After its initial decorating contest in October, the U.S. Army Garrison-Natick Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center organized another holiday-themed contest for the Natick Soldier Systems Center Family Housing areas.

Participants stepped up their game for the latest contest. The "Most Festively Decorated Yard" winners -- Sgt. Tucker Black and his family of the Natick Housing Area -- received their prize at the NSSC Holiday Social on Dec. 16.

"We believe contests such as these are important to boost morale and camaraderie within our housing communities," said Jaylynn Richard of Army Community Service at Natick.

For the winter's contest, judging was based on four different categories: overall winter theme, originality, creativity, and curb appeal. Contest judges, who include members of the FMWR team, are rotated throughout the year. While the Army usually awards a "House of the Quarter" for people who landscape their yard the best, Natick has chosen to award on the basis of decorating, instead.

"Our overall goal is to build a stronger sense of community for each housing area," said Joseph Kurzontkowski, FMWR operations manager.

Larger installations have Community Life Officers, but here at Natick, ACS and FMWR team up to provide this competition. While Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Warren initiated this action, both teams implemented the idea to provide this opportunity for the community.

ACS is a growing organization at Natick and intends to provide proactive and reactive assistance, proactive educational outreach and then reactive assistance for crisis situations, as well. Both organizations look for opportunities to help the community have fun.