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Another Successful Fun-Filled Family Day

By Shannon Baker
July 2008

Well in advance of the Softball Tournament, fans in red came out to show their support for the OD/NTP Toxic Red Tides.
Well in advance of the Softball Tournament, fans in red came out to show their support for the OD/NTP Toxic Red Tides. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Family Day organizer Dona McNeil apparently had just as much fun at the event as she did planning it.
Family Day organizer Dona McNeil apparently had just as much fun at the event as she did planning it. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Julius Thigpen, Ph.D., enjoyed learning about North Carolina's wineries during the travel fair.
Julius Thigpen, Ph.D., enjoyed learning about North Carolina's wineries during the travel fair. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Winning the cake walk was definitely something that excited Heather Olden.
Winning the cake walk was definitely something that excited Heather Olden. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Family Day wouldn't be the same without the good natured banter, oldies but goodies, and beach music provided by the DJ.
Family Day wouldn't be the same without the good natured banter, oldies but goodies, and beach music provided by the DJ. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
These girls found something to smile about as they doubled up on a tricycle.
These girls found something to smile about as they doubled up on a tricycle. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Sounds of laughter, popular music from local DJ's and smells of summer grilling on the patio of the NIEHS Rall Building were not the only things attracting employees and their families to come out for the 3rd Annual Family Day Celebration. However, they were enough to transform the auditorium, patio, cafeteria and lakefront from scientific business as usual into a carnival-like playground for kids of every age. The event, organized by Dona McNeil and the Work Life Committee, was held on June 3.

The "Visit North Carolina" travel booths and arts and crafts table were a great start for the program. The 24 booths showcased some of North Carolina's most popular resorts, wineries, tourist attractions and recreational activities. Several vendors promoted their businesses, while children flocked to the arts and crafts table to take part in "a day at the beach" themed crafts. Sand buckets and metallic rimmed sunglasses were everywhere as children made sunvisors and played with animal-shaped balloons.

Outside on the patio, fellow co-workers participated in ice cooler relay races, water glove tosses, a cake walk and other games. NIEHS Acting Director Sam Wilson, M.D., welcomed everyone and encouraged participation in the events. He also recognized the planning committee and volunteers responsible for the day's events, as well as thanked everyone for coming out for Family Day.

The cake walk attracted over 20 participants with half of them walking away winners. Winners included Office of the Director Chief of Staff Ebony Bookman, Ph.D., and DIR Special Volunteer Heather Olden who took home pound, lemon and chocolate cakes as prizes. The Wii games in the lobby, as well as Bingo, were also popular attractions as people rushed inside to escape the heat of the day.

The cafeteria offered a discounted menu featuring hot dogs, hamburgers and subs to replenish those getting ready to put their game faces on in the Annual Family Day Softball Tournament. Family Day was a fun-filled event and a good time was had by those who attended. Remembering the atmosphere of laughter and frolic, McNeil commented, "We saw lots of smiles and heard numerous comments about what a great time people had."

(Shannon Baker is a rising senior at Peace College in Raleigh who spent a three-week internship in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison. She is currently working part time in the NIEHS Office of the Director.)

NIEHS Acting Director Sam Wilson M.D., took a few minutes off from the serious business of running the Institute to watch the festivities.
NIEHS Acting Director Sam Wilson M.D., took a few minutes off from the serious business of running the Institute to watch the festivities. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Family Day is an opportunity for all ages to come out and enjoy a summer-like afternoon.
Family Day is an opportunity for all ages to come out and enjoy a summer-like afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Dressed in blue to show her support for the OM Blazin' Bullets, Cynthia Radford enjoyed being a spectator at the cake walk.
Dressed in blue to show her support for the OM Blazin' Bullets, Cynthia Radford enjoyed being a spectator at the cake walk. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Dick Sloane tried to turn the tables on photographer Steve McCaw, but was caught in the act.
Dick Sloane tried to turn the tables on photographer Steve McCaw, but was caught in the act. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)


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