McNamara HQC Family Day provides music, movies, memories

By Amanda Neumann DLA Public Affairs

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More than 7,500 people filled the McNamara Headquarters Complex grounds to enjoy activities ranging from bingo to basketball June 24 during the 2015 HQC Family Day.

The free event, open to service members, civilians, and their family members and friends, was sponsored by the HQC’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation program office. Held annually, the celebration aimed to bring HQC employees and their families together for fun and camaraderie.

An early morning “fun” run/walk hosted by the HQC Fitness Center started activities for those wishing to beat the afternoon heat. More than 100 participants finished the course and received a T-shirt souvenir. The top male finisher, Alexandro Cano of Defense Logistics Agency Energy, was the first to complete the race with a time of 14 minutes, 13 seconds. Naval Supply Systems Command Energy employee Carina Rankinen was the top female finisher, crossing the line in 17:40.

After a formal kickoff hosted by DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch, the amusement rides, games and entertainment located in and around the building opened for business.

Inside, participants could visit the HQC’s Equal Employment Opportunity exhibits, eat a special menu from the HQC Café or watch movies in the HQC Auditorium. Several artists provided caricatures to adults and children alike, and even Elvis was in the building; an impersonator serenaded people in the HQC atrium.

Outside, the HQC Pond was a hub of activity as children and parents climbed into paddleboats and took off for a spin around the basin. Wen-Tswan Chen’s children, 6-year-old Sarah Nguyen and 5-year-old Max, were excited to catch a glimpse of the pond’s fish, turtles and tadpoles on their ride.

“We’ve attended Family Day at least four times,” said Chen, a DLA Office of Inspector General employee. “They look forward to it every year, and then tomorrow when we drive through, they go, ‘Mommy, where is everything?’ They think this is here every day.”

Over in the bounce houses, the air was filled with the squeals of children and smiles from their parents. Defense Threat Reduction Agency employee Meghean Melendrez brought her 4-year-old daughter, Ava, who she said was eager to get bouncing.

“This is our first time,” she said. “I thought she’d be a good age for it and have fun and want to see where I work.”

In between the movies and amusement rides, children could also play bingo, sing karaoke, attempt the limbo or shoot 3-pointers on the basketball court. For those looking to grab a bite to eat, on-site food vendors offered everything from ice cream and snow cones to chicken sandwiches and alligator bites.

DLA Energy employee Christine Coulter brought her grandson, Tyler, 5, who has attended the event every year since he was one. This year, he tried the rock-climbing wall for the first time and said he liked it so much, he was going for a second climb.

Attending for the third year in a row, Emma Hoffman, 7, came with her younger sister and aunt, DTRA employee Joelle Shoemaker.

“I got on the waterslide, some of the bounce houses, the train, the Ferris wheel and I did the pony rides,” she said. “I really liked that.”

This year’s event, titled “Empowering the Youth of America,” was hosted by DLA, DTRA, the Defense Technical Information Center and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.

More photos from Family Day are available on DLA's Facebook page.