Oil industry gives back to the Bakken during the holidays

Larry Skaare, left, with Oasis Petroleum, poses with about 1,100 pounds of food the company is donating to the Can For Can Food Drive Challenge. Also pictured are Rick Harger, right, with SITE/IVM, who is helping organize the event and Kimberly Pick and Kevin Reardon of Cash Wise Foods, a partner in the food drive. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service

WILLISTON, N.D. – Charities in 15 Bakken communities will benefit from an oil and gas industry holiday food drive that involved a little friendly competition.

SITE/IVM, a construction energy services company, launched the Can For Can Food Drive Challenge and invited other companies to join the contest.

“People are generally pretty competitive if it’s for a good cause,” said Rick Harger, coordinator of the food drive.

About 40 companies participated, collecting food and toiletry items at 75 locations in the Bakken. The companies contributed more than 45,000 pounds of food, Harger said.

Employees of Oasis Petroleum were among those who went shopping and had a goal of donating about 2,000 pounds of food, said Larry Skaare, director of community affairs.

“We’ve got a really good group of guys and gals,” Skaare said. “They’re proud to be part of the community.”

The donations will be distributed to shelters, food banks and other charities in the Bakken.

The company with the largest contribution will receive a plaque and the top five contributors will be listed on the plaque.

In addition to this challenge, several companies also donated to toy drives in the communities where they operate.

“I’m really impressed with the companies and the people that are involved,” Skaare said.

Holiday party

Enerplus operations superintendent Earl McKay and field administrator Teresa Presser dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus for a community holiday party in Mandaree, N.D., on Dec. 6, 2013. Photo courtesy of Enerplus

Employees of Enerplus hosted a community holiday party in Mandaree on Dec. 6, with the operations superintendent dressing as Santa and the field administrator dressing as Mrs. Claus.

“We thought Christmas would be a nice time to give back,” said Teresa Presser, who posed for photos with kids as Mrs. Claus.

The event, which attracted about 50 kids and more than 40 adults despite bitterly cold temperatures, included a free barbecue dinner and games for adults as well as kids.

Enerplus, which primarily operates in the Mandaree area, prides itself on being part of the community, Presser said.

“The oil companies take a lot from this community but our goal is to really give back and not just necessarily financially,” Presser said.

Other holiday contributions

Among the other examples of good works provided by the North Dakota Petroleum Council were:

– QEP Resources provided Christmas gifts for 163 students of the Three Affiliated Tribes Head Start program, as well as gifts for 25 staff members. QEP also donated 400 blinking safety clip-on lights for those who attended the Meet Santa and Parade of Lights event in New Town.

– WPX Energy donated to the Minot Community Action Partnership’s toy drive and the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Children and Family Services toy drive.

– Continental Resources donated to Dunn County Social Services’ Christmas for Kids.

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