The Marine Corps Birthday is quickly approaching. If you are lookin for a way to celebrate, I highly recommend looking into the San Diego Marines Foundation. In the last few years, the founders have partnered with other Marine organizations to raise over $150,000 for various charities, including the Semper Fi & America’s Fund and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. They have done this by hosting Marine Corps Birthday Balls, open to Veterans, retired and active duty Marines, their friends, families, and supporters in the community. Now they are looking to expand previous success this year in San Diego.
We spoke to the organization and asked for their story. Below is a direct response, in their own words, detailing the history, and future of the organization.
Press release from the San Diego Marines Foundation
We are the San Diego Marines Foundation. Our founder Marc Okicich is also the founder of the Chicago Marines Foundation. Both organizations raise money for veteran-centric charities by hosting annual Marine Corps birthday parties.
These parties are open to all and, not surprisingly, are heavily attended by Veterans, retired and active duty Marines, their friends, families, and supporters in the community. Marc started the San Diego Marines Foundation to replicate the great work done in Chicago. But, most importantly, our goal is to address the challenges Veterans face head-on by creating an environment that provides support.
We believe the best way to help our veterans is by bringing back to their lives what many veterans feel they lost when they left the military, which is the sense of community we all had in the military.
Being part of a community can provide a sense of purpose and make our veterans feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. It allows veterans and families to connect with veterans and families who have successfully transitioned back to civilian life. It also allows veterans to connect with people in our community who can help our veterans with their transition from the military.
We have worked hard the last two years at the San Diego Marines foundation to create a sense of community for our Veterans, Marines and community supporters, by hosting an annual Marine Corps Birthday celebration. As previously mentioned, our mission is to help Marines and other veterans in need by creating a community that provides a support network, raising awareness of veterans’ issues, and by funding established and vetted veterans’ charities.
On November 10, 2022, we will host a Marine Corps Birthday Celebration at the Ballast Point Brewery in San Diego (Miramar location) to celebrate the 247th Marine Corps birthday. This year we have also partnered with the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation. In 5 years of hosting our Marine Corps birthday party, both foundations have raised over $150,000 for veteran charities, including the Semper Fi & America’s Fund and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
At this year’s Marine Corps birthday celebration, we’re aiming to raise $50,000.00 for charities that serve the needs of veterans and their families. We plan to meet our fundraising goal by selling tickets to the San Diego Marines Foundation’s Marine Corps Birthday Celebration and donations from the community.
At this event, we will have live music, a traditional Marine Corps Birthday Ceremony, and the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient, Kyle Carpenter as our special guest. With Kyle’s legendary reputation in the Marine Corps and his social media following of nearly 800,000 followers combined on Instagram and Facebook, we expect no less than Five hundred attendees at our event. In addition to Kyle, we expect additional celebrities and dignitaries to attend. However, we know our efforts would go even further with the support of our San Diego community.