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Fuller Industries dethrones champion
Defending champion is runner-up
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Fuller Industries captured the Great Bend Business Olympics. - photo by JIM MISUNAS Great Bend Tribune


June Jaunt is a summer carnival — there’s something to entertain people of every age.
For the young at heart, there’s face painting or a quick dip in the water in 90-degree heat.
There was music of various styles for every age.
But for competitors in the Great Bend Business Olympics, it was all about dethroning two-time champion Champion Service LLC at Jack Kilby Square.   
The Fuller Industries quartet of Luke Keener, Tanner Klug, Anthony Leiker and Jerry Schepmann turned the trick with a last-second 25-24 victory after the Face the Cookie balancing competition. Fuller, last year’s runner-up, needed at least a third-place finish in the Face the Cookie balancing/eating competition with Champion Service finishing no higher than fifth.
Klug, who started the day with a perfectly executed back flip, celebrated the championship by jumping for joy in stifling heat.  
“We started off strong and finished strong,” said Keener. “That was great, especially after finishing second last year. It was a lot of fun, a lot of back-and-forth with Champion Service.”
The final event was especially challenging with four players required to balance an Oreo cookie on their forehead, then somehow shift it into their mouth before going onto the next contestant.
Champion Service featured team captain Kyle Roberts, who kept up a friendly repartee with Fuller players. Roberts made sure he was watching their every move.
What made it especially intriguing was no one knew the exact style of competition or the rules until right before the event.
The Fuller Industries quartet of Keener, Klug, Leiker and Schepmann was ably backed by their secret weapon — Linda Bonewell, Fuller’s human resources manager. Bonewell quietly worked behind the scenes, setting up the strategy for the surprise victory.
The Fuller team was young and athletic, but deftly handled the precision required in each event. They showcased their skill while transporting an empty pop can with a piece of spaghetti for a first-place finish. They handled the mini-bikes while carrying a confetti egg for a runner-up finish. They only scored one point in the Hungry Hippo competition.
But Champion Service left the door open with a fourth-place tie in Hungry Hippo after winning the mini-bike event and placing runner-up in the pop can event.  
Champion Service featured team captain Kyle Roberts and teammates Michael Fletcher, Brett Roberts and Robert England when they won the initial title in 2013.
Beer 30 finished third with 21 points after winning the Face the Cookie challenge. Straub International placed fourth with 18 points after winning the Hungry Hippo event.
Elsewhere, there was food, fun and entertainment for those of every age at Jack Kilby Square.
Sunday, June Jaunt activities move to Veterans Memorial Park at McKinley and 19th.
From 11 to 2 p.m., the United Way will host a community hot dog feed for a free will donation. Proceeds will provide literacy kits to future kindergarten students at the 2016 Kindergarten Round-up for all schools in the Great Bend, Ellinwood, and Larned communities.  
In the afternoon, a garden tour highlights the floral beauty and gardens in Great Bend, with tickets and guides available at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce.
In Ellinwood, the final day of June Jaunt includes a Sentinel Art Gallery reception featuring artwork by local artists Kelli Penner, Rob Penner and Steven Bohrer from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.