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Marines, sailors and spouses from the Combat Center, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar joined Professional Golfers’ Association West club members for dinner at the PGA West clubhouse in La Quinta, Calif., Dec. 14, 2013. The dinner is an annual event in which the club members invite service members over for a free dinner and a low-cost, weekend stay at their resort in honor of the Toys for Tots program.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock

Service members gather during Toys for Tots dinner

14 Dec 2013 | Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock

Marines, sailors and spouses from the Combat Center, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar joined Professional Golfers’ Association West club members for dinner at the PGA West clubhouse in La Quinta, Calif., Dec. 14, 2013.

The dinner is an annual event in which the PGA West club members invite service members over for a free dinner and a low-cost, weekend-stay at their resort in honor of the Toys for Tots program.

The Toys for Tots program is designed to help less fortunate children throughout the country experience the joy of Christmas. The program accepts toy donations for up to three months out of the year to be distributed to those who need them during the Christmas season.

To begin the evening, service members and their spouses arrived with gifts to donate for the program and then made their way throughout the dining hall introducing themselves and preparing for the night’s dinner and entertainment.

“I don’t think the club members will ever truly know how much we appreciate being invited to events like these,” said Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Warren, sergeant major, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity. “We don’t do what we do for accolades or to be recognized. We do it because we love America. Events like these though, when we are recognized, make us feel on top of the world.”

The annual event is greatly looked forward to by both Marines and club members as they have the opportunity to show appreciation for one another, according to Todd Keefer, general manager, PGA West.

“Many of our members have served in some form of the military, and we are very much appreciative of all those currently serving,” Keefer said. “This is our way of giving back to our military and also the community through the Toys for Tots Program.”

For the evening’s entertainment, the Palm Desert High School Chamber Singers voiced their best Christmas songs in light of the holiday season.

Anyone interested in donating to the Toys for Tots program can visit their website at www.toysfortots.org.

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