Back in 2008, two Alabama-based Technology departments began a friendly department competition with a few employee volunteers to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Now, they have just completed their tenth year of the Children’s Playtime Extravaganza, a week-long event sponsored the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO).
At the Extravaganza, which takes place over the course of four days each fall, volunteers host a variety of events including a teddy bear fair, magic show and fun fair for the children to enjoy. The Technology department management encourages employees to attend this event by allowing them to volunteer during business hours.
Because this year marks a significant milestone, volunteers from various Technology departments wanted to pay tribute to the past while paving the path toward the future. The event’s core team members, who lead and coordinate the event, incorporated new and old traditions for 2017. To honor the past, they revived the original matchbox car race – which was a hit with the children. To celebrate the future, the team hosted it’s first-ever movie night. This year’s movie was “Trolls,” complete with decorations and goodies for the kids to enjoy.
“We wanted to get back to our roots and set the tone for where we want to go,” said Trey Pilston, Southern Company senior application analyst and event coordinator.
The Extravaganza is as popular with volunteers as it is with the children it supports. This year there were 52 volunteers, and over 250 children participated.
“It is harder to find someone in the Technology department who hasn’t been involved than it is to find someone who has participated,” said Trey. “This event is a part of our department culture.”
So many people across Southern Company have a story with the Children’s Hospital, and this event is a way for our company – our people - to give back to our community.