The fifth anniversary holiday party at Camp Pendleton for 845 marines, sailors and their families last week proved to be the best ever, according to volunteers from Laguna Beach American Legion Post 222.
Commander Bill Sandlin along with Auxiliary President Diane Connell and Auxiliary member Barbara Rostolder volunteered at the event inside a huge hanger alongside more than 40 others from the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee.
Event coordinator Tina Anderson recruited community supporters as well.
Connell and Rostolder helped Marines decorate 10 Christmas trees that were going to some of the families. Tables were set up and organized with donated gifts. Pizzas were furnished by Papa John’s so the volunteers wouldn’t go hungry.
This group didn’t leave out a thing. Santa arrived in a mini train and the kids got to sit on his lap and recite their wish list. Family portraits were also available. A full turkey dinner was served.
The 2/11 is made up of 500 marines who got back from Afghanistan in May after a seven-month deployment.
Earlier, Laguna’s auxiliary members donated personal items to 80 nursing home patients at Long Beach Veterans Hospital, assisted with a the hospital’s Christmas party for veterans and their children and helped an army private with an airline ticket to fly home to Texas.