Seven years ago, Jack Brown and Aaron Goforth decided to start an event to recognize the myriad contribution major industry has brought to the Kenai Peninsula community. Several hundred people including dignitaries such as U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski, and Governor Tony Knowles showed up the first year, and the event took off after that.
According to Jack Brown, last year they fed over 5,000 people at Industry Appreciation Day. "This year along with Industry Day, we are going to have a statewide women's E softball tournament, so this year we'll have women and children coming in from all over the state." said Brown.
In addition to the free picnic, there will be chances to win free trips to Hawaii and many prizes for the children. "As always the Boys & Girls club will be there offering activities for the kids, the dinosaur lady will be there again bouncing around. Last year we had around 30 booths, this year we expect over 40 booths," added Brown.
None of the major industries related to oil & gas, fishing, or tourism, put forth any finances to sponsor the event, "We want them and their employees to come and enjoy the day everything is free for the entire family," said Brown. This year many of the funds for the event are coming from the municipalities and Borough along with both Chambers of Commerce and individual contributions from service companies such as Alaska Communications Systems, Udlehoven, and Veco. "We've been donating to Industry Appreciation Day for several years now, and we're pleased to help with an event that brings all the different groups together," said Diana Spann, Account Executive for ACS.
Once again this year there will be Kenai Mayor John Williams annual Chili Cook Off with Borough Mayor Dale Bagley as one of the judges. With the event scheduled for the sunny Saturday of August 25th, Brown is seeking volunteers to help out with the food preparation, setting up tents, and clean up, for more information call Brown 262-6355, or Bonnie Smith at People Count at 283-4099.
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