Community helping Marine Corps League continue Havasu holiday tradition

Submitted photo courtesy of Marine Corps League With more than four months to go until the Thanksgiving holiday, the Marine Corps League is trying to get back on its feet in time for its annual Christmas tree fundraiser’s usual start date.

During Lake Havasu City’s first monsoon storm of the season, the trailer and supplies used by the organization for the fundraiser caught fire July 8 after it was struck by lightning. According to the organization’s spokesman, Russell Mascari, the fundraiser is the detachment’s oldest fundraiser that plays a vital role in their ability to raise money for other organizations and individuals throughout the community.

“It was a total loss, there wasn’t anything salvageable from it,” he said.

Since the incident, multiple local organizations and individuals have been paying it forward by donating money and supplies to help the Marine Corps League get back on its feet.

“It was kind of a shock to hear what happened because I get my Christmas tree from them…[and] it’s not something you expect to happen in a town where you don’t get a lot of storms,” said Second Vice-President Jill Richeal of the American Legion Auxiliary. “I’m glad that we can help them…when we needed help, the Marine Corps League helped us.”

Mascari said, along with the American Legion, the Havasu Classics Car Club, Knights of Columbus, Lake Havasu City Military Moms, Veterans United Arizona and Vietnam Veterans of America Mohave Chapter 975 also donated to their cause. The organization also received donations from multiple individual donors, he added.

To date, the Marine Corps League has received approximately $2,500, as well as a trailer, three electric saws, 300 -feet of electric cable and Christmas tree lights for fencing, reported Mascari.

“We praise the community at large for coming to our aid,” he said.

According to Mascari, the organization still needs two double and three single halogen lights for their night customers, night security lighting, a CD player and Christmas music, Christmas tree stands, four electric saws, 700-feet of reinforced garden hose, five rolls of burlap, a flag and pole for each of the five branches of armed forces, an American flag with pole, three brooms, two shovels and three trash cans.

Check donations can be made out to the Marine Corps League at P.O. Box 311, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, 86403. PayPal donations can be made at