Hospitality is Where it’s At by Douglas Bell

I consider the Hospitality Room to be the key to a successful reunion. It is the focal point of everything the 1st ProvMarine Brigade, Korea 1950, does except the banquet. A volunteer hospitality committee sets up the room and runs it themselves. We cater it ourselves, and buy everything locally. The hospitality room opens at noon the day before the reunion starts.

“Early Birds” do the leg work, purchasing beer, soft drinks, wine, chips and snacks. Then we have an Early Bird pre-reunion reception. On the first reunion day, the hospitality room is used as a registration, reception and lounge area. The first evening we hold a reception with cold cuts and salads purchased and set up by the hospitality committee. It is the event of the evening. The next day we hold a business meeting in the morning where coffee and pastries are served, again catered by the hospitality committee.

During the day the room is the focal point for sea stories and a general gathering place. The second evening, the hotel caters our banquet in another room which the hospitality committee decorates. After the banquet we return again to the hospitality room. Incidentally, we never close the room as long as two people are using it!

The third morning, coffee, pastries and general bull sessions are in the hospitality room while the ladies take off for a mall or outlet. We hold a farewell party the last evening in the hospitality room and order in pizza. We keep cold cuts, salads, beer, wine and soft drinks stocked the entire time.

All hospitality room expenses are paid from part of the registration fee of $35-40 per person. It pays for the hospitality room, banquet, door prizes, everything. It sure works for us.

The Hospitality Committee is given a budget and is reimbursed for all receipts. I pay the banquet cost the morning after the banquet. Our hospitality rooms are usually complimentary. When pizza is delivered, I pay for it. I also make sure all bills are paid before I leave because we want to be welcomed back.

About the author
Douglas L Bell, LtCol USMC retired, enlisted in 1945 and retired February 1972. He served in the Mariannas, Philippines, Korea, Japan Cuba, Okinawa, Vietnam and many stateside locations. Dog Company, 2nd Battalion, Fifth Marines, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade served from the August 2, 1950 landing at the Pusan Perimeter (Korea) and later joined the 1st Marine Division for the landing at Inchon Korea on September 15, 1950.