On Saturday, the employees of Whirley Drinkworks got to share some of their enthusiasm with family and friends.
In celebration of the company’s 50th year, officials decided to hold an open house and picnic.
“We asked our teammates how they would like to celebrate our 50th anniversary,” Director of Human Resources DiAnn Savko said. “Some said they wanted to have a picnic. Some said an open house.”
Leadership combined the two ideas.
There was a catered picnic, events for kids, games, and even bull riding.
Buses provided transportation from the company’s production and shipping facility on Harmar Street to its other two buildings — the administration and machine shop building on Fourth Avenue, and the molding facility on Laurel Street — and back.
Hundreds of people took the opportunity to tour the plants. Some areas of the tour were self-guided. In other places, Whirley teammates passed along some of their expertise.
At the museum, visitors could see how the company and its products have changed over the years.
In the machine and molding shops, those who were interested got some more detailed information about how the drink mugs are shaped and assembled.
“We have fun products and it’s fascinating to see how they’re made,” Savko said.
Some visitors got to take a major role in producing items.
A coloring area was provided for children who wanted to decorate paper inserts for mugs.
When finished, those inserts were taken to the assembly area where the kids could watch their artwork be encased in a mug they got to take home.
Company officials said they expected almost 1,000 people at the event, many of them family members of teammates.
Company co-founder Bob Sokolski said he was pleased with the turnout and the longevity of the company.
“This is a terrific day,” he said.
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry
Lots of lids, one box
A steady stream of Whirley Drinkworks swivel lids come off a conveyor belt as Team Leader Bobbi Engstrom answers a question for Judy Ruland (right) during a tour of the Whirley molding facility. The tour was part of an open house in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary.