Restek employee-owners serve cake at the Central PA 4thFest
Each year, dozens of employees volunteer to serve more than 1,440 pieces of American Flag cake
It starts with 240 pounds of cake mix and 145 pounds of icing—those are the first ingredients to a successful Fourth of July.
Since 2001, employees at Restek have served up an American flag cake, 12-feet long and nearly six-feet wide, to attendees of Central PA 4thFest—a daylong, family-oriented, patriotic birthday party held July 4 on the campus of The Pennsylvania State University.
Each year, the GIANT store on North Atherton Street donates the cake to the festival after spending eight hours baking and decorating it. It takes about eight Restek volunteers to load the cake and deliver it to the event where it is cut into more than 1,440 slices and served by 20 more Restek volunteers.
“It’s a family affair—many Restek employees bring their families to help,” Bradley Pike, Digital Marketing Manager at Restek, said.
Pike, along with Pam Decker, Senior Graphic Designer at Restek, have been part of the volunteer effort from Restek for more than a decade and both serve on the festival’s board of directors and as committee chairs.
“When Restek first started getting involved, it was apparent the employees really enjoyed it so we wanted to do more,” Decker said. “Now, we have dozens of volunteers helping each year.”
Karl Libhart, executive director of 4thFest, said organizations like Restek play a vital role in putting on the event, which the Travel Channel called “one of the best fireworks displays in the world.”
“Fourth Fest is 100 percent run by volunteers and Restek has been a huge help in ensuring the event is a success every year,” he said.
This year’s event will welcome the return of roller derby in the parking lot, chainsaw carvers, a BMX stunt show, and music from up-and-coming country artist Adley Stump.
Fourth Fest leadership doesn’t stop with Pike and Decker; several fellow Restek employees hold leadership roles in the organization, too. Wendy Krall, Brian Yangula, Titus Morehead, and AJ Saclyn all help to coordinate key parts of the event from the flag cake to the kids’ crafts to the merchandising.
“It’s great to have fresh people bring in fresh ideas each year,” Pike said. “We have a leadership tenet here, so stepping up is part of Restek’s DNA.”
Preparations for next year will begin almost as soon as the event ends.
Pike said one of the most rewarding experiences of putting on the event was the additional level of preparation when country music star Craig Morgan performed in 2015.
“It was a whole other level of preparation that year,” he said. “But, I remember watching the concert with several other 4thFest volunteers and thinking—wow, the community did this.”
To learn more about Restek Corporation, visit www.restek.com