The Roundup -

API Chili Cook-Off


January 24, 2018 | View PDF

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is a trade association that represents producers and servicers of a wide range of oil and petroleum businesses throughout the United States. Representing more than 10 million jobs in the United States, more than eight percent of the nation’s economy and more than 625 business members, the organization focuses on promoting safety on the job and positively affecting the gas and oil industry through influencing public policy. This organization is represented by numerous chapters in various oil-producing regions through out the country including the Williston Basin.

Acting as a part of the national API, the Williston Basin API is a nonprofit organization that is comprised of local oil producers who desire to give back to the community where they work. In particular, the Williston Basin API raises funds for scholarships for students from the local area.

The 37th annual API Chili Cook-Off will be held on February 3 at the Grand Williston Hotel. Ken Callahan, who is the President of the Williston Basin API and also the Montana Dakota Utilities Energy Services Manager, explained what the cook-off accomplishes.

Callahan told the Roundup, “The proceeds are going to primarily the API scholarship fund and also Make-A-Wish Foundation, March of Dimes, Relay for Life, American Cancer Society, and more. Anyone who is a member, we put money together and give them a scholarship to help educate them.”

He continued, and explained the ways that the Williston Basin API gives back to the community, saying, “We do two fundraisers and three events. We do the chili cook-off in February and a golf tournament in July and an awards ceremony which is the third week in November, but the latter is not really a fundraiser.”

Recipients from past Williston Basin API events include the Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, Christmas for Children, St. Baldricks Foundation, Williston Rural Fire Department, Williston Curling Club, and Williston Chamber of Commerce.

Those who wish to donate cash amounts to help with these causes may do so, but the Williston Basin API also is accepting in-kind donations and donations of goods that will be raffled off to support their charitable causes. The value of the items will determine the level of sponsorship, which includes bronze, silver, gold, diamond, platinum, black gold, and Bakken trophy level. Different levels of sponsorship will come with varying degrees of publicity and advertising for the businesses that donate to the cause.

According to Callahan, participation has remained stable or increased in the recent downturn of the oilfield economy, but donations have not.

Callahan reported, “Participation, in terms of members, is up. But, because of the price of oil, companies are still watching their bottom dollar and donations are down. I believe next year will be a better year. People want to participate and are willing to donate their swag, but often aren’t willing to write checks because of this concern. I believe this next year, this will be a turning corner for us.”

If you would like to find out more about the event or become a sponsor, call Ken Callahan at 701-572-1620.


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