Good food and cheer at staff holiday luncheon

by Cole Dittmer
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Staff photo by Allison Potter 

The Grinch, Todd Childers, leads the Wrightsville Beach Planning and Inspections and General Administration departments in a rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” at a holiday luncheon for town employees on Thursday, Dec. 13 at the Holiday Inn Resort.

The town of Wrightsville Beach staff rang in the holiday season at its annual holiday luncheon at the Holiday Inn Resort on Thursday, Dec. 13. 

After the staff feasted on the hearty lunch of roasted chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans and cheesecake, each department got the chance to work off their meals by singing Christmas songs in the town’s holiday sing-off. To get the crowd in the musical mood, Santa Claus and one of his elves burst into the room to the pop tune “Gangnam Style” to toss out T-shirts and candy.

The guest conductor — the Grinch himself — provided musical direction for each department’s song. 

The planning, parks and general administration departments combined for the largest ensemble to lead off the competition with a rendition of “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.” The Wrightsville Beach Fire Department followed with “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and the at-first reluctant public works department roused the crowd with a spirited “Frosty the Snowman.” However, it was the last act of the afternoon — the Wrightsville Beach Police Department — that won the competition with “Winter Wonderland.” 

After the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen pronounced the police department as the winners, Mayor David Cignotti presented Chief Dan House with the honorary trophy. 

“The singing was a lot of fun, especially since we didn’t have to,” Cignotti said on behalf of the board of aldermen. 

Interim town manager, Tony Wilson, also recognized the town employees who have given extended years of service. Ginger Reid and Buck Squires were acknowledged for 10 years of service to the town. Valarie Blanton, Eric Wilkins and Betty Pearce were recognized for 15 years of service; Sammie Sanders for 20 years of service; and Sterling Powell and Kenny Turner for 25 years of service. Police captain Teresa Fountain, who retired from the department in September, was also recognized for her 30 years of service to the town as a member of the WBPD. 

After the raffle items were given out, Cignotti thanked the staff for its integral service to the town.

“I am truly proud to be working with all of you,” Cignotti said. “I would also like to thank Tony Wilson for stepping up after Mr. Simpson left and Katie [Ryan] for putting this on.” 


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