Over the last eight years, Williston API has put hundreds of thousands of dollars back into the local community. This week, the organization is commemorating reaching over $1 million in donations with a celebration for the public.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, at Black Magic Harley-Davidson, API, along with volunteers and sponsors will be hosting a day-long event at the dealership as a way to give back to the community for their years of generosity. API President Ken Callahan said the group realized last year that they were close to reaching the $1 million milestone, and began tracking

“We realized we were somewhere around $780,000 that we had given to the community,” Callahan told the Williston Herald. “So, as we started tracking making donations, we knew we were getting close. We reached over $950,000, so we decided to plan a celebration of this group raising $1 million in less than eight years.”

Back in June, API was close to reaching their goal, Callahan said, and the group wanted to find a worthwhile organization to donate the funds that would push them over the $1 million mark. After some brainstorming, the organization found its recipient in Williston State College, with Callahan saying that the college was deserving of the donation for everything they do in the community to support API’s values.

“As we were looking at it, we wanted to make sure we gave it to the right organization,” Callahan explained. “So we were at about $994,000 and we gave a $10,000 to Williston State College to go back on our three core values, Educate, Engage and Participate; and they follow those same values.”

A Fun Run

Saturday’s celebration kicks off with a Fun Run beginning at Busters Bar, with registration from 8 to 9 a.m. The Fun Run is put on by Bras for a Cause, another community organization that raises funds for those seeking treatment for cancer. The rest of the festivities begin at noon at Black Magic, with kids events from noon to 7 p.m. including face painting, bounce houses, Move and Groove dance lessons as well as popcorn, cotton candy ice cream and more, courtesy of Studio 89. From noon to 1:30 p.m. there will be free lunch for the kids, with hotdogs, chips and cookies. The Fun Run ends at Black Magic, where the free feed for the public will run from 5 p.m. until the food runs out, thanks to sponsors Halliburton, Secure Energy, Kraken and MDU.

Local band Blu Country will take the stage from 5 to 7 p.m. to entertain the crowd, with fan-favorites Slamabama rounding out the night’s entertainment from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Throughout the day, Callahan said, there will also be giveaways and live and silent auctions. All of the help throughout the event is provided by volunteers from some of the organizations API has donated to as a way to further give back to the community.

‘Step up to the plate’

“It’s nice that when you donate money to different organizations, we ask them for help and they step up to the plate.” Callahan said.

Callahan added that it’s important for API to continue being involved in giving locally, and to involve other organizations in the area to show that the oil industry is invested in the local community.

“A lot of companies come and go,” He explained. “Our goal is to recognize and reward those companies that stay in North Dakota. Those are the companies that step up to the plate. Anytime you need something, whether it’s the Freedom Monument or anything in town, these companies step up and help the community. So it’s our job just to be the vehicle from the industry to the community to help.”

The $1 Million Celebration will take place and Black Magic rain or shine, with plans in place to move the fun indoors in the event of inclement weather.

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