(From the May 2012 eClean Magazine)
by Allison Hester, Editor
July 27 thru 29, window cleaning contractors (and others) will be traveling to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin (about 40 miles west of Milwaukee) for one of the most unique industry-related gatherings of the year, the 16th Annual Window Cleaning Network Picnic.
The annual Picnic began in 1997, shortly after Gary Mauer founded the Window Cleaning Network. The idea came about somewhat accidentally, following a comment on the network’s board about company picnics. “People pounced on that, and we started planning a picnic for the network’s first anniversary,” he explained. “I’m really glad we stumbled on the name Picnic. It’s easy to remember, easy to explain, and helps keep me from getting too carried away with planning.”
Located at the Olympia Resort and Conference Center, the Picnic emphasizes “natural networking opportunities” through events such as a golf outing, a fireworks show, and of course, a picnic, explained Mauer. The resort and surrounding area are family-friendly, making it a potential getaway for individuals as well as families.
During the three-day event, attendees will experience the following:
• Education: Rope Access, pressure washing, aerial lift safety and tempered glass issues will be featured during short seminars. Additional education includes information on waterfed poles, accessories, and water systems; soft washing; screen washing; and fall restraint. RHG sponsors the meeting room used on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
• Steaks on the grill and other refreshments: Lunch includes Santa Maria steak (done steak Diane style – flames and all), roasted sweet corn and more, provided by Ettore Products company, and prepared on Weber grills by celebrity grill master John Becker. Ettore is giving away two brand new Weber Grills (used only once). Additionally, J Racenstein & Co is pitching the Picnic tent. Detroit Sponge & Chamois Co. is hosting the reception. Unger Enterprises provides refreshments for all the onsite activities – Picnic, reception and seminars.
• Games and Recreation: The Don Chute Memorial golf outing moves to Friday afternoon, making it easier for most to arrive in time to play. Proceeds are donated to the late Don Chute’s favorite cause, HeartBound Ministries. “Last year we raised $1,000 for HeartBound, which supports chaplain programs in Georgia prisons,” added Mauer. Hole-in-one prizes are planned, as well as prizes for fun contests like long drive, longest putt and shortest putt. IPC Eagle Power is hosting Picnic recreation – including a water balloon game, sponge toss and the golf outing.
Friday night, attendees and their families can enjoy the industry’s first fireworks show, produced by the area’s largest pyrotechnics firm from the top of Olympia ski hill, which should be “visible for miles.”
“Quick, to-the-point seminars, hands-on equipment and safety demos, a work truck show, and thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes and samples have made this the largest event every summer since 1997,” said Mauer.
To learn more about the event or to make reservations, visit the Picnic’s website, http:// www.window-cleaning.net.