The Challenge has been issued

Filed under: Opinion |

Last week I was fortunate enough to have breakfast at the El Pomar Boys & Girls Club with a couple dozen folks from the business community and the military.

The reason we were there was to kickoff the 2004 PeakCO All-Star Challenge.

If you’re not quite familiar with the event, don’t worry, this is only the second year and I’m going to spend some ink filling you in and prodding you to participate.

As James Sullivan, the club’s executive director, likes to say, the PeakCO Challenge is a “fun-raiser” (that’s a combination of having a really good time and raising money for a really good cause).

On July 16 and 17, teams of 10-12 adults will battle against one another in eight events to determine who gets to take home the coveted PeakCO traveling trophy. The Air Force 1 SOPS unit prevailed at last year’s inaugural event and is entering at least four teams this year (sounds to me like they’re not 100 percent certain they can repeat as champs, despite team captain Sr. Airman Lee Heineken’s statement that “you other teams better come with a box of tissues ’cause you’re gonna need them when you lose again to us.”).

Of course, should the Air Force teams lose, I’m thinking it might be fun to watch them try to explain to the commander-in-chief how they were trounced by a bunch of suit-wearing, desk-sitting, who-the-heck-has-time-to-exercise, I’m-only-running-if-somebody-really-big-and-scary-is-chasing-me-with-a-weapon-of-mass-destruction group of guys and gals.

The challenge events include a tug-o-war, obstacle course, softball swing, relay race, basketball shoot, climbing wall, volleyball and Team Chaos (don’t even ask, I saw a demonstration and I’m still not sure who on God’s green earth formulated the idea).

Teams can represent businesses, community organizations, military groups, families, clubs or any other group that would like to participate, and will be grouped into three divisions: leisure, recreational and competitive (that’s the Air Force and everybody who has made it their mission in life to take them down, more about that later).

The entry fee is $1,000 per team. A second team from the same company costs $500. It’s $300 for every other team from the same company after that. Now if my math is correct, that means the Air Force has committed to spending at least $2,100 to repeat as champs (I’m really hoping those aren’t my hard-earned tax dollars that they’re spending).

Just so you don’t think I’m picking on the Air Force (OK, I am, but hey, it’s my ink), Team Coca-Cola wasn’t real happy about placing second last year. That’s easy to understand since the company has been the top-selling carbonated beverage maker for-like-ever. I was sitting at a table with Coke’s Marty McCarthy and Connie Medina and they seemed to be fairly intent on doing whatever it takes to finish first this time around.

So why, you’re probably thinking, should your company drop a grand to participate when its got no real chance of toppling the military and beverage giants?

How about media exposure? How about community goodwill? How about it helps a great organization that helps a lot of great kids?

One of those great kids, Brianna Exum, was at the breakfast and talked to the group about what the Boys & Girls Club means to her. Trust me, if even a small fraction of the children who pass though the club’s doors are anything like her, no investment is too much.

And while you’re at it, consider sponsoring the event as well.

The club is still looking for a title sponsor, a designation that will only set the lucky company back $10,000, but the exposure likely would prove invaluable. Becoming an official sponsor is only $3,000. And you can sponsor one of the eight events for a mere $1,500.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region serves almost 1,900 children who are members and more than 8,100 children who are non-members.

The five area clubs offer programs such as Project Learn, Power Hour and Career Launch that focus on education and career development, sports and recreational activities, and fine arts activities.

So, talk the challenge up around your office or within your organization, get a team together and join the fun. The number to call is (719) 570-7077, ext. 222. There are a lot of kids who will be really thankful you did.

Team CSBJ is ready to tear off the suits and ties and throw down with all takers. (Of course we’re going to neatly hang everything up so that there won’t be any wrinkles when we have to return to the real world.)