Written by Nicole Bulcher
Just a few weeks ago, the DCC had our "end-of-year" banquet. While we still have duties that carry even the retiring vets through May, it was a formal farewell that was sentimental, fun and empowering.
The DCC staff put this event together and it was held at the Gaylord Texan's Steakhouse, Old Hickory. The attention to detail was obvious. We had our official headshots framed and hung from pink and blue ribbon on our chairs with a seating arrangement much like that of the Last Supper! Kelli and Judy were at the center of the table flanked by their right-hand ladies (Ally, Brittany, Whitney and Cassie). Continuing around the room in descending order of veteran status, were the rest of us. The purpose behind the banquet is to give the rookies their hard-earned, gold DCC rings and to officially recognize the team as a whole and reflect on the season.
After excitedly finding seats, the annual slideshow of pictures commenced. This year it was prefaced by a surprising and very apropos video made by our very own Katelyn Nichols (jack-of-all-trades office girl) and our social media manager, Shannon Gross. It was a compilation of sayings you would hear a DCC say at any given moment.
Katelyn and Shannon (who is a guy … and was fittingly wearing a blonde wig for the part!) have picked up on a lot from being around us over their years. The entire room was floored and laughing so hard. We all hope the video makes it's way to YouTube – it would be an overnight sensation!
The video transitioned into the customary slideshow that included everything we did from tryouts until now, and even included baby pictures of the girls. By the end, everyone had cried at least once.
Although we all were in calendar-mode with diets and exercise, the banquet made for the BEST cheat day! We enjoyed a lavish three-course meal, and I have to give huge props to Old Hickory for the best filet mignon I've ever had. Everyone was happy … and we have some picky eaters!
Kelli and Judy presented each rookie with her new ring and Ally Traylor was given her 5th-Year Charm, which is a gold "DCC" on a necklace with our flower and a diamond. It's gorgeous! Kelli said the kindest things about Ally, and made it obvious how much she has added to this organization over her time here. Ally deserved that recognition more than anything because she does go above and beyond with everything she faces.
The girls who went on their first USO tour (Jackie, Sunni, Melissa and Holly) were presented with their DCC coin, an official military-style coin whose issuing is not taken lightly. The coin is one-of-a-kind and very special to earn. Other recognitions like Rookie of the Year (Holly Arielle) and Veteran of the Year (Brittany Evans) were also presented.
I will close with a short list of my favorite moments from the banquet this year:
- The "Stuff DCC Say" video.
- Ally declaring, "Kelli Finglass is holding my hand?!," while being presented with her 5th-Year charm.
- The entire Wolfpack (Lauren, Ann, Sasha, Mia and myself … hooooowwwwl!), without planning it, all ordering the filet!
- Sasha joining Twitter during the salad course … follow her!! @SnaFierce
Cheers to the DCC staff for planning and executing a wonderful banquet that made us all feel special! We made so many good memories this year; it will be hard to duplicate the camaraderie and closeness that this year embraced.