Employees kickoff the holiday season with Tree Lighting ceremony, holiday music, talent show

By Bonnie Koenig DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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Employees filled the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center Dec. 14 during the annual Tree Lighting ceremony on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, kicking off the holiday season with a musical performance by Bensley Elementary School’s 5th Grade Choir, the Holiday Talent Competition, and a wreath competition.

Bensley Elementary School Principal Bessie Cooper spoke to the attendees and said she thought of two words to describe their feelings about DSCR, appreciation and thank you. She also thanked the Bensley teachers and the students not only for their efforts in the holiday performance but also for their academic achievements so far this year. “Bensley is celebrating receiving the 2016 National Academic Award and this is the second time in 14 years that they have received this prestigious academic award,” said Cooper.

Cooper thanked the DSCR employees for what they do to help Bensley throughout the year.

Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Allan Day thanked employees for adopting 113 angels this year from four schools, which included Bensley, Bellwood and G.H. Reid Elementary Schools, and Meadowbrook High School. He welcomed and thanked Cooper, the students, Victoria Shelton, the school’s music teacher, and the rest of the staff for coming to DSCR.

Day said just by having the children on DSCR made the gathering very special. He told the children a few holiday jokes, adding laughter to the celebration.

He asked those in attendance to keep the deployed Aviation employees in your thoughts and prayers this season as well as the past and present civilian, military, men and women who serve now and have served our nation in the past, as we recently celebrated National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7.

Day thanked the workforce for their 2016 accomplishments in supporting the warfighter and for their contributions during the ongoing Combined Federal Campaign.  As of December 14, $134,214.83 has been raised.

Following Day’s remarks, Bensley’s fifth grade choir, led by Shelton, entertained employees with several holiday songs to include yearly favorites “Hot Chocolate,” “Socks," and “The Best Gift of All.” After the last song, Santa Claus and Sparky the fire dog greeted the children and gave out candy canes.

Following the Tree Lighting ceremony, employees received bonus entertainment with the return of the DLA Aviation Holiday Talent Competition which included five acts, as well as an entertaining adaptation performance based on the Mr. Scrooge character from Charles Dickens “The Christmas Carole.” performed by MCs and Employee Working Group members John Johnson and Nicole Byrd.

The first place Bellwood Holiday Spirit Award went to Supplier Operations Original Equipment Manufacturer Directorate’s Gregory McDoe, for singing “This Christmas,” by the Temptations, along with backup singers Angelia Booker, Nakeesha Palmore Mitchell, Shyra Cullins, Shanjaril Black and John Davis.

The Lame Duck Award went to Rick Baker, Amanda Parker and Steve Minus, from the Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate, for their comedic pantomime act “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas.”

The DLA Aviation Family Member Award was presented to Kaelynn Mullen who played a musical number titled, “Shepherds Cradle,” a German lullaby, on the harp. Kaelynn is the daughter of Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate employees, Keith and Kristin Mullen.

Other participants who received standing ovations were Supplier Operations OEM Directorate’s Matthew Reed who sang “Let it Snow,” and Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate’s Lewis Stockdale who sang “American Soldier.”

Joining the commander as judges for the competition were former Hall of Fame recipient Brenda Longest, and representing the Bellwood Women’s Club, Pat Ashlaw.

At the conclusion of the talent show, DLA Aviation Planning Directorate was announced as the winner of the wreath competition and the total amount raised for the CFC general fund was $132.32, by all three competitors.