News: Single Marine Program visits 12th annual Sand Jam
Story by Lance Cpl. Elyssa Quesada
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune's Single Marine Program presented the 12th Annual Sand Jam 2009, which was free and open to the public at Onslow Beach aboard Camp Lejeune, Aug. 6.
"The program has been around since the 1980s," said Susan Goodrich, Camp Lejeune SMP branch head. "It's a chance for Marines and their families to come out for different reasons, such as the weather, music or to socialize."
There was live music, food and sports events to sign up for alcoholic beverages for those who brought identification. There was also transportation available after the event to go back to the barracks, ensuring Marines made it home safe.
"Anytime we can make a difference with the quality of life issues with the single Marines, it's very rewarding," Goodrich said. "By listening to their concerns and passing them on to the senior leadership, we can make a difference and get things resolved."
Beach activities during the Sand Jam included Miller Lite Volleyball, Sanders Ford F-150 Tug-Of-War, and Budweiser Flex-On-The-Beach.
Men and women also got the chance to compete during the Flex-On-The-Beach contest. The top male and female contestant, whose bodies illustrated the best build, won the crowns of king and queen of the beach.
"This is the first SMP event I've been on," said Pvt. Curtis Jones, an administration clerk with Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Support Battalion. "I had fun in a different place and met new people."
Patrons were also able to sample the music of featured Nashville, Tenn., country recording artist, Veronica Ballestrini. The Islanders' Steel Drum Band and Painted Man, a mix of funk and dance music, also took the stage during the event.
"I would definitely go back to the Sand Jam," Jones said. "I'd try to spread the word to get more Marines and sailors out with the SMP."
For more information on SMP events, contact Sara Harold, the Air Station SMP assistant coordinator, at 228-7405 or Brett Westerfield, Tri-Command Communities SMP coordinator, at 228-1541. Or visit the SMP Web site at www.mccssc.com/smp.