Our winner showing over her stack of chips and her Club Level seats to the Redskins game! Our runner up showing the Agony of Defeat!
This past Friday we held our first ever Charity Poker Tournament to raise money for two great charities (The Jason Beach Foundation and the Washington Literacy Center). Putting on this tournament turned out to be a lot more work than I expected it to be and heading into the event I really wasn’t sure if it would all be worth it. Well, we found out quickly that it was.
All of the participants seemed to have a great time as they enjoyed the open bar, the buffet, the poker, and the conversations at the poker tables and around the room. Some even ended the night by enjoying some dancing in an adjoining room at the club!
Since the event I have had several people come up to me to comment on how much fun it was and request that we hold another one in the future. Done.
A big challenge for Dave and I is to always try to be creative when planning events to try to pick events that can be enjoyed by all types of people. We have held Iron Chef cooking contests, bowling parties, Top Golf outings, Happy Hours, attended Nationals games, Redskins games among other charity events like cleaning up students laptops at the Literacy Center, charity walks, making care packages for soldiers. To me the perfect events are ones where we can combine having a fun night with raising money or helping out charities. That’s exactly what we got with the poker night. Everyone had a blast and Dave and I were able to present both charities with checks that we know will be put to great use. I am already looking forward to an even bigger and better poker night next year!
Today marks one of my favorite times of the year. The first day of March Madness. It kicks off with a full day (and night) and basketball games that brings productivity to a screeching halt as people spend most of their days looking at scores and seeing how the latest upset has ruined their bracket in the office pool. Since I know everyone is doing it anyway, we decided a few years ago to jump in and make it a fun corporate event. This marks the third annual integrateIT March Madness Pool where our staff all fills out brackets with what little basketball knowledge we have and play for ourselves but more importantly for charities as well.
This has turned into a really fun event that we put on each year because it let’s our staff play for bragging rights and do a little trash talking but it also allows us to get some exposure for some great charities that mean a lot to the people that work for integrateIT. The pool is simple (and is free to enter). Fill out a bracket and pick a charity. If you win, you get $250 for yourself and $250 for your charity. This year we have another list of great charities that we are playing for. Here is the list of them: http://www.integrateit.net/charitable-contributions/integrateit-charity-tourney-2014/
Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more information throughout the tournament on these charities as well as the standings of our pool!
Last night was the annual Love Letters for Literacy event hosted by The Washington Literacy Center. It’s the event where the center throws a beautiful gala to thank people, raise money, and allow some of their students to speak from the heart about how the center has impacted their lives.
integrateIT was selected this year by the WLC as a recipient of the annual Champion of Literacy Award Winner. As a result, the team at WLC hosted us for the event and boy did we have a good time. The event featured a cocktail hour, an auction, a delicious dinner, and an awards program. To me (and I am pretty sure everyone else) the highlight of the evening were listening to two students at the center READ about their experiences at the center and how it has changed their lives which always resulted in standing ovations from the entire crowd.
To me this evening was rewarding not just because we received an award. It was more rewarding having so many of the WLC volunteers and staff come up to us to thank us for the volunteer work integrateIT is doing. This was confirmation for me personally that getting involved with this organization was a great decision. To hear one of the staff thank Tim for working all weekend (and his wife, Allie, for letting him work all weekend) on a new screening tool that will automate a 100% manual process, made me smile. I was proud of Tim just as I am proud of every single one of our employees that took time out of their lives this past year to help a great organization.
As I have said before, it’s a great benefit that we offer each of our employees $1000 a year to donate to the charity of their choice and we will certainly continue to offer this benefit. This past year, I wanted our company to roll up our sleeves and donate some of our time/talents to a great cause. As I sat at the table last night, it was one of the most rewarding experiences for me personally just to look around our table and see our employees smiling, having a good time, and being recognized by countless members of the WLC team for the work they did.
My goal for 2014 is for us to not only increase our involvement at WLC but also to find another organization that we can also get involved with and donate more of our time and talents.