In the late 1970’s UCT’s home office started a contest that some 40 years later has become a favorite tradition. On one day in late October we come to the office dressed up in everything from angels to vampires. One of my most challenging costumes was Princess Leia from Star Wars (have you ever tried to answer a telephone with buns of hair on your ears?) We do this to raise money for our annual Toys for Tots campaign. The employees vote for their favorite costume with spare change.
One year our Claims Department stayed after work and transformed the lower level of the old Park Street building into a circus, complete with a haunted house and a popcorn maker. I think for me what makes this tradition so special isn’t who wins the contest. It is the enthusiasm of my co-workers in participating in this event to raise money for such a good cause.
As soon as October begins, I start using the hundreds of pictures I have accumulated of past contests to send emails to encourage people to start planning those costumes. Whether they are planning on entering as a group or as an individual, the costumes are closely guarded secrets. The excitement builds as they day grows closer.
That morning, I hear that wonderful sound of laughter around every corner. I have been co-coordinator of this contest for years, and I know there are some people I can count on to dress up every year. Then there are the people who surprise me who put aside their natural shyness and put on a costume to help the kids.
So now another contest comes to a close I am once again amazed at the generous giving spirit in these co-workers of mine. We raised money to help some children have a happier holiday. The spirit of giving that is part of the organization of UCT is evident in these people who work at the home office. I feel a sense of pride when I look at their faces….even if they are green, wearing fangs and a fright wig…..