Over two decades ago Unocal began a tradition of honoring Kenai seniors and retirees with a Pre-Thanksgiving dinner at the Kenai Senior Center. When Unocal sold the fertilizer plant to Agrium, their employees carried on the holiday kick-off event, followed by Chevron then Marathon and three years ago Hilcorp acquiring Chevron and Marathon’s interests in the Inlet continued the tradition.
At last Tuesday’s free feed Hilcorp employees assisted by students from Mt. View elementary school served up turkey dinners with all the trimmings to a record number of seniors.
“I’m always trilled at the turn out we have for this event not only from those who come to dinner but from our employees who volunteer to trade in their fire retardant overalls for aprons and come to serve here some very important people in our community, it’s a fun day for all of us,” said Lori Nelson, Hilcorp external affairs manager, “This is the biggest crowd we’ve ever had and indicates the increasing number of retirees and seniors who are staying in our community,” she added.
Assisting those hard working Hilcorp employees this year were students from Mt. View Elementary school, “What a great group of kids they were to work with, their principal Karl Kircher reached out to me and said he had a great group of kids who wanted to help out and they did a great job and everyone loved having them here.
A huge shout out as well to Missy the cook here as we kind of take over the whole facility and all the employees here were great to work with and were very gracious in letting us host the event here at the Senior Center,” said Nelson. It was a day to give thanks for those who pioneered the community and the industries that support it, “They created the opportunity originally for us who are working in the economic resurgence that is happening today. I had the pleasure of meeting a number of folks today that were original employees on some of the off shore platforms in Cook Inlet that we now operate. They were very appreciative that the work is continuing to the next generation with new technology allowing more production than ever thought possible. We stand on their shoulders we are their legacy. They were thankful to be here and we were thankful to serve them and wish everyone a happy and warm holiday season,” said Nelson.