Thousands of employees and guests of all ages participated in the McNamara Headquarters Complex Family Day event June 28. This year’s theme was “Stars, Stripes and Safety.”
The event was organized by HQC Morale, Welfare and Recreation and sponsored by Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Defense Technical Information Center and Defense Contract Audit Agency.
DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch kicked off the festivities at the opening ceremony.
“Besides the fun, there are a lot of safety-related things for the kids to see,” he said. “I thank everyone for coming and encourage everyone to have a great day — and a safe day.”
The annual event promotes workforce resiliency and features games, movies, crafts, rides and other activities for kids and family members. A short list of activities included a fun run/walk, line dance classes, bingo, karaoke, paddle-boat rides, rock-wall climbing and pony rides. MWR brought in 12 caricature artists, who attracted long lines of people waiting to see their likeness. Also popular, especially among the kids, were the temporary-tattoo artists and the photo booth.
“This event improves morale and encourages camaraderie between the different agencies here.” said Gregory Cummings, MWR program manager. “I’ve been involved with organizing Family Day for nine years, and it’s by far the most popular event we do.”
Beverly Williams, MWR organizer, said the number of attendees was up from last year, especially young kids, 14 and under. More than 9,000 wrist bands were given to guests and employees by security guards at the HQC gates.
DTIC employee Vernon DeFreese brought his two grandchildren, 7-year-old Charlie and 3-year-old Evelyn.
“I think it’s a wonderful event,” he said. “It’s a great time to bring the young ones and let them see where I work and to have fun with them. Arts and crafts, caricatures, rides — it’s a great time for the family.”
DLA employee Candace Jones was standing in line for caricature drawings. “I brought six kids today,” she laughed. “Three are mine, but I brought extras. Oh, wait — seven kids. I missed one. They’ve all gotten the tattoos, we did the photo booth, we played basketball and arts and crafts, so it’s a great day to bring family together and celebrate the summer.”
Cummings said the annual event is also a way for HQC leaders to show their appreciation to employees and their family members for their dedication and support for the warfighter.
The MWR Program works to improve the quality of life for the McNamara Headquarters workforce by providing programs and special events that help relieve stress, build strength and resiliency and help employees and their families stay physically, mentally, and financially fit.