The Crowd: Super Bowl party in Newport Beach scores big with its honored guests

Event host Gary Crisp with son Carter Crisp and Vietnam veteran Manny Montanez.
Event host Gary Crisp, chief executive officer of Crisp Imaging of Costa Mesa, center, with son Carter Crisp, the company’s vice president of marketing, and U.S. Army Combat Wounded Vietnam Veteran Manny Montanez pause to take in the scope of the party they planned for 500 Marines and veterans. It was the 13th time they put on the event.
(Barbara McMurray)

Super Bowl LVIII was a spectacular event in Newport, thanks to a special celebration created for local service men and women.

Lead sponsors Gary, Julie and Carter Crisp of Crisp Imaging joined with the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation as title sponsors of the 13th incredible Super Bowl LVIII party for 300 Camp Pendleton active-duty Marines and more than 200 veterans from American Legion Newport Harbor Post 291.

The Super Bowl Sunday all-day festival began with a morning arrival as service members arriving via bus were greeted by Rams cheerleaders.


“When they first come off the buses, the Marines aren’t quite sure what to expect,” said Gary Crisp, chief executive of Crisp Imaging and the event’s organizer for 13 years. “Then you watch it dawn on them that this party, this perfect day we’ve created, is all for them — it’s a delight to see. They risk their lives for us, I feel it’s appropriate to tell them how much their service to our country means to us.”

Then, a WWE Wrestling exhibition featuring Lucha Libre preceded a lunch with all culinary options unleashed.

Two young Camp Pendleton Marines listen in rapt attention to 97-year-old Major Billy C. Hall.
Two young Camp Pendleton Marines listen in rapt attention to Major Billy C. Hall, a 97-year-old retired U.S. Marine Corps and Army veteran. In August 1941 at age 15, Hall enlisted in the Marine Corps, four months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a Marine and Army officer, Hall has seen combat in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars.
(Barbara McMurray)

In advance of the 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, where the San Francisco 49ers were to meet the Kansas City Chiefs, an afternoon of nonstop entertainment ensued. Performances from Little Kahuna, the USC Marching Band, Rapper Obie Trice and Rapper Kurupt kept the energy at full throttle.

Guests participated in raffles and cash giveaways; big winners took home big-screen TV sets. If that was not enough, limo rides took soldiers to visit the Newport Wedge.

Lear Boats were commissioned to shuttle the military guests around the Newport Bay along with a luxury Hatteras 50-foot yacht cruising the harbor with Camp Pendleton’s finest on board. Cpl. Shaedon Salmon commented, “This is a fantastic party to be invited to. It’s a beautiful day, we’re sitting here by the water with great food, great people, music, getting ready for the game. I am honored to be here.”

Throughout the afternoon the massive entertainment options were paired with offering both the active and retired service member pampered personal services such as haircuts, cigars and therapeutic messages, all enjoyed while the food and libations never ceased to surprise.

Let’s not forget the Polynesian Fire Dancers and the Vegas showgirls that were featured during game breaks and after the overtime touchdown that won the game for the Chiefs.

Big-screen TVs provided an up-close experience for the game, set up all over the American Legion Post for the military crowd also participating in halftime festivities as Usher wowed the stadium and TV audience. A prime rib dinner was served during the halftime show.

The American Legion Post 291 dining hall was at capacity for a Super Bowl party for Marines and veterans.
The dining hall at American Legion Post 291 was at capacity for Sunday’s Super Bowl party for Marines and veterans, hosted by Gary Crisp and his company, Crisp Imaging of Costa Mesa.
(Barbara McMurray)

Then, after the game, American Idol star Perry O’Neal performed on stage with the Don Ross Band.

Making it all possible joining the major sponsors were donors including Monster Energy, Coca-Cola, Valley Family Trust, 2003 Eagle Foundation, BMO, Architects Orange, Balboa Bay Resort, Burnham USA Equities, Inc., Godes & Preis LLP, Kyocera Document Solutions, Ventura Foods, Audo Images, Bowermaster & Associates Insurance Brokers, Challenge Sales, Inc., Daum Commercial Real Estate, DeLillo Chevrolet, LPA Design Studios, Knock Family Foundation, Joe Lozowski, Lear Boats, Bill Milligan, R.D. Olson Construction, Santa Margarita Catholic High School, University of Southern California and Zuvich Corporate Sponsors, Inc.

Manny Montanez gives a TV interview.
Manny Montanez, U.S. Army Combat Wounded Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, gives a TV interview. He is one of the annual party’s organizers.
(Barbara McMurray)

The event benefited the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group, whose mission is to provide support and outreach to the 5th MAR Marines and Sailors deployed from and stationed at Camp Pendleton and to their families.