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Faber-Sponsored Basketball Tournament Wins Big for Special Olympics

June 2018

Big Check. This year’s Bio-Ball broke previous fundraising records.
‍This year’s Bio-Ball broke previous fundraising records.

Faber joined with  many clients and friends in the Boston-area biotech community to score big  with the 2018 Bio-Ball tournament, the wildly-popular annual fundraiser for  Special Olympics Massachusetts, raising a record $360,000. Approximately 650  athletes and spectators turned out for the event, which took place at the  Cambridge Rindge and Latin School on March 24. For more than a decade, Faber has  been the lead sponsor for the event, providing in aggregate over $150,000 in  financial support, and also has regularly fielded its own team of committed  volunteers to help organizers from Special Olympics Massachusetts ensure the  event runs smoothly.

The red Unified Ball, symbolizing social inclusion, captured the tournament’s spirit.
‍The red Unified Ball, symbolizing social inclusion, captured the tournament’s spirit.

The “CEO Free Throw  Contest” opened a day of enthusiastic, good-natured rivalry, as executives  from each of the 16 participating biotech companies teamed with a Special  Olympics athlete to show off their shooting skills. A red “Unified Ball,”  symbolizing social inclusion, was thrown by the Special Olympians, as the  crowd went wild.

At that point, players  and fans alike were primed for the tournament. Each of the 16 participating  biotech companies fielded a team of employees who then were joined with a Special  Olympic team of athletes from Boston or one of its neighboring towns to  create unified lineups that then competed against other unified lineups in  both individual skills and five-on-five games. Spectators cheered themselves  hoarse in support of favorites, and the 2018 Bio-Ball champs were Sunovion  and the Brookline Jaguars. The four teams that raised the most money won free  tickets to a Boston Celtics game.

Friendly but determined competition characterized the games.
Friendly but determined competition characterized the games. ‍

“It was inspiring  to watch how quickly the players bonded. Their determination and energy were  obvious, and there was a lot of talent on display by both male and female athletes,”  said Kori Kaufman, a Faber volunteer. “There were two sisters on one of the  biotech teams in their teens and they were stellar players.” The Special  Olympics team from Shrewsbury (a longtime Bio-Ball participant) will be  competing at the USA Special Olympics Games this coming July in Seattle and at  the World Games next March in Abu Dhabi.

Faber volunteers (from left)
Emily Mahoney, Susan Bragdon,
Pati Wolfe and Kori Kaufman put in long hours on Bio-Ball day.‍

Pulling off the  logistics for an event that featured this many athletes is a feat in itself. “This  is not only an important fundraiser, but also one of the biggest Special  Olympics sporting events of the year, and the Special Olympics Massachusetts  staff work seamlessly with the volunteers to make this succeed,” said Faber’s  Pati Wolfe, who put in a nine-hour day helping out.

Also volunteering  from Faber were Sue Bragdon, Jill Goodman, Emily Mahoney and Gina Wu. They  assisted with everything from registration to meal setups to ushering the players.  “We made sure they got the correct team tee shirts and that food allergies  were addressed. With such a huge crowd, it could be a challenge for the  athletes to know when and where they needed to be, so we kept them on  schedule,” said Wolfe. “The Special Olympians really look forward to this  event, and we wanted to get it right.”

Watch www.bioball.org for news of next year’s big event.

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