On August 28th, U.S. Water Services Corporation (U.S. Water) Region 3 put on our first annual Employee Appreciation Day luncheon with 30 employees in attendance as well as the FGUA representatives who we work with to operate several water and wastewater plants in the area. We were able to clear out the large covered carport in the backfield of the Lehigh Acres Wastewater Treatment Plant to host the event. A U.S. Water banner was hung as well as a brand-new banner donated by a local print shop Southern Style Graphics and Tees which promoted our 2020 Excavator Rodeo competition and sponsors. Employees gathered to take group pictures in front of the banners. With tables and chairs spread out, fans to keep us all cool, and some casual county music in the background, we enjoyed a relaxing lunch together, with some employees from different departments meeting for the first time and getting to know each other. Lunch was catered by Chick-fil-a, with covid-19 style individually boxed Chick-fil-a sandwiches, sauces, cookies, and chips for each employee to enjoy, graciously donated by Governmental Services Group along with coolers of sodas and waters.
After lunch, the eight contestants for the Excavator Rodeo were walked through the contest objectives, rules, and safety instructions. The Excavator Rodeo consisted of a series of obstacles including picking up a bucket full of water and placing it on top of a pedestal without losing any water, placing a pipe on a chain into the proper canal, and moving a bowling ball through cones and into a bucket. The competition was scored based on who had the most flawless execution in the quickest time to see who would win the title of champion mini excavator operator! All the employees watching the competition cheered on their fellow coworkers and had a few laughs.
Local vendors from the area were able to get involved by sponsoring gift certificates and other goodie bag items for all the employees and rodeo winners. The top winner of the rodeo went home with a giant igloo cooler, champion rodeo tee shirt, belt, koozie, hat, and fire hydrant cookie jar. Second and third place winners also received special 2nd and 3rd place champion shirts. All the winners received a bucket of goodies including their own fire hydrant cookie jar, hats, and sponsor gear. Mader Electric, Ferguson Waterworks, CED, Fortiline Waterworks, Core and Main, and Red’s Ok Auto Repair were all generous sponsors in donating gift cards as well as water bottles, note pads, pens, tee shirts, hats, buckets, cookie jars, and neck gaiters. Additionally, each employee was able to place a ticket into the raffle and everyone left the event as a winner with anywhere between $25-$100 to Publix, Bass Pro Shop, and Visa gift cards!
Overall, the event was a huge success, and everyone enjoyed socializing with their coworkers and having some friendly competition. We are so thankful to have such a motivated team and U.S. Water family. We hope to continue the tradition next year as all the employees are already talking about different obstacle challenges for the 2021 Excavator Rodeo!