Employees kickoff the holiday season with Tree Lighting ceremony and holiday music

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

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Employees filled the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center Dec. 10 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 and a Holiday Talent Competition.

Bensley Elementary School Principal Bessie Cooper told employees she has been coming to the center with the choir for 16 years, but employees’ support extends back into the early 1980s.

“I thank all the DSCR employees for their investment and support to Bensley school children,” she said.  “I want to share some statistics with you all.  This year Bensley’s 3rd graders had the highest scores in math in the county and were at the top in reading out of 38 elementary schools.”

Cooper thanked employees for what they do to help the students, from tutoring to working in the school’s computer labs, and for supporting the angel tree.

Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Allan Day thanked employees for adopting 112 angels this year from four schools, which include Bensley, Bellwood and G.H. Reid Elementary Schools, and Meadowbrook High School.

Day also thanked employees for their contributions during the ongoing Combined Federal Campaign.

“As of the beginning of December, we have raised over $120,000 and you still have time to give as the campaign has been extended until the end of the month,” he said.  Day pointed out displayed wreaths for the Command Support Directorate’s annual Wreath Competition, which they sponsor as a CFC fund raiser.

This year there were four entries: Command Support Directorate, DLA Installation Support at Richmond, DLA Aviation Strategic Acquisition Programs and DLA Aviation Planning directorates.

Day recognized current and returning DLA Aviation Support Team members for their deployed service. He recognized the anniversary of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Dec. 7 and asked employees to keep past and current service members in mind.

“We recognize Dec. 7 as a ‘Day of Remembrance,’ a ‘Day of Loss of Life,’ and a ‘Day of Change in War,’” he said.  “Daily, we make sure our warfighters have what they need to protect our freedoms. Thank you for what you do.”

Day also did a quick performance review for the last fiscal year, congratulating employees on increasing material availability while decreasing backorders.  “We are working faster and smarter and according to last year’s culture survey, you like what you do,” he said recognizing that DLA Aviation scored the highest overall in the agency on the survey.  “Thank you for your tremendous efforts this past year.”

Following Day’s remarks, Bensley’s 5th Grade Choir entertained employees with several holiday songs to include a yearly favorite “Hot Chocolate” and “The Best Gift of All.”

Following the Tree Lighting ceremony, employees received some bonus entertainment with the return of the DLA Aviation Holiday Talent Competition.

The talent competition, hosted by the Employee Working Group, featured six acts.  First place and the Holiday Spirit Award went to Walter Street, a DLA Aviation contractor senior analyst, for his romantic rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”  The Lame Duck Award went to Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate for their comedy/singing act “I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas.”

At the conclusion of the talent show, the winner of the wreath competition, DLA Aviation Planning Directorate, was announced along with the total amount raised, $514, by all four competitors.