Brevard celebrates diversity with an All-American lunch


Maggie Castellano of the Brevard County Planning and Development Department defended her title and won the apple pie bake-off contest for the second straight year during the All-American Celebration June 24 at the Government Center in Viera.

photo by mike gaffey

Tommie Studstill of Merritt Island sings karaoke during the All-American Celebration at the Government Center. | PHOTO BY MIKE GAFFEYJust days before the Fourth of July, Brevard County government employees threw an All-American Celebration of their own.

Brevard’s Cultural Diversity Team hosted a two-hour event June 24 at the Government Center in Viera that saluted American foods and traditions. Guests at the second annual get-together enjoyed a lunch of hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs and chips, viewed historical and educational displays, sang karaoke and played cornhole.

Pie lovers also could cast their vote for their favorite apple pie baked by government employees, said Venetta Valdengo, assistant county manager.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Valdengo said. “That usually gets a lot of participation.”

Alvin Hall of Library Services hands out lunches during the  June 24 event. | PHOTO BY MIKE GAFFEYFor the second year in a row, Maggie Castellano of the county’s Planning and Development Department took home the top prize for her apple pie. Castellano won a gift certificate for her tasty creation.

Brevard’s “Team Diversity” is a group of county employees charged with promoting better understanding of Brevard’s cultural differences, Valdengo said.

“We celebrate different events throughout the year to recognize different ethnicities, different cultures,” Valdengo said. “We also celebrate black history, Hispanic heritage and women’s history. We did a resolution for Native Americans. So we’re expanding every year. It’s great.”