March, 2012 NEWSLETTER


Thanks to these 30 members who founded the Tun Tavern Team, the Chapter was able to double the Annual Christmas Visa Gift Cards Donation for the 7th Marine Regiment in 2011. These Visa Gift Cards were distributed to 120 young enlisted Marine families last Christmas.

Wes Ahlgren Mac Dube Dean Hunter Bob Shepard
Mike Bales David Franklin Dick Partee George Stettler
Carl Brooks Charlie Garbarini Henry Sanchez Jim Sullivan
Harry Covert George Hatzidakis* Ray Schum Quint Villanueva
Michael Walker Jimmie Martin Sam Huttenower Jim Olson
Jack Rabinowitz Dale Turner Bill Ross Paul Ehline
Myrl Wallace Linn Wiley Carl Lewke Marilyn Paige
Gene McClendon Franz Jevene    


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                                             Quint Villanueva
There is an old saying that all good things must come to an end and so comes to a close the good times I enjoyed during my three year term as President of the best Chapter in the FMDA. In the past three years we established our Chapter as one of the top five producers of the 54 chapters in the FMDA. I thank each and every one of you for your support that made our Chapter arguably the most productive in the FMDA.
To recap our major accomplishments, we continued hosting an annual BBQ for the 7th Marines and initiated  barbecues for the Wounded Warrior Detachment at MCAGCC; we donated thousands of dollarws worth of Christmas Gift Cards to needy Marine families; we established an annual luncheon honoring Women Marines; we delivered 140 Christmas dinners to needy Marine families; we shipped almost 2 ¾ tons of baby wipes and socks to Marines in Afghanistan; last year our donations to Marines and their families donated to more than $17,000; we participated in the Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade each year and our membership rolls reached a new high as a result of your recruiting efforts.  We also created a Chapter challenge coin with its unique design that identifies the holder as a members of the Chapter.  Not a bad list of accomplishments for a group of old salts!
Unfortunately, along with the good times we experienced some sad times with the loss of several of our legacy members.  Elmer Stone, George Hatzidakis, Larry Seaward, Don Tully and former member Roger Collins all departed for that final roll call at heaven’s gates. Their presence at our monthly meetings will be missed.  Our new President, as did our past Presidents, will carry on and set our Chapter’s course for the next two years and with our your continuing support will lead our Chapter on to bigger and better ways to support Marines and their families.  Once again, thank for the privilege and honor of serving as you Chapter President.  
Semper Fi
We will have Herman Posada and LtCol Richard Evers, USMC (Ret.) who are Research Pilots at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base as our guests of honor and speakers. Posada is one of several pilots who operate NASA’s Ikhana (Predator B) Global Hawk and small unmanned aircraft. They will fly here from Edwards AFB to be with us.
Thanks to George Stettler for lining up these speakers.  Plan to join us for an interesting presentation on at 1130 Desert Falls Country Club.
We have added another Corpsman to the membership.  William Zagone who  served in WW II as a PHM 2/C. 
Bill and his wife Donna live in Palm Desert.
Need to RSVP by March 6th if you are going to join us on Wednesday, 21 March at 1000 for the graduation ceremony at Camp Pendleton. This will be the 9th Anniversary of the Col Mitchell Paige Award for the outstanding graduate.  We will car pool. After the graduation we will join the Marines for lunch at the chow hall.  Wear blazers, chapter shirt and khaki’s. Space will be limited, so RSVP right away.
FUND RAISING                                                                   Jim Sullivan
We have had financial support from various Coachella Valley Rotary and the Joshua Tree Clubs. I have been invited to speak to the Palm Springs Rotary Club breakfast meeting on March 27th.  I will talk about the good things that we do for the Marines and families of the 7th Marines and the Wounded Warriors at 29 Palms and ask them for a donation.
Dan Silvers, one of our newer members, has already done some good things to get donations from his business friends.  He now has arranged for a gourmet hostess, who teaches gourmet cooking in her home, to have a dinner party and expects to clear $800 which she will donate to the chapter.
We welcome more members to step forward with your ideas to help with fund raising efforts. Talk to us about your ideas and what we can do to help.
Note on your calendar that we will hold this third annual luncheon to Honor Women Marines from 29 Palms on Saturday, April 21st at the I W Club, Indian Wells.  The guest of honor and speaker will be SgtMaj Jennifer Simmons, 1st Radio Battalion, Camp Pendleton.  Joey English, Voice of the Desert, will emcee the luncheon.   Invitations will be going out in early March.
We will need raffle prizes for this luncheon.  Bob Shepard has donated a KVAR KEC Energy Saver System that can reduce your electric bill by 25%. and Buddy Sklar a round of golf at Plantation Golf Club.  Please let us know what you can donate so we can credit the donor with advance media publicity and in the luncheon program.  Each raffle prize should have a minimum value of $100.00. Please let us know what you can donate.
This month we will have Col Dick Partee, USMCR (Ret.) take over the helm as the Chapter President.  Dick has served on the executive board as treasurer and vice president over as the past 5 years. Quint Villanueva will continue to serve the Chapter for a one year term as Vice President.  I will continue as Sec / Treasurer.  Carl Brooks, will serve a one year term and Harry Covert and Bob Shepard were elected to the board for a two year term.
We had Jim Dowler talk to us at the November meeting about their new facility at the Palm Springs Airport.  It is now open 24 hours a day / 7days a week and four of five times larger than their old space at the airport.  They were asking for our help since they now need 3 - 5 volunteers for the six 4 hour shifts daily.
Veteran Marines are a natural fit to host these young Marines traveling through Palm Springs Airport.
Most impressive is what they do for the Marines and other military travelers. They had 40 sleep over on a recent Sunday night.  These were Marines flying in at night either heading to 29 Palms or heading to another duty station.  Each Marine is greeted and signed in.  They have a dining area where the Marine can get something to eat…..micro wave meals or chips, soft drinks, water, etc at no cost to them.  They even order fresh pizzas when they have a bunch of hungry Marines.
There are TV’s, lounge chairs, telephones, computers, Wi Fi available, restrooms, a shower, pool table to make it well equipped. They have towels, shaving gear, etc.  There is even a plan to have a basket ball court available.
We are hoping that there are more Chapter members who can dedicate three four hour shifts a month.  That is all that they are asking for to keep this new USO running 24 hours a day. If you want to volunteer and help, go to their website:   www.palmspringsuso.com and let them know you want to help.
Marines help Marines.
On February 1st, during the 71st Anniversary Reunion a Iraq / Afghanistan Memorial Wall, with 1100 names of Marines and Sailors killed in these wars, was dedicated at Camp Pendleton.  If you visit this base you should visit this memorial. It is located at the main parade field at Mainside.
Last year we donated $1500 to the Marine JROTC program.  We admire and respect the fine job that LtCol Carl Lewke has done to make their program a Honor Program nationally.  Carl informed me at a recent drill competition, among other Coachella Valley JROTC programs, that our donation will enable the cadets to charter a bus and go to El Centro to see the Blue Angels perform on March 10th.



Jim Sullivan,  Editor

Officers & Directors:

Richard Partee, President   Quint Villanueva, VP   Jim Sullivan, Sec/Treas Carl Brooks, Director   Harry Covert, Director      Bob Shepard, Director