Business executives were put to the test on Friday at the first charity I’m a CEO . . . Get Me Out of Here!
The event, to raise funds for St Nicholas Hospice Care, in Bury St Edmunds, saw eight company bosses tackle a range of country-themed trials at a farm in Bradfield St Clare.
Farm owner Mike Morley devised the morning’s driving challenges, which tasked participants with reversing a tractor with trailer through an obstacle course and manoeuvring a forklift truck carrying a trough full of water.
The executives were then blindfolded and asked to guess which animals – supplied and cared for by Jurassic Encounters – they were handling, which included a scorpion, python, skinny pig, chameleon and skunk.
“I think that was my worst nightmare,” said Stuart Hughes, solicitor at Greene & Greene, in Bury, when Dave the imperial scorpion was put in his hand.
They also faced tanks with giant Madagascar hissing and death’s head cockroaches during a challenge to retrieve five gold stars before devouring a grim five-course meal – dune beetle, sago worm, large cricket, pig testicle and pig penis – in the afternoon.
Everyone who took part was asked to raise £1,000, with the total raised currently standing at more than £6,500.
Geoff Carter, commercial senior executive at Saffron Insurance, Haverhill, was crowned overall winner and ‘King of the Mud’.
He said: “It was a brilliant day. All the participants were great fun and took it all in the spirit of the day.
“There were good challenges and there were some not so good challenges (eating the testicle was like eating a big lump of liver, and there was too much of it) but, best of all, we all took part and, more importantly, we raised some valuable funds for St Nicholas Hospice.”
Mathew Green, CEO of Green Duck, in Bury, took second place. He found the forklift challenge ‘great fun’, being blindfolded ‘most unnerving’ and the eating challenge ‘most difficult’.
“It was a fantastic day, challenging in a fun way, and eventful,” he said.
Colin Roberts, manager of arc shopping centre, in Bury, was awarded third place. He enjoyed the driving challenges most of all and found himself shaking after the tractor challenge ‘from all the adrenaline’.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted, but it was about taking part and not about winning. It was a fantastic day, brilliant for the hospice and brilliant for everyone who took part.”
He added: “The eating challenge was the worst bit – they were all pretty disgusting but the last one, the testicle, wasn’t a pleasant experience at all. I wouldn’t want to repeat that – I keep finding bits of it tucked away, so I’ll be brushing my teeth as soon as I get home.”
Claire Butler, hospice major gifts manager, said: “The whole day was fantastic, with an amazing atmosphere and camaraderie. We would definitely like to do it again, and make it even bigger and better.”