Williams Barbecue Nets Record Amount for Area United Way Agencies

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Too Sauced to Pork, comprised of Williams Companies employees, took first place in the “pulled pork” category at the annual William’s Company Barbecue Cook Off held at Lazy Brook Park in Tunkhannock on Sept. 20. Members included (top, front, from left) Andrew Thomas, Delton Trosky, Benjamin Pippenger, Tammy Bonnice, (back) RJ Bartolai, Bill Howard, Mitchell Diltz, Sean Manzoni, and Owen Ferik. United Way representatives Susan Newcomb (left) and Lorianne Welch (right) present Tammy Bonnice of Williams Companies a plaque in appreciation of the funds generated through the years by the barbecue cook off.

Photos and story by Rick Hiduk

Williams Companies reported record attendance, increased vendor participation and the most money raised yet at annual BBQ Cook Off held at Lazy Brook Park in Tunkhannock last week. Cooking teams arrived on Thursday evening to begin preparations for pulled pork, pork ribs and beef brisket, working in shifts through the night I anticipation of the arrival of the official judges and those tasting for fun and fundraising. Proceeds from the event are divided between the United Way agencies of Susquehanna and Wyoming counties in Pennsylvania, the Wyoming Valley United Way, and the United Way of Broome County in New York.

When all was said and done, Williams’ announced that $125,000 was raised on Sept. 20, an increase of about 25 percent over 2018. “Our goal for the barbecue was $95,000, but we far surpassed that,” said Tammy Bonnice, Williams Companies community outreach assistant. “We couldn’t have done it without the generosity of our friends in the oil and gas industry.”

In addition to their entry fees for the competition, many companies also conducted their own raffles of prizes such as coolers and grills, which were awarded at the end of the event. The pulled pork, ribs, and beef brisket were evaluated by a panel of blind tasters, a number of valued guests who were given chips to place in the jars of their favorite vendors, and a “people choice” award that was determined by cash donations.

The barbecue cook off has grown steady since its humble beginnings at the carnival grounds in Nicholson, noted Kathi Smurkoski, environmental health and safety supervisor at Williams. When she recalls helping to set up the event just a few years ago, Smurkoski added, “I did not realize that it would grow into what we saw this year at Lazy Brook.

The Grand Champions, Cleveland Brothers, contributed $4,183 through a variety of the aforementioned means.

Everyone worked together to make this the best event of its kind in the Northeast,” Bonnice remarked. “I can’t tell people how often enough proud I am to work for a company that cares not only for its employees but also the community and its people where we work and live.”

Smurkosksi gives Bonnice the lion’s share of the credit for coordinating the event and soliciting participation from so many other companies, most of which work with Williams, Cabot and SWN in some facet of the natural gas industry. Smurkoski is also happy to know that her neighbors and families in her communities benefit from the event.

I grew up in Wyoming County, and it’s great to see the company I work for take this active role in supporting the United Way and helping them help others,” she stated.

In addition to Cleveland Brothers’ win as Grand Champions, their brisket chefs walked away with first prize in that category ahead of Hague Equipment and Mistras in second and third, respectively. In the “pulled pork” category, a Williams team calling themselves Too Sauced to Pork garnered the top spot, followed by teams from Repsol and Eldredge. The “best ribs” award went to Distribution NOW, with Stahl Sheaffer Engineering in second and PTW in third. Wyoming Casing won the People’s Choice award and also collected $1,500 for the United Way.

Blind taste testers for the competition were (seated, clockwise from back, right) Sen. Gene Yaw and PTW Energy administrators Kim Bagby, Bob Grim, Chantel Weeden, Amy Freer, and Bill Williams, who had come in from Houston to assist with the fundraiser.

Williams Companies vice president Jack Walsh thanks participants for their support of the event prior to the distribution of awards.

Tammy Bonnice of Williams (right) presents the People’s Choice Award to Bruno Day and Steve Brown of Wyoming Casing Services of New Albany.

Cecilia and Frank Keenen of LOK Ring discuss valve applications with Jeff Castleman of Tri-State Technical Sales Corp.

Susquehanna County commissioner Alan Hall chats with Jeremy May and Ruth TenHoeve of JHA and John Sprout of BX3 Rental.

Representing Team Cabot and RLE Enterprizes were (front, from left) Johnny Gentile, Ethan Greenley, Rafeal Almodovar, (back) Ron Chiavacci, Mike Pirner, BJ Cline, and Oscar Pacheco.

Additional photos by Rick Hiduk:

Cintas winners – Bob Wisniewski, Steve Furmanski, Janel Wisniewski, Dan Swortz (back) and Steve Leslie.

Borton-Lawson – Lucy Boardwine and Hanna Kormis.

Hague Equipment – Team Hague members (from left) Brandon Nikeson, Travis Forrest, Linda Gaskill, Tracey Paul, Michele Marx, Dave Gaskill, and Jeremy Spatola.

Crawford Electric – Barry Wagner, John Kantz, Denise Cilvik

Appellation Construction Services – Sandy Spencer and Cherie Craft

Eldredge, Inc. – Robin Culp, Hower Sok, Geddes Dowling, Lee Fuller, Drew Fatzinger, and Wonston Hubberd

USA Field Services – Alex Brito, Joshua Roberts, Jeremy O’Dell

PTW – Matt Faux, Brian Douglas, Angel Lengel, Jessice Karp, Joe Morisco

Schaedler Yesco / Dialight – Ryan Antonikus and Ryan Reighard

Distribution NOW – Scott Moyle, Patrick Schrader, Michael Robinett, Mike Cron, Jamie VanDuzer, Frank Miller

Edgin Murray Corp. – Craig Stamm, Lauren Marshall, Josh Hutterer, Rick Pugh

Repsol 1 (pork) – Brett Fenstermacher, Joe Duskasky, and Nick Manglavitti

Repsol 2 (beef) – Brad Sherman, Brad Tice, Dan McNaughton, (Brett Fenstermacher photo bombing) Andy Tharp and Chad Work

Milnes – (front) Karen McMicken, Lexie Langan, Kayla Saxon (back) Wade Weber, Timothy Ace, Mick Goodwin, Josef Reese, Aaron Smith

Icon Industries – Mike Dworak, Eric Hahman, Jeff Roughgarden, Stacy Stone and Scott Spencer.

WGS Equipment – Alan Ryce, Vincent Argrave, Howard Brumbaugh, JP Moshey

Spuds and Suds – Conner McClosky, Chad Johnson, Shawna Toward, Kevin Toward, Tera Hoyt, Kathy Smurkoski, Dale Ann Buchanan, Kate Kamp, Leigh Clare, Amy Jacoby, and Ryan Stalker.

United Way of Susquehanna County representatives Robin Cobb (left) and Kim Merithew sell raffle tickets for donated prizes.

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