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PCI Foundation’s BBQ competition cooks up $52k for education programs

26 Nebraska 400

Enterprise Precast, Concrete Industries and Coreslab Structures staff tailgated with local architects and contractors at a University of Nebraska football game as part of the PCI Foundation barbecue event.

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Foundation kicked off its first national barbecue competition and fundraiser with more than 2,800 participants taking part in 13 events sponsored by eight companies. The program raised $52,374 for the PCI Foundation to sponsor precast education programs in schools of architecture, engineering and construction management.

“Everyone at the 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.”

Many of the companies that participated in the program paired it with other events. For Molin Concrete, it was the opening of its new wall panel plant in Ramsey, Minn. The company broke the celebration into two events. “We held our first open house for all employees to come and tour the plant,” says John Saccoman, vice president of Sales & Marketing at Molin. “Door prizes and a BBQ lunch were enjoyed by 265 employees and family members. [Then] 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 30 minute walk through the fully operation wall panel plant.”

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Gage Brothers coincided the competition with its centennial celebration. The company invited workers, suppliers, customers and local VIPs to join in the event that raised $20,000 for the PCI Foundation.

Gate Precast used the barbecue as an opportunity to celebrate camaraderie. Each of its plants hosted their own events that overall raised more than $24,000 for the Foundation. The events were as varied as the cities that hosted them: Pearland, Texas, employees had a chance to compete for “most dunks” in a company-sponsored dunk tank; guests at the Winchester, Ky., event participated in a 50/50 raffle and a bow shooting contest, and the Kissimmee, Fla., plant raffled off an extra day of vacation.

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, Texas.