HCN News & Notes

MHA Hosts Watermelon-eating Contest to Mark National Watermelon Day

SPRINGFIELD — There are lots of ways to eat a watermelon — some slice it, others dice it. Many eat theirs with a spoon, while others use a fork. But on Aug. 2, it wasn’t how you ate it that mattered, but rather how fast. That was the day seven MHA employees participated in the organization’s first-ever watermelon eating competition.

Outfitted with bibs, both hands behind their backs, and mindful of the 60-second window, seven MHA employees took to their plates for the chance to win MHA’s first-ever Watermelon World Cup.

“While our event was actually the day before National Watermelon Day, there is truly no better way to celebrate National Watermelon Day than with a watermelon-eating contest,” said Kimberley Lee, vice president of Resource Development and Branding. “Our contestants consumed as much and as fast as we could under one minute. Thankfully, the watermelon was seedless. Our staff works incredibly hard throughout the day to ensure for the health and safety of hundreds of individuals. This event was a fun way to give folks an opportunity to gather together, appreciate each other’s company, and enjoy, you guessed it, watermelon.”

While the event offered more than a few laughs to those competing, as well as those attending, Lee said, there are real benefits to giving employees time to take a break from what can truly be difficult work.

“Our staff works so incredibly hard to support the very significant needs of those we serve. Their days are long ensuring that those who need help receive it, and when they need it,” she noted. “There is much evidence out there that shows that taking even just a short break during one’s work day is beneficial to employees physically, as well as mentally. And if anyone understands the importance of positive mental wellness, it’s MHA.”

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