Home Sports Local Sports Xcel Energy lends a hand for Hike It and Spike It

Xcel Energy lends a hand for Hike It and Spike It

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Xcel Energy state government affairs manager Bernarr Treat is in charge of trash control at Hike It and Spike It. (Mike Smith Photo)

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Mike McLeod and Bernarr Treat with Xcel Energy feel that the Hike It and Spike It flag football tournament coming to Roswell Memorial Day weekend is a way for the utility company to give back to the community.

Xcel Energy Regional Manager Mike McLeod says they will be cooking for Hike It and Spike It volunteers. (Mike Smith Photo)

McLeod is the regional manager for Xcel and he said they have been involved since 2000.

“It was our first year to sponsor,” said McLeod. “We started at a smaller level; we were actually a Show Me the Money sponsor for a number of years and then over the last five or six years, we kind of stepped up as more as an event sponsor.”

McLeod said his predecessor Will Cahill was approached by Cla Avery and Jim Matteucci, the organizers of Hike It and Spike It, to see if Xcel was interested in being a sponsor.

“When I took this position a number of years ago, they came and asked me if we were going to continue with the change in leadership,” McLeod said. “Jim and Cla came in and sat down and really showed the value of proposition, the economic impact and they talked about the charity aspect. To me, it was an easy sell on my part.”

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Along with providing financial support, Xcel also helps out with cooking for the hundreds of volunteers.

“We have employees that volunteer to come out and there are folks from the Cattle Baron organization that do the majority of the cooking,” McLeod said. “We try to help out and cook some sausage wraps and hamburgers.”

McLeod estimates that nearly 150 sausage wraps and nearly 200 hamburgers will be cooked to feed more than 400 volunteers and the food is cooked on of one of Xcel’s smokers.

“We use it for community events and employee events,” McLeod said. “It’s not a big rig like some of the one’s you see.”

McLeod thinks that Hike It and Spike It is an event the whole family will enjoy.

“We love the fact it’s a community event,” McLeod said. “For the whole weekend, you see families out there and that’s great to see. It’s very family oriented and there’s no alcohol or tobacco.”

Treat, who is Xcel’s manager for state government affairs, has been around Hike It and Spike It since it started more than two decades ago. He and some friends were participants when the charity flag football event was staged near the Wool Bowl.

“That’s when I started playing and then I moved to officiating,” Treat said.

These days, Treat is in charge of the trash detail and he said he has plenty of help.

“They call me the trash man around there,” said Treat. “Years ago, we realized a greater coordination (was needed) just to handle the trash.”

Treat works with the sanitation department from the City of Roswell and there’s also help from those who are involved in community service.

“They’ve been a great source and they help us with the trash,” Treat said. “For doing that, we give them a staff packet and we feed them breakfast and lunch.”

The New Mexico National Guard’s Youth ChalleNGe Academy also helps with trash detail, according to Treat.

Treat also thinks a clean environment at the Cielo Grande Recreation area is one thing that has kept people coming back for years to Hike It and Spike It.

“People are products of their environment, whether it’s the one they live in or the one their visiting,” Treat said. “If you keep a clean, tight enforced environment and that’s the way we run it and so there’s no tolerance for bad behavior for players and fans — we keep things clean and we keep things orderly.”