- by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker
The purpose of the SKIL annual customer appreciation picnics is to give SKIL customers and employees an opportunity to meet and greet one another, as well as to meet people within the community. The next 2020 customer appreciation picnic will be held in Chanute on Friday, August 7th. Due to Covid-19, this year's event—like all of the SKIL summer events this year—will be done via drive-thru.
“We wanted to continue the tradition of the picnics so we can show our customers and employees that we appreciate them, but we wanted to do it in a way that would ensure no one would get sick as a result,” said Sharon Traylor, Chanute SKIL Independent Living Coordinator. “A lot of people really enjoy the picnic and look forward to it, but we wanted to do it safely.”
As always, the event will be free to the public. There will also be free food. According to Traylor, Chanute SKIL employees will be serving hot dogs, chips, and a drink. There will also be literature to let people know about various programs available to them.
“We would all rather be doing this the traditional way, but that just wasn't possible this year,” explained Traylor. “But we are hoping things get back to normal before next year's picnic.”
The picnic will be held at the Zion Lutheran Church Family Life Center at 1202 W. Main Street from 5:30 to seven. Everyone is invited.
Each SKIL office holds an annual customer appreciation picnic so SKIL employees and customers can meet. The purpose of these are to recognize the employees and direct support workers. “We want to remind those people that SKIL is here for them,” explains Columbus IL Coordinator Aaron Ellison. "The picnics are a lot of fun. We work with a lot of customers over the telephone, so this gives them a chance to come out and meet us and put a name with a face so they can see who we are.”
With the pandemic continuing to wreak havoc, picnic protocol is changing. This will be the case for the annual Columbus customer appreciation picnic, which will be held this Friday, July 31st from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.
As always, there will be food. As of this writing, it was undetermined if the primary food would be hamburgers or hotdogs. Those items will be accompanied by chips and a drink. This year, however, the food be dispersed in a different fashion. “We're going to have pick-up orders,” explains Ellison. “People will be able to drive up and tell us what they want. We're going to be in the park pavillion, so they can then go and eat their food somewhere in the park if they want. But we are practicing social distancing and trying to keep from congregating people.”
The picnic is open to the public and the food is free.