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Eating Pie

Second-grader Isaiah Turner, at left, is all smiles after smashing a pie in the face of Curt Kimms of Blue Ridge Power last Wednesday morning as a part of a school fundraiser and a team-building effort between the two. Photo | Allyson Dix

Allyson Dix

The Herald-News


While eating pie for breakfast may sound appealing for many, for one man in Summer Shade, “eating pie” was a little less desirable last Wednesday morning.

The chilly morning air and a cold pie to the face was what Curt Kimm had shortly after 7:00 a.m. after local second-grader Isaiah Turner power slammed one into Kimm’s face as a part of a fundraising event.

Isaiah, a student of Metcalfe County Elementary School, started fundraising for his classroom after he was selected Prince of his class, an annual event held by the school. The monies raised goes directly back into his classroom benefiting the students.

Curt Kimm, Construction Manager of Glover Creek Site with Blue Ridge Power, explained that they came across the fundraiser at local Momma T’s restaurant in Summer Shade, not far from the solar construction site.

When Kimm caught word of the competition, he said he wanted to make sure the owner won the fun competition. The pie-in-the-face contest ended on October 18 and through the days, there may or may not have been a concerted effort for the owner to have to eat the pie. That all changed when Kimm’s employees caught wind of the contest.

“I came across this contest they were having,” Kimm said, “Judy was at the top of the board and I thought that was unfair so I donated to make sure the owner became the person who was going to get the pie.”

When Kimm’s work crew heard about the contest, they decided it should be their boss that would be eating pie and ensured that the competition would see their manager as the winner through their donations.

Blue Ridge Power is currently constructing solar panels that will ultimately help power electricity when complete. Kimm said the crew is in the closing out phase of the project where adds high levels of stress for everyone, and the event was ultimately a great team-building endeavor.

“The fundraiser event turned into an extremely great opportunity to not only help out Isaiah, but it also gave the team something else to focus on,” Kimm explained. “The focal point for me being able to do this is that it has made everyone on our team focus on one thing right now.”

The construction manager also explained that Blue Ridge engages in community projects everywhere they go. Last November, they hosted a free turkey giveaway in Summer Shade to the community.

“We aren’t always met with the best responses,” Kimm shared about bringing solar power to communities such as ours. “Not everybody wants solar, but it gives us the opportunity to connect and talk to people, letting them know who we are.”

The crew traveled from all over the United States to Metcalfe County as well as other places to build the construction of the site. Once finished, the solar power will be passed to a more local level for management, yet still governed by Blue Ridge Power.

Despite being “out-of-towners” who have been around since last July, Kimm said, “We’re a part of this community, because we’re traveling from all over the U.S. to build this, and it is essential and imperative for us to become a good neighbor with our community and this fundraiser is just a fantastic way to do it.”

Blue Ridge employees gathered for their Wednesday safety meeting at 7:00 a.m. and shortly after, Isaiah had the opportunity to make the construction manager eat pie by smashing it in his face.

Corey Battle, Field Manager for Cinterra, a subcontractor with Blue Ridge Power, slams a second pie into the face of Curt Kimm, Construction Manager with Blue Ridge Power, as a part of the team building portion of the contest. Photo | Allyson Dix

Kimm took not only one pie, but two pies, to the face after Corey Battle, Field Manager for Cinterra, a subcontractor with Blue Ridge Power, smashed a second pie to Kimm’s face.

Site Superintendent Grant Straiton told the Edmonton Herald-News, “We recognize that we work in an industry that tends to give people mixed emotions, especially in the communities we impact. Blue Ridge Power truly makes every effort to make that impact as beneficial for everyone.”

“Our crews are away from home most of the year and the effort Momma T’s and other members of the community has made to make everyone on our site feel welcomed and at home, we wanted to show how much that was appreciated,” Straiton added.

Momma T’s, who offers up hearty, homemade meals, advertised the fundraiser in the restaurant and on social media. The contest ran from October 9th through the 17th, and Isaiah has raised a total of $1,148 for his Prince fundraising for his classroom.

Isaiah, who is excited for the support he has received, said after the fundraising was over, “Those guys must really like me to help me that much.”

To date, Blue Ridge Power has installed 141,210 solar panels across a 680-acre span of land located just outside Summer Shade. The total acreage for the solar panels alone total 400 acres, according to Straiton.

The site anticipates the solar panels to be ready for power in Feb. 2024.

Isaiah Turner with his mom, Tonya Turner, at Blue Ridge Power awaiting the pie smashing contest. Photo | Allyson Dix

Isaiah Turner and Curt Kimm are eye-to-eye right before Kimm meets his ultimate “eating pie” fate. Photo | Allyson Dix


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