Bucket Ball Challenge, Fall Fun Day, Builds Lasting Change for Community

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Blenker Companies, Inc. employees and Central Waters Brewery Co. employees invited the public to build lasting change in their community with a bucket ball challenge, which entailed a $5 participation donation fee to the United Way of Portage County.

The event raised over $400 for the United Way of Portage County.

The game was open to the public of all ages from 3:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 22.

Bucket ball is a game much like the popular game, beer pong, however with water and large scale buckets.

The goal of the challenge was to toss 10 balls into five gallon buckets in less than two minutes. Whoever reached three or more buckets in two minutes was provided with incentives from the organizers.

Organizers for the event said those who participate in the event also have the opportunity to be awarded even more prizes from the United Way of Portage County.

A donation of $52 or more to the United Way of Portage County campaign will allow people to be automatically entered into winning one of these prizes: a 2018 Ford F-150 XL Super Cab four by four, a Travel United Sweepstakes (a $1500 value), or a Virtual Travel Package (a $1300 value), which includes a high-definition television set, Playstation Four and a Playstation Four VR. If you donate $104 or more, you’ll be granted 100 entries in to winning these prizes. Learn more at www.unitedwaypoco.org/sweepstakes.

Organizers for the day’s event said the bucket ball challenge was meant to spread the word about the causes, educate the public on United Way programs and also to generate more donations to help residents of Portage County flourish.

“Giving to the United Way is the most powerful way to give to your community,” Jessica Anunson, project management clerk at Blenker Companies, Inc. and a community organizer for the day’s events said. “Your donation multiplies when combined with others. Together we can create more impact than any one person could accomplish alone in achieving a healthier, stronger community!”

The organizers began the day with a Fall Fun Day event, which was organized for Blenker Companies, Inc. and Central Waters Brewery employees. The Fall Fun Day aimed at building relationships between the two local businesses.

According to Anunson, Fall Fun Day originally started as a team building day for Blenker employees two years ago so they could enjoy food, fun and activities. It was also a way for them to get to know one another better with competitive games at Central Waters Brewery.

“My favorite memory is watching our employees having fun playing the games,” Anunson said.

Anunson said her two favorite games were Shake It and Walk It. Shake It is a game where participants have a tissue box filled with ping pong balls tied around their waists, with the goal of getting all of the ping pong balls out of the box in the fastest time. Walk It is a game where participants are blindfolded and depend on their fellow team mates to guide them through the “mine field” of chairs.

This year, Blenker Companies, Inc. had five activities set up in a round robin pattern and then one activity that all teams did at the same time.

A pig roast was roasted at the Fall Fun Day event, courtesy of Jason Blenker, president of Blenker Companies, Inc. as well as Paul Graham and Anello Mollica, co-owners of Central Waters Brewery. They purchased the pig from the annual Portage County Fair from a local 4H member.

“Our company does a lot of work with Central Waters as far as events to putting additions on to the brewery,” Crystal Rowland, administrative assistant for Blenker Companies, Inc. said. “We decided to make things a bit more interesting and had asked Central Waters if they would like to join in on the games.”

Organizers said bringing the Central Waters Brewery crew on board for the Fall Fun Day festivities was a way for the two businesses to further build upon their relationship with each other as well as a way to bring the public together to build lasting change in the community.

“We have had the opportunity to observe the Fall Fun Day event the last couple of years and enjoyed watching how much fun the employees from Blenker Companies were having while bonding over unique games and challenges” Tracey Viotto, production manager at Central Waters Brewery said. “We certainly had a few laughs, which we are sure will be returned as we participate this year.”

Sara Arndt, office administrator at Central Waters Brewery said the most rewarding experience of Fall Fun Day for her is watching people work together.

“Team building helps to strengthen our group and leads to a more successful workplace,” Arndt. “Last year, teams at Blenker Companies, Inc. worked together, with limited supplies, to erect different structures (picnic tables, chairs, etc.) and it was really neat to see everyone come together and all the creativity that emerged.”

Arndt said another motivation for getting involved with this year’s event was to also strengthen the bond with the local community.

“Coupled with Blenker, we feel we can bring a lot of interest and donations to help support a great cause and bring all kinds of people together for a fun event,” Arndt said. “The warmer days are limited and it’s the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fall weather.”

Central Waters Brewery was one of 15 companies in Portage County that achieved 100 percent participation in the United Way of Portage County campaign last year because of its annual donation.

“This year, we hope to meet that goal again,” Arndt said. “The Fall Fun Day will be a great opportunity to help raise more funds for a great organization and a have a good time doing it. We always love an opportunity to have some fun for a good cause.”