Parsons State Hospital and Training Center claimed first place in the Parsons Recreation Commission’s annual Company Olympics after points were tallied Friday night during a cookout and two special activities at the Brown-Bishop Post No. 704, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Tank Connection followed PSHTC for second place. Power Flame took third, Ducommun Inc. was fourth, and Grandview Products placed fifth.
PRC staff and volunteers hosted events all last week for the companies participating, and activities included everything from a sports challenge to painting sunflowers (while having some adult beverages). The lip sync battle and Finish the Lyrics had everyone cheering as companies donned wigs, aluminum foil and colorful attire while singing chosen songs and performing a short routine before the PRC judges and crowd at the VFW post.
“We wanted to change events this year to make it more appealing,” said Andi Schibi, PRC’s sports and events director.
This was her third year planning the five-day event.
“The events we did this year was meant to encourage friendly competition, but we tried adding different activities that everyone could do and still have fun doing.”
One new event this year, the Dixie cup relay, which had competitors stacking Dixie cups for the fastest time and playing a game of tic-tac-toe, was designed to be “more strategic and less physical” for those who might have had physical limitations.
“We also added mystery challenges and improved the all-sports event. It’s great to see even the crowd get into it,” she said. “The KanJam was also a new activity, where partners had to throw Frisbees into trash cans. It’s a game you see a lot of tailgaters play.”
Another event that Schibi thought everyone enjoyed was Taste Buds, one of the mystery events that consisted of players wearing goggles, and with the help of their teammate, describing the food they were tasting.
“Power Flame had the quickest time for that one,” she said. “They really got into it.”
With new additions to the Company Olympics, Schibi hoped to “change the stigma and bring companies back” into competing. Eight companies competed this year.
“We know that some of the events put limits on the smaller businesses, and our goal this year was to make it a more level playing field for everyone — without getting rid of that friendly competition among them,” she said.
A benefit to the Company Olympics, aside from rallying up community support, included boosting the local economy.
“We really couldn’t have done it without our community and the great businesses here,” Schibi said. “One thing was to bring local business to the ones that helped host our events, like the Elks (Lodge) and Ballers, a new sports bar and grill here. PK Bowl is another great example because they, along with others, gained great profit from the participants being there, along with their friends and families. It’s a neat way of bringing awareness to these other businesses and a positive way to get the community supporting everyone.”
“Of course we’d like to say a special thank you to everyone that made this such a great event this year, and we hope to have more (companies) participate in next year’s. It’ll be bigger.”