The Wine Country Marines is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation recognized under Internal Revenue Code: Section 501 C (3). Contributions to the Wine Country Marines are recognized under section 170 of the code and are tax deductible within the United States of America. Our Federal Tax number is: 38-3737505.
As a charitable organization, we are primarily dedicated to supporting the following three worthy non-profit causes related to the U.S. Marine Corps:
1) We help provide much needed financial assistance to the families of Marines (and other service members attached to Marine units), who have been wounded or injured in combat and training. We do this via the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund which provides grants to help defray the expenses incurred during hospitalization, rehabilitation and recovery.
2) We help eligible boys and girls (ages 14-17) attend the youth-citizen development program Devil Pups, Inc.
3) We support the Toys For Tots Foundation (the official charity of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve) which collects toys for kids who are in need during the Christmas holiday season.
What we do.We are a patriotic organization of Marines and friends of the Corps dedicated to perpetuating both the ethos and esprit de corps of the U.S. Marine Corps, and to carry on charitable and educational activities associated with this goal as allowed by law. Located north of the Golden Gate within the California Wine Country, we have proudly sponsored the annual "Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball" in the town of Sonoma during the month of November since 1985. Though we are based in the Wine Country of California, the reach of our benevolence is statewide and beyond.
Read about our Board of Directors.
Our Beginning.Under the guidance and leadership of Colonel Warren Jaycox, USMCR (Retired), several high profile Marine Corps veterans and their spouses living in the Sonoma Valley of California founded the Association of Sonoma Marines in 1984. One of the co-founders was the late Bruno Benziger, the patriarch of the Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen who was a proud Marine and a veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima. In November 1985, the organization sponsored the first Marine Corps Birthday Ball to be held in the town of Sonoma. Since then, it has been an annual event that has gradually grown in both size and sophistication every year. In 2005, it was renamed the "Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball" to differentiate the event from the Birthday Ball held at the Marines' Memorial Club & Hotel in San Francisco. In 2006, the name of the sponsoring organization was also changed to the "Wine Country Marines." On June 21, 2006, the Wine Country Marines officially became a 501 C (3) California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation. In 2007, the Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball became a major fundraiser for the Semper Fi Fund.
Wine Country Marines - a proud sponsor of young boys and girls into the Devil Pups Prgram.
What and Who are Devil Pups?
Devil Pups is an non-profit organization designed to help boys and girls from all backgrounds gain self-confidence and learn to take responsibility for their actions. Devil Pups is not a Marine Corps sponsored program. The program is not a “mini boot camp” para-military or recruiting organization for the Marine Corps. Encampment Commanders are employees of Devil Pups, Inc.
At a camp comprising 10 days of challenge, teamwork, discipline and education, boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 17 learn cooperation and respect for the dignity of others, regardless of race, creed, color or national origin.
Activities during the 10 day program include conditioning exercises, first aid instruction, leadership classes, organized recreation, a bivouac (camping out) and swimming. About 85 percent of non-swimmers learn to swim. Also, the Pups attend educational lectures on the importance of self-confidence, teamwork, drug and alcohol abuse and the importance of goals in life.
A Devil Pup gains insight into the principles on which the United States was founded, thus enhancing pride in his or her country and its flag. A Devil Pup learns how to be a better citizen and at the same time gains a greater measure of his or her own self-worth.
The Devil Pups Program is a demanding physical and academic good citizenship program for young teenagers. It is important to mention that the program is more mental than physical; reflecting the “whole person” concept. The program foundations are intellectual, spiritual, social and physical.
toys for tots
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.
The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.
The principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located. In communities without a Reserve Unit, the campaign can be conducted by a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally veteran Marines, authorized by Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign. Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations.