PolicyStat’s 6th Annual Flag Day Cookout
Bernard J Cigrand, young schoolteacher of a small single room high school, founded the concept of Flag Day in the United States originally in 1885 in Waubeka, Wisconsin. He placed a small flag on his desk and had his students write essays about its meaning and significance, and after that he constantly pushed to have it recognized as a national holiday. The flag originally had 13 stripes of alternating red and white with 13 white stars on a blue background representing a new constellation and the 13 colonies that made up the United States. Despite his efforts it was not until June 14, 1916 that Woodrow Wilson officially made it a holiday in the eyes of the country, but even then it was not recognized fully as a national holiday until 1949, when it was declared as so by Congress.
Sunday, June 14th, 2015 was the 99th Annual Flag Day that has been celebrated since it’s founding, and most wouldn’t think twice about it, but there are even some who do not know that this day exists or when it occurs. This is not the case at PolicyStat, where we take all national holidays very seriously, giving them all an equal status. Steve Ehrlich, PolicyStat’s President, believes in celebrating all of the little things in life, and here at work as well, including smaller holidays such as Flag Day. In this way it gives us a chance to learn more about the great country we live in, to take a break from the workday, and to enjoy the amazing weather that the summer months of Indiana usually has to offer. Yesterday was no exception to any of these.
What was most likely a typical and monotonously boring Monday for most companies was a fun filled day of learning, camaraderie, and good food for us here with PolicyStat! We spent a couple hours out on the back patio area of our building grilling out, learning about Flag Day, and competing in some friendly common yard games including: Bocce Ball, Corn Hole, and even Carpet Ball.
As usual Steve kicked off the event by talking about Flag Day, why it’s important in general and specifically to PolicyStat, and most importantly why we were having the event. Then he handed it off to Phil Havlik who schooled us all on the facts and background of the founding of Flag Day, and the importance of it as well. This was a great start to the event, which allowed us all to learn about the “2nd Tier” national holiday that we were just about to start celebrating with food, games, and friends.
Then Mark Boxberger, PolicyStat’s very own grill master, completed the grilling of hamburgers, brats, and hotdogs for all to enjoy only to be complimented by various assortments of chips, cookies, drinks and of course potato salads. The food table immediately turned into quite the crowded buffet line, as all were eager to dive into the copious amount of food that awaited them. As everyone got their helping of food, everyone indulged in friendly conversations, jokes, and storytelling.
Soon after that the friendly competition started: we created a mini bracket of teams for Corn Hole, tested individuals arms on the Bocce Ball court to see who could land it closest to the pallino or jack, and even tested the aim of those who dared to venture over to the Carpet Ball table! After an hour or so of good competition we had two ladies that took home 1st and 2nd prizes for Bocce Ball being the closest total distance from the jack. Peggi Gray took home 1st place with a mere 44-inch distance from it and Lindsay Banning took the 2nd place prize with a 72-inch total distance.
After a fun filled day of being out in the great weather, eating our fill, competing against one another in awesome yard games, and chatting with our fellow PolicyStat employees Steve wrapped up the event with some great inspirational words about the day and even more to help us get back to our productive ways for the remainder of the day! Flag Day is normally not an often-celebrated holiday, but the great atmosphere here allows us to take any opportunity to relax, enjoy the weather, and celebrate part of America’s heritage all in one event without missing a beat on our work. Steve implements this fun filled, free flowing atmosphere which allows these sort of celebratory breaks in the work week because he knows all of us are dedicated to the betterment of PolicyStat, and that we will work extremely hard the remainder of the time! Great leadership is always reflected in those who work for them, and the combination of those leaders with employees they hired is why PolicyStat is one of the Top 100 Best Places to Work in Indiana two years running.