The BBQ Brawl brings employees together each year to cook and compete for the charities they are passionate about.
December is a big month for Power Design. The 133,000-square-foot campus is decorated for the holidays, the year is closing out, and the most epic BBQ competition is hosted right at headquarters, with 500 employees participating to raise money for charity.
How does it work? Each year Power Design employees are broken into teams of 20, given a budget and a 10×10 tent space to transform into the best BBQ theme they can imagine. With tents lined up in the PDI parking lot, you’ll see smokers and décor arriving the night before, slowly bringing the smells and sounds of the BBQ to life.
A panel of expert judges (PDI execs) judge each team on their meat, cocktails, and “fun factor” to determine winners for a variety of categories. This year’s meat competition included best brisket, pork, ribs, and chicken. The “fun factor”, which relates to the team theme, is everything from a creative performance, to an interactive game or activity for the judges.
The charity tie-in – Each team selects a charity of their choice to represent during the BBQ competition. Just for participating, every team gets a base donation towards their cause. Winning teams are given an additional donation towards their charities and a chance to compete in a final showdown for even more money. A task not taken lightly, this year a representative from each of the 6 winning teams entered a money-machine to grab as much cash as possible in an allotted amount of time. The grand-prize winner, team “What the Flock”, raised a total of $12,500 for the American Cancer Society.
The “why” behind it – From weeks of brainstorming menus and themes, to the day-of logistics and campus transformation, Power Design’s BBQ Competition is a huge undertaking for everyone involved. Powered by The Source (the company’s Human Resources team), the event stands for many things. “It’s not just about a fun Friday off for employees,” says Power Design Event Manager, Jayme Crump. “The foundation of this event is based on teamwork, which is one of our core values. We pair employees from different departments so they can get to know one another and find ways to collaborate. That teamwork mentality then filters over into the workplace long after the BBQ ends,” she explains.
“We also find it a great way to involve the community. This year more than 20 organizations received donations, from national charities like Autism Speaks, to Feeding Tampa Bay and the ASCPA Equine Program. The competition empowers employees to work together for a common goal in supporting these charities,” said Crump. “We can’t wait to kick the competition up a notch in the future!”
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