BP Community Picnics mark 50 Years in Alaska

Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nearly 5,000 Alaskans joined BP in celebrating 50 years of statehood and commemorating BP's 50th year in Alaska recently. At one of three BP community picnic events that were held statewide, the Kenai Peninsula area played host to our celebration on Friday, July 10 at Soldotna Creek Park.. At this local event, 1,000 folks turned out for free barbequed hamburgers, hotdogs, and all the trimmings. Additionally, there was live music from the outdoor bandstand, and lots of free prizes, fun and games for all the kids. This was the third community celebration that BP Alaska has sponsored in as many years in the central peninsula area. The first was to celebrate 30 years of production from Prudhoe Bay. Last year the event was a career fair designed to increase awareness of job opportunities in the oil and gas industry for the next generation. And this year was to celebrate the golden anniversaries of Alaskan statehood and BP's 50th year in the Greatland. "It's a great chance to say a big thank you to the community and our people who live here," Dawn Patience, director of Public Affairs for BP told the Dispatch, "We have 250 BP employees that live here on the peninsula and even though most of them work on the North Slope, this is their home and community. So it gives them a chance to come out, as well as celebrating our 50th year in Alaska" she concluded.

Those employees along with BP, issued a $50,000 challenge to the local Kenai Peninsula United Way Campaign this year. This challenge was met, and it helped the campaign set a new all-time record of over $900,000. "It showed the interest and support of your local community. A lot of our people enjoy living here, participating and supporting in local programs such as the United Way," added Patience.

On June 26, Mat-Su Valley residents were invited to have burgers and hot dogs at the BP Community Picnic at the Palmer "Friday Fling" market. The great participation at that event was aided by an unusual run of sunny weather in Southcentral Alaska. The Mat-Su Valley picnic coordinated by a volunteer committee of organizers worked with BP and the City of Palmer to draw more than 1,200 guests. Local support from the communities was also a key factor in other areas. In Fairbanks, the Festival Fairbanks committee worked with BP and the Alaska Statehood Commission to host a 50th celebration for both, drawing 2,500 community guests. At the Soldotna Creek Park picnic, live music was provided by Bunny Swan and the Mabrey Brothers Band.

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