November 1, 2012

Fun runs; not just for Marines

Station civilian employees compete in Halloween 5k

Story by Lance Cpl. Zac Scanlon
Desert Warrior Staff

For the Halloween season, the Civilian Employee Welfare and Recreational Association (CEWRA) put together a spooky event at the Ramada Field at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Oct. 25.

“We hosted a Halloween 5k Fun Run for all civilian employees and military supervisors on base,” said Teresa Contrabasso, the CEWRA Association president and a retired Marine. “This gave them a chance to come and see their fellow employees dress up in costumes, go for a run, have a picnic and play some games.”

CEWRA is a program that promotes recreational events for civilian employees contracted by the military. They hold events throughout the year to get employees together and help build camaraderie between the different civilian sectors.

Civilian employees fit in to the Marine Corps puzzle by ensuring Marines’ day-to-day operations continue fluidly.  They provide vital support in departments across the station to include mission assurance, the flight line, installation and logistics and range control.

“The Marines are the seen force, where the civilians are the unseen force in the air station,” said Contrabasso. “They’re here in the background to help support the Marines.”

Organizing events like this Halloween 5k are critical to those civilian departments because it offers them a chance to build cross-department working relationships.

The 5k event was not limited to civilian employees. Lt. Col. Glen Lindstrom, MCAS Yuma executive officer, was in attendance to extend his thanks and meet new employees working on station.

“This was a good way to show appreciation for all their hard work,” said Lindstrom. “They came out and got a good workout and had a picnic with some friends.”

And just like an early morning formation run, military members volunteered as road guards during the event while civilians and their military supervisors took to the road.

“This shows the military members are there for them, just as much the civilian employees are there for the service members,” said Contrabasso.

After everyone finished the race, the participants sat down and enjoyed a picnic with fellow co-workers.  Once finished with the meal it ended with smiles, full bellies and a sense of knowing that all the civilian employees play a monumental role in keeping the air station running.

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