Aloha From the BID’s 2013 Team Appreciation Cruise

Right: Operations Director Andrew Lee recognizes team member Andre Butler, along with “Pirate Bill” Rouchell, BID Board Member. Each team member was called forward and received dining tickets to the Union Station food court as a token of appreciation.

With clear blue skies and midday sunshine promising smooth sailing, the Georgetown Waterfront was brimming with activity on Monday afternoon for the BID’s Annual Team Appreciation Outing. Having arrived shortly before the boat’s departure time of 1p.m., Patty, Kelly, Andrew, and I quickly transformed our boat into a “Hawaiian paradise” with tiki table skirts, leis, and hibiscus flowers galore. Minutes later, each guest, including our resident pirate (and Board Member) Bill Rouchell, was greeted with a lei from Hawaiian dancers, our hired entertainers for the event.  As Patty welcomed everyone aboard and gave a run-down of the afternoon’s activities, the boat departed and glided away from the waterfront.

After a lively opening act from the pair of Hawaiian dancers, it was time to dig in to the delicious lunch buffet catered by Main Events. From the large number of people I noticed going back for multiple helpings, I think it’s safe to say that the pulled pork, short ribs, and shrimp cocktail were a hit. Many people chose to take advantage of the beautiful weather by eating outside on the boat’s top deck; eating inside with the air conditioning and Hawaiian music playing in the background wasn’t a bad option either.

patty paulAs everyone finished their last helpings, Patty and Andrew took the microphone to honor the Clean Team Members individually with meal tickets to dine in the food court at Union Station. Even the Clean Team member’s children got a prize and a chance to say how proud they were of their fathers for the work that they do. An “open mic” session followed, which was the part I enjoyed the most. Board Chairman Paul Pascal (left, with Patty) took the stage and commended the Clean Team members for their hard work and dedication. It was really rewarding and uplifting to hear the team members speak about how much Ready, Willing & Working and the BID has helped them change their lives for the better and what a positive influence it continues to be. Hearing individual stories about how working here has helped them put a roof over their heads and put an end to their substance abuse never fails to inspire.

Meanwhile, the caterers were putting out dessert, which consisted of several scrumptious varieties of cookies and cake. As everyone plated up, the Hawaiian dancers took their places at the front of the boat. This time, though, they were not going to perform, they were going to teach. Clean Team members and their sons were called up to the front to learn a “warrior” dance, which Andrew’s son Robert mastered in no time. After putting on green tiki skirts, it was the ladies’ time to shine: Patty, Kelly and Safety Ambassador India Person proved to be natural hula dancers, and we have pictures to prove it (below)!  This was a really fun and festive end to the afternoon, which I think adults and children alike enjoyed!

Thanks to all BID Board members, Clean Team members, family, and friends, who attended. Until next year, aloha!

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Column written by Ellyse Murphy, Capitol Hill BID intern and rising senior at George Washington University