MAMI-Belleville Hosts 9th Annual Employee Picnic

Belleville, IL

By Will Shaw

Employees and managers from MAMI, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, King’s House and St. Henry’s residence line up for the group picture

Thursday June 13th was the day Oblate employees in the Belleville area look forward to all year, it was the annual employee picnic sponsored by the Missionary Association of Mary immaculate, which now invites employees from three local Oblate ministries. In addition to the Missionary Association, all employees from The Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence, and King’s House Retreat Center are invited for a day of food and games.

Calvin Barton (on R) is all business as he throws the bean bag at his target. Karen Fuehne (On L) watches closely

“Employees love it and get excited about it. In addition to the picnic day, we try and have something special each day, games, or ice cream, so that it’s kind of a “spirit week” for the employees,” said Diann Donjon, Human Resources Manager/Coordinator for MAMI and the Shrine.

Bingo players catch some rays while they watch their cards

Ms. Donjon forms a committee each spring of employees and managers, who plan the activities and the “theme” for the picnic. Since 2019 is the 50th Anniversary of the famous Woodstock Concert, the event was chosen as the picnic’s theme and all employees received a brightly-colored tie-dyed 60’s style t-shirt for the occasion.

The festivities kicked-off at 2:30 on Thursday with Bingo and for the more “athletic,” a “Cornhole” tournament. (For the uninitiated, two-person teams toss bean bags at a hole drilled in a ground-level platform a ’la “Washers” or Horseshoes.) After a tight competition, the team of Calvin Barton and Joe Pytlinski won bragging rights for 2019.

MAMI’s Larry Zipfel (L) catches up with Rich Dahm of King’s House (R) Sherri Paule (Back) clearly approves

About 5 O’clock It was time to eat and that is always a special summer feast featuring Bar-B-Que and Brats provided by MAMI along with the drinks, and a huge variety of side-dishes and desserts brought in by the employees. There was more than enough for all, plus enough left-overs to provide lunch on Friday!

The recently retired Bruce Parrott (L) was very happy to run into Pat Schnyder

It was a fun day of food, activities and fellowship. Reflecting on the picnic, Diann Donjon said, “We didn’t really approach it as a team-building exercise, but in a way it has become one. Employees from four different ministries get to spend time meeting each other and having some fun. And it gives the Oblates and management an opportunity to show the employees how much they are appreciated.”