The PCI Foundation kicked off it's first barbecue competition this year. All told, more than 2800 people took part in 13 events sponsored by 8 companies. More about 2473 pounds of meat were grilled -- sometimes at great personal sacrifice from cooks who stayed up all night to assure a well smoked treat or those who braved torrential rains to ensure that guests at the barbecue would be well fed and satisfied. "Everyone at PCI Foundation was pleased to see plants in our industry really put forth a great effort at all the events," says event chairman Dean Gwin. "I hope that the fun that was had this year inspires more companies to participate next year. It is a great way to celebrate your employees and customers while supporting the future of our industry." A photo gallery is available here.
The first ever program of its kind was sponsored by Endicott Thin Brick. Many companies sponsoring an event paired it with another special happening. All together, the program raised $52,374 for the PCI Foundation to sponsor precast education programs in schools of architecture, engineering and construction management.
For Molin Concrete, it was the opening of its new wall panel plant in Ramsey, MN. They broke the celebration into two events. "On Friday September 11 we held our first open house for all employees to come and tour the plant," says John Saccoman of Molin. "Door prizes and a BBQ lunch were enjoyed by 265 employees and family members on this day. On September 24th we opened our doors to 436 attendees including architects, engineers, owners, city officials, developers and vendors. Plant tours ran every seven minutes where participants were guided on a thirty minute walk through the fully operation wall panel plant." Every Molin employee took part in the event.
Brothers in Sioux Falls, SD celebrated the company's 100th anniversary cowboy style. The company invited workers, suppliers, customers and local VIPs to join in the celebration that raised $20,000 for the PCI Foundation. To reflect the companies work, the company had a cake made in the shape of the Minnesapolis Convention Center, an iconic project for the company. Activities included a photo booth, rope toss, carnival games and a silent auction.
Precast used the PCI Foundation barbecue as an opportunity to celebrate camaraderie and spread the cheer through out the many plants. Each of Gate's plants hosted an individual barbecue that helped raise more than $24,000 for the PCI Foundation. The events were as varied as the cities that hosted them. In Alabama, the guests could guess the mystery meat or vote on the best meat rub. In Pearland, TX the employees had a chance to compete for "most dunks" in a company-sponsored dunk tank. And in Winchester, the guests participated in a 50/50 raffle and a bow shooting contest. At the Kissimmee plant an extra day of vacation was raffled off.
For other participants, the day was about celebrating the employee's accomplishments as well as the PCI Foundation. Kerkstra Precast dedicated the day to safety and its employee safety records. To feature this part of the program three teams of five took part in a safety equipment relay race, each man putting on and taking off all the safety equipment as quickly as possible.
In Nebraska, Enterprise Precast organized a tailgate at a Cornhuskers game attended by all three precasters in the state (Enterprise, Coreslab Omaha, and Concrete Industries) along with architects, engineers, and family members.
All companies sponsoring a barbecue and completing all components were eligible to take part in a drawing for a stainless steel barbecue provided by Endicott. The recipient of the grand prize was Gate Precast's plant in Hillsboro, Tx.
Even the event with the most rain was deemed a success. "Under torrential rain conditions, Gate Precast's Oxford, NC pit masters were not deterred and began smoking 24 Boston butt roasts at midnight on September 25. For the next 10 hours the pork cooked slowly under low heat and was finished cooking at 10 am," says coordinator Chris Galde. "The barbeue was a success despite the monsoon rains that continued for another 11 days after our BBQ event. We hope to make this an annual event."
Plants taking part in the event included: