This year Production Plant Barstow, Marine Depot Maintenance Command, went above and beyond for one extreme Employee Recognition Day celebration at the Robert A. Sessions Memorial Sportspark, in Barstow, California, Oct. 12.
“We put on a bunch of fundraisers throughout the year, to include meals, competitions, t-shirt sales and even two golf tournaments which had incredible turnouts, earning over $30,000 for the event!” said William Beckley, Trades Division Manager and ERD committee chairman, at PPB on the Yermo Annex aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow. “As the funds started rolling in, we really wanted to make this a day to remember for the employees, their families, and even members of the local community who are truly integral to what we do at Production Plant Barstow.”
Upon arrival, the PPB employees and their families first encountered the annual car show, which included vehicle entries such as the Mad Mouse sand drag racing team to include racecar driver Ron Hess, who is also a Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic at Production Plant Barstow. He was accompanied by one of his Crew Chiefs, his father Gene Hess, who happily greeted visitors and discussed sand drag racing and the purple racecar they decked out for show.
As visitors passed the car show, they were greeted by Robert “Chip” Schwartz, plant manager, Col. Wilfred Rivera, MCLB Albany commander, and Deputy Commander Trent Blalock who gave out tickets and greeted each visitor.
“Overall, we anticipated having over 1,500 participants for the event,” Beckley said. “It’s very exciting and we really want to show them how important they are and that everything they do is really appreciated.”
“I’ve attended most of the ERD’s over my 30+ year career,” Schwartz said, “and this was easily the best. All the hard work put in by the ERD Committee really shone through. Especially gratifying was seeing all the families with their children just enjoying a relaxing day with their friends and co-workers.”
Each of the sports park fields was filled with a variety of forms of entertainment. In one area, firefighters, paramedics and fire prevention personnel greeted visitors, discussed fire safety and gave out gifts to guests. Nearby Marine Corps Police Department conducted an in-depth K9 demonstration for groups of onlookers. The next field over contained huge interactive games and vendors and a plethora of bounce houses. On the far side of the park, fields were dedicated to a softball tournament, which had five teams, and 55 participants.
Central to it all was the center stage, where the band Red Rabbit played a variety of cover songs from the 80s to present, while guests enjoyed pizza, tacos, snow cones, cotton candy, photo booths, and a demonstration booth staffed by personnel from the local Barstow Police Department. Children and adults danced and sang along to familiar tunes, enjoying the camaraderie and celebratory event.