Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2011

City plans Take Charge event for public with free food, games

June 16, 2011

The city is planning an evening of fun next week to raise awareness as the Take Charge Challenge contest enters its homestretch.

Local residents and families are invited to an evening of free food and games. The event, sponsored by the city of Baldwin City, will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at The Lodge, 502 Ames Street.

“We just want people to come and have any fun,” said Tina Rakes, Baldwin City code administrator and Take Charge Challenge Leadership Team member. “We want people to tell their friends, neighbors and family members. Come out, have fun and eat free on us. Let us cook that evening. If we win the contest, they win by us softening the cost of utility bills. In the end, we all win.”

A PBS television station will film the even for telecast at a later date.

The primary reason for the event is to raise awareness of the Take Charge Challenge and how residents can help the city win $100,000 when the contest ends Sept. 30. Rakes said it also would be an evening of fun for local patrons.

“We are going to take charge all the way until September,” Rakes said. “Even if people have been to an event, we want you to come again. We want to make this one fun. This is our chance to give back and a chance to help us win the $100,000.”

The free food will include hot dogs, hamburgers, side dishes and beverages. There also will be free games, possibly including horseshoes and beanbag toss, an inflatable bouncer and free miniature golf. The golf balls will have the Efficiency Kansas logo printed on them.

“We’re looking at our space and trying to decide what to do with our games,” Rakes said. “We want some fun games for all ages.”

The other reason for the event is to continue emphasizing Baldwin City’s role in the Take Charge Challenge. Baldwin City is competing against Gardner, Paola and Ottawa for a $100,000 prize.

Inside The Lodge’s meeting room, there will be booths and members of the Take Charge Challenge Leadership Team. They will be there to answer questions about energy audits, how to be more energy efficient and others aspects of the challenge.

“There’s not a lot of education about what is an energy audit,” Rakes said. “We’re hoping to answer a lot of those questions and encourage people to take advantage of the $100 audit. We want people to know what they can get out of it and that it's no obligation to them to take it any further. It’s a very good value for $100.”

Attendees will also be able to sign up for one of the free drawings. The city is giving away three $100 vouchers for Baldwin City utility customers, which can be used on their utility bills. The city is also giving away five programmable thermostats.

“Everybody would like to have a coupon or voucher to offset their utility bill,” Rakes said. “Nobody can argue with that.”

The entire event is being paid for by the Take Charge Challenge grant. The city was given $25,000 to use to promote the challenge. Tuesday’s event will be the biggest event the city has had since the challenge began in January.

“We were given some seed money,” Rakes said. “All of our events and activities have to be approved by Efficiency Kansas before we can spend any of that money. None of it is city money. It’s all from the money we are using to be creative for the contest.”

She hopes Baldwin City residents will come out Tuesday and help the city in its effort to win the challenge.

“We are going to get points for having the event,” Rakes said. “The big thing is it will be covered by PBS. We want the community to come down and have fun. We get points for the number of attendees.”


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