Santa Takes a Break – Pictures and words by UseppaGin – It was the afternoon of Christmas Eve on Useppa, that time when Santa takes a break from delivering gifts around the world, leaves the reindeer on Pine Island, and comes over for a break on Useppa. Fire Chief Maria and Deputy Chris were there with all the island children to say hello. For some it is a tradition remembered when their children rode the fire truck. Now those kids are parents. For Keekee it was her new great-granddaughter’s first meeting with the bearded man. Corinne remained skeptical. For all of us on Useppa, it is a chance for families and friends to come together every year with love and laughter. Thank you, Elves and Santa. Thank you, Chief Maria and Deputy Chris.
Useppa Island Employees Celebrated – Pictures and words by UseppaGin – Useppa’s Employee Picnic is a celebration and a thank you to all the men and women who work so hard taking care of the island we love. It was also a good-bye to Comptroller and new mother Sarah McMillen moving back north to be closer to her family. Her computer and technical skills changed the way business is done on Useppa. Paul Webb-Martin, Head of the Service Department is retiring and will leave in early February moving to Texas and closer to his wife Jane’s family. He started work two weeks before Hurricane Charley devastated the island. His skills and determination, his loyalty and hard work helped us rebuild. CEO Tim Fitzsimmons says we could not have done it as well or as quickly without him. The Employee Christmas Fund given by Useppa Members was distributed. Pins were given to long-time employees. Gar and Sanae Beckstead have pins reading 42 Years. Tim Fitzsimmons’ pin reads 39. Lucky folks with the right numbers, won a chance to take a stocking from the tree holding either a gift card or cash. The menu chosen by a secret vote was a plate filling Mexican Feast. And then, when the party ended, the traditional picture atop the marina. Thank you to all Useppans, the men and women who work here. and the men and women who contributed to the Employee Christmas Fund.
Lunch at the Fire House – Words and pictures by UseppaGin – Fire Chief Maria Silva and Deputy Chief Chris Wilfong hosted Useppa Island Employees for lunch last week. It was a feast, a way of saying thanks for all the work the men and women do to take care of the island. Maria and Chris are Useppa’s new Fire Chiefs and they seemed to enjoy the party as much as their guests. Kudos from Useppa’s Staff. There were only two things missing… a chance to ride the truck and shoot a hose. Maria and Chris promised to put that on the menu next time.