Hundreds of Marines and their guests from the local area will stand at attention and salute their comrades who have either just returned from battle or who are shipping out to Iraq and Afghanistan during the annual United States Marine Corps Birthday Ball, starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Oakwood Country Club at 24218 S. Oakwood Boulevard in Sun Lakes.

This is the 235th celebration of the USMC Birthday, dating back to the founding of the Marine Corps in 1775, and the evening will be filled with tradition and patriotism.

Rick Romley, a Vietnam hero and acting Maricopa County attorney, is the guest speaker. Music will be provided by the 108th U.S. Army Band, and guests will be piped aboard by members of the Tempe Police Pipe Band and greeted by a uniformed bulldog mascot. The ceremony will be highlighted by a tribute to the missing and fallen, USMC Commandant's message, presentation of the colors by the Casa Grande High School Marine ROTC Cadets, as well as dining and dancing. Guests will see a field of dress uniforms festooned with medals, tuxedoes and evening gowns.

This year, attendance is by a suggested donation of $45 a person. Guests are urged to add to their donation which will help cover the cost of bringing in so many active duty Marines to the Ball. A donation of $450 would cover a table of 10 Marines. In the past, sponsors have come forward to cover major costs, such as transportation for Marines unable to drive. Sponsors' names will be prominently exhibited at the tables, as well as in the official program.

For further information, call (480) 883-9393, (480) 250-0984 or visit

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