By James BrabenecNovember 29, 2012
B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery personnel got their just desserts Nov. 20 during a pie-in-the-face fundraiser for the unit's family readiness group.
The "in-yo-face" treats happened in front of the battery's barracks in Cisneros Hall on a raised platform.
"My husband and I came up with the idea to raise money for the battery's Christmas party," said Angelica Hildebrandt, unit FRG leader. "We try to come up with fun activities as those tend to boost attendance."
Because the event emphasized fun, she added the pies would only include whipped cream and no nasty, but still edible substances that sometimes find their way into such contests.
Taking the stage to recite the rules, Capt. Kurt Hildebrandt, battery commander, invited the unit's Advanced Individual Training Soldiers to encircle the platform. The captain told the AIT Soldiers they could advance the monetary bid to either get or prevent a cadre member from getting pied, however, they were not allowed to pay for their bids.
He explained to the new Soldiers how an FRG will help inform their families when they get to their first duty assignment. He added fundraisers along with cash-for-trash recycling and donated items sold during the post yard sale help keep costs down for FRG functions that benefit the cadre and their families.
To get someone up on stage and begin the festivities, the captain invited the AIT Soldiers to shout out who they would like to see receive a whipped cream dream.
The ensuing roar clearly proclaimed Sgt. 1st Class Fred Hill, chief of academics, as the first recipient. As he ascended the stage the students called for Staff Sgt. Bret Kilpatrick, an AIT instructor, to launch the first pie.
Eventually the bidding ceased, and Kilpatrick launched the first salvo coating Hill's face in the rich sugary cream as laughter and shouts of delight sounded from all around the stage.
"I think they singled me out because I'm always making them keep the training facilities clean," said Hill, busy wiping off the lather from his head, neck and shoulders. "It's a mess, but I enjoyed it, and the money goes to a good cause."
Following Staff Sgt. Andrew Zannotti who took a pie from Staff Sgt. Timothy Dotter, Sgt. 1st Class Jose Sanchez prepared to get the treatment from Sgt. Kashara Jackson. Intent on delivering a quality product, Jackson didn't so much throw the pie as she held it and deliberately massaged the mountain of whipped cream all over his face and head.
"I had a great time, there's just something awesome about hitting someone in the face with a pie," she said.
Although Angelica planned the event to last about 30 minutes, she noted the Soldiers and cadre got into the spirit of the activity and it lasted well past the planned for time.
After the last pie found the mark, several cadre members stood with the drying confection on their uniforms suggesting the swallows of Capistrano passed overhead en route to their destination.
Captain Hildebrandt said the unit raised about $200 and more importantly did so having a good time.
"This is the first time we tried this and had a few things to work out, but it was definitely a success," he said. "We didn't know if we'd have enough whipped cream or pies, but it was a terrific morale booster for the battery."