to get a unit here back in the 50's and it didn't last.  He told us, "You won't make it five years."  That made our resolve even stronger.  And here we are 25 years later, still going strong.

    We have come a long way.  I would like to think we have had a positive impact on the life of each of our members and those people in the community we have assisted.  I have met so many fine Marines, veterans and supporters who are great to be around.  My life is better for having met them and getting to know them.  Those we meet share their stories with us and allow us to talk to someone who shares that bond that we all have, regardless of our age or color or religion.  We are all brothers and sisters.  Indeed, we are all Marine family.

    Our members have stepped up over the years to help lead other veteran organizations, county committees and VA Hospital positions.  After the creation of Gator Detachment 990, there came Tri-County Detachment 1018 in Chiefland and the Suwannee Valley Detachment in Lake City (now the SgtMaj Thomas H. Griggs, Jr. Detachment 1086.)

    It was out of this group that the Milton Lewis Young Marines was founded. Members of the the Gator Detachment also helped stand up the Military Support Group of Alachua County.  Later, our Marines were key in forming the Vietnam Veterans of America Post 182 in Alachua.  Most recently, our members have formed a foundation providing assistance to veterans in the VA Hospital and other places in Alachua County.   

    We are making a difference.  To our members and friends, thank you for helping us to help our community.  We look forward to the next 25 years.

  • 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. 

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Gator 990 MCL
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