The start of football season recently led to a little fall fun in support of the community at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

The company’s Young Professionals (YP) Connect group hosted its annual tailgating event at Blue Cross Centre. Music, nachos and yard games abounded and more than 400 personal hygiene items, such as toothbrushes and shampoo, were collected for United Way of the Midlands in two hours, said Marina Ostropalchenko, BCBSNE employee and tailgate organizer.

“The tailgate is an annual event that brings employees together,” Ostropalchenko said. “We were lucky to have a warm fall day everyone could enjoy this year.”

The tailgate supports YP Connects’ mission to help young professionals in their career development.

“Through events like this, we’re able to advocate for young professionals throughout the company and enable everyone to get to know each other in a fun environment,” Ostropalchenko said.

YP Connect hosted a cornhole tournament at the tailgate for the first time this year. Employees, including tournament champions Ganesh Paduvary and Chris Wildman, formed teams of two to compete in the friendly competition.

“Chris dragged me into it,” Paduvary said. “The YP committee did a great job of arranging this and making it fun.”

Overall, Ostropalchenko said the event enables YP Connect to support BCBSNE’s commitment to giving back to the community.

“We are proud to contribute to United Way of the Midlands’ cause,” Ostropalchenko said.

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