Scores of Jefferson City employees milled about in The Linc, playing cornhole and “volley pong,” shooting baskets and eating their lunches.
They laughed at colleagues’ jokes and slapped one another on the back after a particularly good shot.
All the while, they gave wide berth to a table in the midst of the fun.
On the table stood a “Pie Face!” game, its shiny, hard plastic, purple hand prepared to sour someone’s day.
The gathering was all for a good cause, according to Todd Spalding, the city’s director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry. It was a fundraiser and rally for the United Way of Central Missouri.
Spalding was one of three city leaders who would sit at the table and take their chances with a potential face full of whipped cream. Mayor Carrie Tergin and Fire Department Chief Matthew Schoffield joined him at the table.
Each took turns, placing their chins on the game piece, clicking a dial and hoping the device didn’t release the hand.
Schoffield was the first to receive a face full of whipped topping.
Then, Tergin was victimized.
That left Spalding thinking he’d gotten away with something.
Not so fast.
For weeks, the city has been collecting pennies during Penny Wars. Jars with images of city leaders’ faces have filled with change and paper money over the summer. The two jars receiving the most money identified who among the directors would each receive a full-size pie in the face.
Donations for the pie challenge raised $1,067 for the United Way.
Spalding was one “winner.”
The other on Thursday was Sonny Sanders, director of planning and protective services within the traffic division.
And the victors of a corn hole tournament held during Thursday’s event — Nick Bax and Matt Ebeler — got the privilege of delivering the pies.
Employees circled around the men and cheered when they hit the directors’ faces with pies.
The corn hole tournament raised another $150 for the United Way.
Spalding laughed after the event.
“We (including Sanders) were the losers on multiple levels,” he said.
“It’s just fun to see all the staff coming together like this for a good cause. It’s just fun,” he said. “It tastes good.”
Tergin said she couldn’t remember any previous pie-in-the-face events the city had conducted. It has held dunking booths. She pointed out that she’s been dunked … a lot.
The events build teamwork and camaraderie, she said. It brings staff together who don’t interact often.
“We have fun activities every year. We do something new and different for the United Way every year,” Tergin said. “Our community is very generous and tries to set a good example.”
Originally Appeared Here