OC couple holds 11th Super Bowl party for 500 active-duty Camp Pendleton Marines, veterans at Legion Hall Post 291

Gary and Julie Crisp, owners of Costa Mesa-based Crisp Imaging, threw their 11th spectacular Super Bowl party for 500 members of the military and other guests at Legion Hall Post 291 in Newport Beach. In addition to 300 active-duty Camp Pendleton Marines bused from Camp Pendleton, the Crisps hosted dozens of veterans of conflicts dating to WWII. It was a day of fun, football and personal connections. Young recruits were excited to chat with veterans of past wars; the elders were equally eager for conversation. 

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Photos by Barbara McMurray

The USC Marching Band amped up the energy shortly after the arrival of four buses filled with Camp Pendleton Marines

“We wanted to give our men and women in uniform a joyous day they would never forget,” said Gary Crisp, CEO of Crisp Imaging, Inc. “It gives Julie and me so much happiness to see everyone laughing, talking, eating, playing games and enjoying the day. It is our humble honor to throw them this event to recognize their service and sacrifice.”

OC couple Crisps

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Julie and Gary Crisp sponsored an unforgettable Super Bowl party

OC couple Marines

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Young Marines from Camp Pendleton enjoyed the Super Bowl party at Legion Hall Post 291

As they watched the Rams best the Bengals on seven jumbo flat-screen TVs, guests were treated to chicken, tacos, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks. They could arm-wrestle, smoke cigars, play video games, ping pong and cornhole and take part in Las Vegas-style games of chance. In addition, the military guests were invited to meet professional athletes and cruise the harbor on electric boats, as well as being pampered with therapeutic massages, chiropractic adjustments and haircuts.

OC couple Chiono

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Super Bowl party sponsor Victor Chiono (right) of Coca-Cola miraculously won an arm-wrestling challenge

The entertainment was nonstop: the USC Marching Band, dancing Raiderettes, gospel, blues, jazz and reggae music, an over-the-top lucha libre Mexican wrestling show, a magician, and, as guests departed with thousands of dollars’ worth of raffle prizes, Polynesian fire dancers performed, twirling flaming batons. 

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A young Marine raffle prize winner beamed when she won a signed football helmet

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WWII Veteran Stanley Behrens, 99, hanging out with models from the casino company that provided Vegas-style games for guests

Event sponsors included the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation, R.D. Olson, Architects Orange, Burnham USA, Coca-Cola, Monster Energy Cares, Godes & Preis LLP, Tangram, Kent Valley, Chris and Monica Furman, 2003 Eagle Foundation, Trevor Terrill, Newport Harbor Post 291, Santa Margarita High School, Honeybaked Ham Co., Lear Boats, Balboa Bay Club, Salt, Schwab Charitable, Paul Folino, Knock Family Foundation, Bowermaster, Bill Milligan, McCarthy, Bank of the West, Hathaway Dinwiddie, Advanced Office, Richard and Bryn Debeikes, MK Electric, VCA Code Group, Daum Commercial Real Estate Group, Challenge Sales, DeLillo Chevrolet, Lawrence and Nancy Sigler, Mark Hulme, Mardek Enterprises, Paul and June Lange, Brian and Tracey Crisp and CBE Solutions. 

This event benefited the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group, whose mission is to provide support and outreach to the 5th Marines and Sailors deployed from and stationed at Camp Pendleton and to their families.