Many years ago the men and women of the oil and gas industry of the Kenai started a tradition of honoring the pioneers of our community upon whose shoulders our quality of life was built. A day when they could get together to enjoy an early Thanksgiving feast while visiting with their old friends and colleagues. When the major producers left the inlet and Independent oil company Hilcorp started making investments in the Inlet they decided it was a tradition they wanted to continue, “It was a great tradition that we wanted to hold on to and have done so for the last four years,” said Lori Nelson, Hilcorp’s external affairs manager and volunteer wrangler for the day. “This is such a great day and we have such great employees who are really glad to be here serving our pioneers today. It’s a great tradition and we have such a great turnout each year not only for this dinner but for the Meals on Wheels which is such a benefit to our community,” said Nelson.
The meal was pulled off with a capacity crowd like a well-choreographed dance thanks to the volunteers that included students from Mt. View Elementary, “The principal Karl Kircher is a wonderful advocate for industry and the benefits it brings to our community and wants his kids to learn about giving back to the community and we were so proud to have members of the 5th grade student council with us today in the dining room. They did it with a smile on their face which made the seniors happy to have them here. We were so happy to see many of the Unocal retirees here today they are so encouraging of what we are doing to revitalize some of their former platforms and gas fields. They’re glad to still be here and enjoying the legacy that they helped develop so many years ago. Even with the challenging prices of oil today it just shows that when the going gets tough we link arms and together the tough keep going and will continue to do all we can for the community. We’re proud to be here and we couldn’t do it without the support of our seniors,” said Nelson. When the pumpkin pie was finished and door prizes awarded the seniors one by one thanked the Hilcorp volunteers with a hand shake, hug and warm smile for a perfect pre-Thanksgiving day.