MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Single Marines donning flip flops, tanning lotion and swim wear attended Fun in the Sun, a Marine Corps Community Services event hosted at Onslow Beach aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Saturday.
Free burgers, snacks and beverages were available to any single Marines attending the event.
The event schedule included a horseshoe tournament, giant Jenga, musical chairs, a free throw shootout, four-man volleyball, three-on-three basketball, ultimate frisbee, rock climbing and the main attraction - the Burger Battle.
“We put these events together for the (single) Marines,” said Chris Usry, Onslow Beach manager. “Even if it’s just a few people who get something out of it, we made their day better.”
Earlier this summer, each recreation center held their own burger battles. Marines competed to make the best burgers, with the winner going on to compete at Fun in the Sun.
MCCS provided the meat and cooking utensils and Marines provided their own special ingredients and buns.
Each competitor was graded on aroma, presentation, taste and creativity.
Competing in the battle were Pfc. Terry Sansky, with the Student Administration Company, Headquarters and Support Battalion, School of Infantry East, who took second place at the Camp Geiger recreation center competition, against Lance Cpl. Ryley Poole, with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division and his partner Cpl. Kevin Roudin, with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.
Sansky came prepared with his own fresh vegetables, secret ingredients and sesame seed buns. Poole and Roudin, on the other hand, decided to join the competition the day of and had to work with what was provided.
Sansky infused his burgers with garlic, an array of other spices and a surprise center of gooey cheddar cheese, cooking his burgers to perfection.
With little to no cooking experience, Poole and Roudin had some help from the audience. Their burgers were tender and moist, but tasted very similar to their competitor’s.
When it came time for the panel of judges to make the call, the two teams were neck and neck, but Sansky ended up prevailing.
Poole and Roudin were awarded the People’s Choice Award.
“(Sansky’s burger) was very unique – I’ve never had one like it,” said Sam O’Leary, Outdoor Recreation branch manager, Semper Fit Division, MCCS and a judge for the competition. “The other burger was your classic, all-American backyard burger.”
Taking the title by one point, Sansky was awarded a $200 Marine Corps Exchange gift card and the opportunity to compete in the base-wide competition, open to the public, July 9.
“It looked great,” said Sansky. “They were honestly the best ones I’ve ever made. My recipe has done me good twice so far, so we’ll see what changes I can make to make it better for next time.”