BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
Federal employees and contractors broke out the sunscreen to take part in an “All-American Day” parking lot picnic at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in Battle Creek, Michigan, July 19.
The sunny-but-breezy two-hour event marked the seventh year that Defense Logistics Agency personnel and other building tenants gobbled classic American foods together in an annual observance of the nation’s diversity coordinated by DLA’s local Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity office.
This year’s iteration featured the requisite cornhole station and a long line of hungry patriots ready to feast on entrees and desserts provided by local caterers White Star Coney and Specialty Cheesecake. When forced to choose between a classic coney dog, chili cheese dog, Italian sausage and Polish sausage, the truly All-American thing to do is just eat them all.
The event began in 2015, when then-Special Emphasis Program Manager Al Hight noticed that the organization regularly populated its event calendar with observances recognizing a wide variety of groups, but offered nothing that celebrated the spirit and pride of the American population in general.
“I had been thinking about it for many years,” said Hight, who served as Equal Employment Opportunity Manager for the Michigan National Guard prior to joining DLA Disposition Services. “Look at the diversity we have in the U.S. We’ve got people from everywhere. So what can we do to recognize everyone?”
From the very first pie tasting competition to the smorgasbord of regional hot dog styles sampled by employees over the years, the response has been very enthusiastic, Hight said.
“People love it,” he said, citing positive feedback his office had received for All-American Day events like the classic car show coordinated with the help of local Morale, Welfare and Recreation office personnel. “Directors, managers, general employees – they look forward to it.”
A message from our workforce.