Thorngate holds ornament contest

Monday, December 23, 2002

There's more than one way to decorate a company Christmas tree.

You can use store-bought balls and garlands, string lots of lights and ribbon, or handcraft each and every priceless treasure.

Thorngate Ltd., a men's clothing manufacturer in Cape Girardeau, opted for the latter this year through a homemade ornament-making contest.

"It was an employee enrichment program we thought of to help get employees in the spirit of Christmas," said Luke Landgraf, human resources manager.

Ninety-seven out of approximately 450 employees participated in the competition, creating all sorts of Santas, snowmen, angels and reindeer. One employee stitched up a minute Thorngate suitcoat, while another compiled a tiny Thorngate wreath, complete with jacket, scissors, thread, thimble, buttons, sewing machine and a pattern.

Cape Girardeau Mayor Jay Knudtson judged the ornaments Tuesday morning. Top winners were later announced during the company's Christmas luncheon, at which service awards were also given to those who have worked at the plant for a certain number of years.

"It makes me feel good to be a part of something that initiates so much employee involvement and brings out so much employee passion," Knudtson said. "This is the foundation of our community.

"At the end of the day, it is not all about money and benefits, but more about how employees feel about themselves and bringing out employee spirit, about the work environment and how employees are treated."

Shutting down on Friday for the holidays, Thorngate will not reopen until Jan. 2.

jgosche@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133

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