ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - On the eve of Veterans Day, tens of thousands of U.S. Marines across the world are celebrating the Corps' 243rd birthday Saturday evening.

A group of Marines from in and around the Charlottesville community celebrated in Keswick Saturday, November 10. The troops enjoyed a traditional birthday cake, and had a chance to catch up with old friends.

“The purpose of it is for all Marines to come together and celebrate our Corps and our history and our traditions and what we've accomplished, and to get together as friends,” said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel James O’Kelley.

Saturday’s event kicked off the group's annual Toys for Tots campaign. Community members were encouraged to bring new toys to the event, which will then be donated to children in need.

Attendees also took part in a silent auction, where proceeds will go toward helping struggling Marines in the community.

Marines will continue celebrations Sunday by honoring all military veterans.

American Legion Post 74 will be hosting its ceremony at the Albemarle County Office building at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 11.