Hello Marines, families, and friends in Northwest Indiana! I am proud to report that we had a great time celebrating our 234th Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Schererville, Indiana on the 14th of November.
Our guest speaker this year was GYSGT Nick Popaditch, who you may know as "The Cigar Marine." Nick gave a very motivating presentation dealing with his career as a United States Marine, his injuries that forced his medical retirement, and his life of recovery that followed. Nick joined us with his beautiful wife April, and his unsurprisingly polite son Nick Jr. I came to know Nick after seeing him speak in Hammond, Indiana and cooresponding with he and April in preparation for the ball. In doing so, I read his book, Once A Marine, which chronologicals his experiences. What an honest, very motivating read.
Back to the ball...
This year we were joined by 368 of Northwest Indiana's finest United States Marines, their families, and friends as we celebrated with a great dinner, awesome music by Partytime DJ, dancing, and of course raffles galore! Thanks to the generous contributions of those who attended, we were able to raise close to 10,000 for our Marine Corps Charities that include the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, The Marine Corps Scholarship Fund, and others that support all things Marine.
>Nick Popaditch was so very generous with his time, stopping and sharing his experiences with all who wanted to visit. His humble character was further validated with me after the following happened...Nick, my wife and I were driving to my house for the "after party" when I was thanking him for coming. I asked Nick if he ever had an experience whereby he looked forward to spending time with a person and hoped that they were "the person" that he hoped that they would be. (I have been let down so many times by posers or those who put on airs) He replied that he had. I further said...well, that happened to me tonight...he paused for about 30 seconds and said "wait...are you talking about me?" I said of course! What a great example of a Marine's Marine!