Sometimes, philanthropy is served best with a side of competition. This May, more than two dozen faculty and staff donned a team uniform for the 33rd annual Battle of the Businesses, the largest fundraiser for Special Olympics of Greater Dayton.
Yearlong fundraising efforts culminate each summer the week after Memorial Day, when teams from area companies vie for trophies (and bragging rights) in events like bowling, tug of war and inner tube relay.
The University group contributed more than $1,000 to the 2013 event’s $85,000 total, which helps send athletes to compete at the regional, state, national and international levels. Battle teams can also thank these aspiring Olympians for giving them a boost, explained Shane White, associate director and team lead for UD Information Technologies, who has served as Battle coach for the past four years.
“If a team is short a member, Special Olympians are available as substitutes, so they’re competing right alongside us during the week,” White said.
The University’s shining moment? Now that organizers have dropped a basketball hot shot event, it’s usually the volleyball tournament, hosted at UD’s own RecPlex. “I claim they eliminated basketball because we were dominating it,” jokes White, noting that UD placed first in this year’s volleyball series — fueled by some sibling rivalry. Jarrod Birchfield of UD’s public safety office found himself opposite his brother, Justin, a Reynolds and Reynolds team member, in the semifinals.
The University also saw a second-place finish in bowling and a third-place finish in miniature golf, and secured the overall winning spot in the community service/education category.
“Even if we came in last place, our participation shows that we don’t just talk about going into the community; we do it,” White said. “There are a lot of people who appreciate seeing us out there, contributing to the greater good of Dayton. Plus, it’s rewarding to meet people and discover talents you never knew existed.”
Interested in joining next year’s crew? Contact White at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find him at the RecPlex, brushing up on his volleyball skills — there’s a trophy to defend, after all.
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