Intern Abby, The Dirty Dash, and a Chili Cookoff


Hello, Everyone!

The final weeks of summer were filled with a lot of community events. As a company team, some members from BMS participated in two great events; one local event and one national event. I discovered that coming together outside of the office as a team is a great way to bond on a more personal level with fellow coworkers. Not only were these events great for getting to know coworkers, they were also great in the fact that we were helping others and supporting the community, all the while having fun.

Polson Chili Cookoff

Saturday, August 24 the 8th Annual “Rotary Festival for Youth and Chili Cook Off” was held at Polson’s Riverside Park. Hosted by the Polson Rotary Club, this event supported the Polson High School Softball team. This year was the first time Black Mountain Software participated in the annual Chili Cook Off; and I know for a fact it was definitely worth the time and effort from our team. Our team members included Kim Namen and her partner Mike Fouty, Shauna Callahan, David Tyler, and myself. As the only one who had participated in the event before (when I was an employee of Western States Insurance in 2011), I knew how competitive some of the other businesses could get—including my past coworkers, who were the current holders of the People’s Choice Award for at least two years.

The team showed up to the park and we began setting up our “Mexican” booth and started preparing our delicious pork verde chili. While we decorated our booth and set up our serving station, we visited amongst each other and gallivanted to other booths to check them out. As the morning transitioned into afternoon, the park was getting more and more crowded with community members coming to support the event and try the many varieties of chili. At exactly noon, the air horn blew, signaling to start serving chili. People were coming to our booth in herds and we rushed to give them a taste of our chili and a complimentary drink. Our shot-glass size margaritas were a big hit! I had to leave early for a previous commitment, but I knew our team had done well. I had hoped we knocked my previous coworkers from their People’s Choice streak.  As I had expected, Black Mountain Software did very well for their first year participating in the annual Chili Cook Off. Our team went home with Second Place Chili and First Place for decorations and theme. Overall, it was a fabulous time and worth the work put into it.

The Dirty Dashers

Saturday, September 7 was the Dirty Dash in Missoula, Montana at the Equestrian Park. Even though, I’m not entirely sure what the Dirty Dash sponsors, I do know you can donate your shoes for the less fortunate around the country. Again, this was the first time anyone had participated in the event. Our team included Lindsey Taylor, RaSena Christopher, Robin Pleninger, Susan Clark, and myself.

The event started early in the morning, but our run was at 10:00. We grabbed our packets that contained: a t-shirt, beverage cozy, a Dirty Dash decal, a temporary tattoo, and our numbers. As we stretched and hydrated before our run, we watched all the different teams in their costumes wander around the park in packs. We watched as previous runs came through the finish line covered in mud and soaking wet. Thank goodness it was a somewhat hot day! Ten o’clock came quickly. We got to the starting line and waited for the train whistle horn to sound. The crowd was a like a herd of cattle. It was so packed that we couldn’t even start jogging right away. Knowing the course was 3.1 miles long and being out of shape, I really didn’t want to start off in a full sprint anyway.

The course had a variety of obstacles. The first obstacle was a series of hay bale walls that gradually got taller and taller. Other obstacles included: run-through tires, hurdles, giant mud pits, a huge slip and slide, monkey bars, rope walls, climbing walls, and many more. By the end of it, we all were covered in mud from head-to-toe! This course was not timed and no awards were given. Therefore, our team went home with great pictures, fun memories, and mud EVERYWHERE! Again, it was a marvelous event and a fabulous time.

I think it is a great opportunity and a wonderful experience to participate in community events like these, not only as an individual, but also as a part of a local business. Participating in local community events as a business not only shows concern and care about the local community, it really shows support and gives back to the people. As a bonus you get to have fun with other local businesses, meet new people, expand your personal network, and bond with coworkers.

“A community is a group of people who have come together, and they work and they live to try and improve the standard of living and quality of life – and I don’t mean money. “
William Baldwin

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