The block party was held to thank the Marines and sailors of MCRD Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort for their participation in the Semper Fit Summer Program.
“We really wanted to go out with a bang and show our appreciation for the Marines,” said Brent Westerfield a Single Marine Program Coordinator for the Tri-command. “We were able to get a 300-foot zip line and a stationary bungee as well as free food and beverages.”
The block party was held to mark the end of the Semper Fit Summer challenge. Throughout the summer months both individual Marines and entire units participated in fitness activities to earn points in the challenge.
“We had nearly 5,000 Marines participate in different events throughout the summer,” said Kathy Williams, the Health Promotion Coordinator for the Semper Fit program. “We were following the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ directive while also helping Marines have fun.”
Halfway through the block party awards were given to the winners of the Semper Fit Summer Challenge from both Parris Island as well as MCAS Beaufort. The top units or squadrons won money for their Marine Corps Birthday Ball. Marine Wing Support Detachment 31 won the top prize for MCAS Beaufort, while The 6th Marine Corps Recruiting District took home the gold for MCRD Parris Island.
“This was the first time the 6th Marine Corps Recruiting District has participated in any part of the summer challenge,” said Williams. “They didn’t register until the summer challenge was already halfway over and still came in first.”
The block party served as more than just an event to grab some free food. The party served as the catalyst for Marines and their coworkers to bond after a long summers work while still fostering unit cohesion and bringing them closer as entire unit.
“Our unit has been very active in all parts of the summer challenge,” Lance Cpl. Brett Merrall, a cryogenic technician with Marine Air Logistic Squadron 31. “I think all of the events we took part in over the summer has really brought us together as a whole.”
To close out the Semper Fit Summer Challenge, a Summer Luau is scheduled to be held September 5 at the MCRD Parris Island pool to recognize the winners.
“This program has come a long way from its roots,” said Westerfield. “None of this would have been possible without the support of our Marines and sailors as well as the long hours our volunteers have put in.”
Story by Lance Cpl. Terry Haynes