Challenge for Charity (C4C) is a MBA student-led non-profit organization that brings together nine West Coast Business Schools to support the Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Clubs, and local charities. Their signature event is the annual C4C Sports Weekend in Palo Alto. It’s an awesome time and one of the most cherished memories for many Foster MBA students. It’s my pleasure to introduce Erin Poulter, one the outgoing Challenge For Charity (C4C) co-presidents, who provides some great insight on what it was like to be at the C4C Sports Weekend this year!
Challenge for Charity
The University of Washington’s Foster MBA students believe community involvement is an integral part of being a business professional. As a result, each year we participate in the MBA Challenge for Charity (C4C), a non-profit organization that draws on the talents, energy, and resources of MBA students from nine west coast business schools to support our local Special Olympics and Boys & Girls Clubs. The objective is to develop business leaders with a lifelong commitment to community involvement and social responsibility.
What is the C4C Auction?
Every year, Foster C4C hosts an auction that serves as our primary fundraising event. The auction is 100% student planned and coordinated. To date, Foster MBA students have volunteered over 20,000 hours and donated more than $1.4 million to the Special Olympics Washington and the Boys & Girls Club of King County!
The 2014 C4C Auction was the best attended in the event’s history and saw 290 new and old friends alike come together to make the event a huge success. Our Live Auction highlights included an African safari, a getaway to Hood Canal, a private catering experience, and a soccer clinic with the Seattle Sounders, to name a few. Adding to the excitement, for the first time in years, Foster took back the #1 spot in fundraising over the 8 other West coast schools in attendance at C4C Sports Weekend! We want to keep the momentum going, and the planning for the 2015 Auction is already underway. We hope that our incoming students will help us make 2015 even more amazing by continuing to support these wonderful charities. It’s time to bring the golden briefcase back to Foster, where it belongs!
The C4C Sports Weekend
Sports weekend is partly for competition, partly for ego, but mostly, it’s for a lot of fun. It’s a break from the busy routines of school and a chance to get to know classmates better, meet students from other programs, and enjoy a nice, sunny weekend in Palo Alto. It’s also a reward for thousands of hours volunteered in the community and over hundred thousand dollars raised for charity throughout the year (not to mention the bumps and bruises preparing for sports!). Seen all around the Stanford campus were UW shirts, hats, blinky party sunglasses, mustaches (both weird and impressive), purple & gold party beads and temporary UW tattoos. Foster’s Student Band – Death Spiral killed it at Battle of the Bands. The weekend proved that we are as intense with our sports as we are with our studies!
What an exciting weekend we had! Over 180 Full Time, Evening and Blue Dots trekked down to Palo Alto this April and Foster definitely represented at C4C Sports Weekend at Stanford. All year long, students from nine MBA programs on the West Coast raise money and donate thousands of volunteer hours to Special Olympics and local charities. Then, every year in mid-April, we trek down to sunny California and compete in sports events and some non-sporting events with the likes of Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley, and USC. Whether it was Basketball, Dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, Trivia, the Dance Competition, Tug of War or Battle of the Bands, we participated in almost every event and showed the other schools that UW is there to win. And we did!
Foster placed 2nd in
- Co-ed Soccer
- Co-ed Softball
- Table Tennis
- Ultimate Frisbee
- The Spelling Bee
Foster placed 3rd in
- Women’s Basketball
- The Trivia Bowl
All results can be seen here. Go Dawgs!!
So how did we do?
Between the 2013 and 2014 Sport Weekends, UW raised over $112,000 and donated over 2,600 hours of community service! These two components count for a combined 80% of the total score. Together with the sports during the weekend, UW got a strong 2nd place finish! Awesome job everyone!
Sadly, in the end, the famed “Golden Briefcase” went to USC for another year. Foster placed second overall, just nipping at the heels of USC in the competition for the Golden Briefcase. While we raised the most money per capita of any school, we were just shy on our volunteer hours and not able to restore the Golden Briefcase to its proper home at Foster. But that was 2014, with everyone’s help, we can prevail in 2015!! Here are some stats:
- Foster —78
- USC —80
Hours Volunteered Per Capita (40%)
- Total Hours Volunteered—2,621 hours
- Total Foster Hour per Capita—11.3 hours
- Total USC Hours per Capita—12.8 hours
Fundraising Per Capita (40%)
- Total Amount Raised—$112,068
- Foster Fundraising Amount per Capita—$485
- USC Fundraising Amount per Capita—$480
Sports Weekend Performance is weighted 20%
- Foster Sports Weekend Ranking—5th
- USC Sports Weekend Ranking—4th
As you can see, Foster and USC are neck-in-neck! Let’s step it up this year and show everyone what Foster is all about at Sports Weekend 2015!
Let’s start volunteering NOW!!
Your efforts begin to count now, 2015! And 2014 hours count until graduation. Begin getting out into community and giving back!
Sign up here: https://depts.washington.edu/mbaclub/mba-clubs/challenge-4-charity/c4cvolunteer/
Log your hours here: https://depts.washington.edu/mbaclub/submit-your-c4c-volunteer-hours/
And even if you’re not in the Seattle area, you can still help! Remember to use our affiliate link for all of your Amazon purchases and any money raised goes straight into the C4C donation bin (with no added cost to you!). Do what I do and bookmark it right on top so you don’t forget!
Just a typical misty grey Saturday morning in Seattle, what should an MBA do? Catch up on finance reading? Nah…instead I dug through the box in my basement and found what I was looking for. My swim trunks! Its time to go for a swim!
For the past three years, Foster MBAs and Challenge for Charity (C4C) have teamed with the Special Olympics of King County to participate in the Seattle Polar Plunge. This is a citywide event that raises over $100,000 annually with 100s of participants braving the waters. An exhilarating 45 seconds where those who aren’t faint of heat take an icy dip in South Lake Union to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics. Is it cold? Depends on your definition of cold. At 46.4 degrees, the water was actually warmer than being outside! Its all relative I guess.
The Polar Plunge has become a tradition at Foster and is one of many opportunities that MBA students show their support for local community organizations. In this event alone, we have raised over $15,000 in three years. The Foster C4C team had over 40 volunteers and 15 plungers participate in this year’s event. We helped out by volunteering with setup, check-in, passing out flyers and cleanup. Although this may seem like work, we always find a way to have a good time. With crazy costumes (one individual went swimming in a three piece suit complete with a bow tie) and goofy hats, and even someone dressed as a Polar Bear dancing in the crowd to “Gangnam Style,” Foster students and C4C are proving that we are leaders in Seattle.
~Guest Blogger Jay Winzler, Full-time Class of 2013; President, Challenge 4 Charity
Reblogged from Foster unplugged
Dodge ball…last time I played dodge ball was in 5th grade. If my memory serves me right, I was pretty good back then.
ZING! I managed to avoid the first ball, but the second one knocked me out of the game. The next three games were no different. Apparently I’m not as quick as I used to be. That’s okay, the women’s basketball game was about to start and I wanted to join the Dawg Pack as we cheered them in the championship game against Stanford.
Sports Weekend is an annual event in which Foster students join students from 8 other MBA programs including Stanford, UCLA, USC and Berkeley to celebrate our year of hard work in volunteering and fundraising for local charity organizations. The weekend is filled with sunshine, new friends, school spirit and competitions in every type of event imaginable. Team sports – football, ultimate, volleyball, trivia. Individual sports – swimming, running, spelling bee and just for fun – cheerleading, battle of the bands and challenge races. At the end of the weekend, there is an epic celebration and the program that has raised the most money, volunteered the most hours and successfully competed in the most sports is announced as the winner of the coveted Golden Briefcase.
Foster is famous at Sports Weekend. We are known for our terrific student turnout, fun-loving personalities and because the men arrive with creative and sometimes hilarious facial hair. After a sun-filled Saturday of sports, new friends and school spirit, we ended with the annual Battle of the Bands. Death Spiral, the favorite UW band, got the party started with a rousing song by Seattle favorite Nirvana before following up with the entire crowd singing along to Cee-Lo’s “Forget You.”
UW has a history of winning the Golden Briefcase and yet again we were in the hunt! Everybody was on edge as the final announcement was made. UW took 2nd place in both volunteer hours and fundraising efforts and took 2ndplace overall. WHOO HOO! Although we didn’t win Sports Weekend this year, our hard work (over 1,600 volunteer hours) and effort was justified with a 2nd place finish.
On Sunday, we took one last chance to sit by the pool and top off our tans, said goodbye to our new friends, traded business cards (we are MBA students after all) and shared a few more stories. It was hard to leave California, but I, for one, was excited to get back to Seattle. I had a speech to prepare. I finished my quantitative methods homework on the plane and after landing checked a voicemail from my friend and co-president:
“Hey Jay, it’s Jessica. I had a great weekend, so much fun. That football game was intense! We need to talk. It’s time to start strategizing about how we are going to win the Golden Briefcase next year. Oh yeah, one other thing. Please shave, your mustache is scaring the little kids.”
In Managerial Accounting, a Death Spiral is when you cut costs or products to remain competitive, which triggers a chain reaction eventually leading to impending doom for your company. While that concept does not sound like a lot of fun (and may be all too familiar in these recessionary times), Death Spiral, the Foster MBA band, is a lot more awesome than the “traditional” death spirals that Professor Burgstahler teaches us about. Although the name may imply that we are a progressive metal band from outer Scandinavia, Death Spiral, which consists solely of UW MBA students, has long been one of the more unique aspects of Foster.
In a past life, I was a singer-songwriter in New York City, working in the music industry by day, and playing gigs in coffeehouses and bars at night. When I decided to go to business school, I thought my music days were over. However, one great thing about Foster is that creativity is actively encouraged, especially in creating a sense of community. When I attended Welcome Weekend last May upon being admitted, the outgoing band leader Ryan ended up inviting me on the Death Spiral stage at the TG (Foster’s monthly party with different themes ranging from rock concerts to Bollywood), where I joined them for a song in front of my future classmates.
By the time the winter quarter kicked into gear, I got in touch with Nick and Mike, the second years who currently play bass and drums in the band, and began attending the Sunday night rehearsals in a (somewhat sketchy) rehearsal space at the edge of town. Armed with a mysterious set list, we went to work, beginning some of the most demanding yet rewarding rehearsals as a musician I have had throughout my music career.
Although I ended up having to bail on the first gig to help represent Foster in a case competition in California, I was able to play the big fundraiser at the Rendevous, a club in downtown Seattle that we packed over 100 people into on March 31st. We were raising funds for Foster’s C4C club, in our year long quest for the Golden Briefcase, competing in charity hours and fundraising against a number of West Coast business schools. From the moment we stepped on stage performing Radiohead’s National Anthem, to the second we closed the night with Foo Fighter’s Everlong, we rocked a crowd that topped out at around 120 people, playing an hour long set of rock, soul, pop, and dance songs that the entire crowd enjoyed.
We recently hit up Palo Alto for C4C Sports Weekend, where we closed out the competitions with a Battle of the Bands. This time, the stage was a bit bigger, with over 600 people in the audience, and Foster’s superior musicianship over other business schools was once again on the line. Of course, we blew away all competition, with our multiple lead singers, four part harmonies, brass and rhythm section, and nonstop party rock. Next, we’ll be performing at the May Welcome Weekend TG, in what promises to be an epic journey of rock discovery.
In the next year, we are looking to transition to the new crop of musicians, looking to put together a solid lineup in the storied tradition of the band. Luckily, we have a number of classmates who are ready to rock, including Abishek on drums and Ben on guitar, who both performed at the Rendevous show, and we are hoping to have some energetic incoming students who know how to work a crowd. For Foster, being caught up in a Death Spiral is anything but a road to impending doom.
~ Guest Blogger Matt Jasper, Full-time Class of 2013
On February 25th, the students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the Foster MBA program came together for a night of cocktails, dinner, and socializing with the sole purpose of raising as much money as possible for the Challenge for Charity. An annual tradition, the theme of this year’s auction was “Mardi Gras.” New Orleans Jazz music played in the background and beads were handed out at every turn (no flashing required)!
Everyone agreed that the night was a resounding success as together we raised a large sum of money for Special Olympics Washington and Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. Everybody pitched in and donated, whether at the Mystery Wine Table, with a raffle ticket for a Canlis gift certificate, or by bidding on one of the numerous silent auction items, or through the exciting live auction.
This night was the product of 10 months of hard work from the auction co-chairs and countless volunteers. This event is a true testament to Foster’s desire to selflessly donate time, energy, and money to worthy causes. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this is part of a friendly competition with other MBA programs for the Golden Briefcase!
(See Challenge for Charity tags for more information about this worthy charity.)
~ Guest Blogger Carly Massey, Full-time Class of 2012
This past Saturday, 22 Foster MBA Student jumped into Lake Union in order to raise money for Special Olympics of Washington. Together, we raised almost $7,500 for this worthy organization. This is a far cry from last year when only a handful of people participated and the money raised was seven times less. Aside from the 22 who actually braved the water, we had several in the “Chicken Coop” and numerous more volunteering in various ways throughout the event.
Every year, Special Olympics fundraises money through Polar Plunges. The purpose of these events is for individuals in the community to band together into teams, raise money, and then jump into a cold body of water. For the Foster MBA Team, that cold body of water was Lake Union. And yes, it was cold. Not nearly as cold as someplace like the Maine coast, but still cold enough to shock the breath out of you and make you want to turn around and immediately run out of the water!
The event kicked off at noon with thank yous for the top fundraisers (one individual raised over $7,000!). The Foster Team finished in 3rd place for team fundraising, with Seattle University narrowly taking second place. During these announcements, all people were in the clothing they were planning on jumping in. For one this was a full suit and tie, for one it was merely a speedo, for others it was running tights/shorts and t-shirts. With the wind whipping across Lake Union, one thing was universal: no matter what you wore during the preamble, you were cold!
When the time came, the 22 of us raced down the beach and jumped into the water. Despite the cold and despite the blocks of ice our feet became, we were all smiles! After all, we were “freezin’ for a reason!” I can’t wait to see how many Foster-ites participate next year! Perhaps we’ll even get a Super Plunger or two (Super Plungers jump into the water every half hour for 10 hours).
We are the only school outside of California and it was amazing how we managed to almost double our participation this year. While being in the California sun after several months of clouds and drizzle is fantastic, there are a lot of other reasons why Sports Weekend is an event that can’t be missed. Stanford’s huge campus is the only one that can accommodate the 1400 people that attend the weekend, providing us with the beautiful Stanford Golf Course, sand volleyball courts, and even a stage for the spelling bee. Pool parties and meeting people from other business schools are always fun as well. I even ran into a few of my friends from undergrad!
I would say one of my favorite moments is the Battle of the Bands. We have the best band, hands down, and the Saturday night party rocks mostly because of us (no bias here). All-you-can-drink kegs both nights aren’t so bad either, but between Mike Warady’s drum solo and all the hottest girls dancing on stage during “Teenage Dream” (Foster girls of course), I kind of forgot about taking advantage of the free beer. Or maybe it’s because of the pre-game at the hotel pool earlier that day… Who cares?
This year, all the schools combined raised over $535,000 and volunteered almost 20,000 hours. I can’t explain how much I’ve enjoyed being part of C4C and Sports Weekend, giving back to the community in a fun, competitive way. Sports Weekend was a great trip to supplement my last quarter of business school. And I’ll never forget how one of our mustached studs wearing the cape tried to fly out of a palm tree Saturday night. Only U-Dub…
– Guest Blogger, Naureen Manekia, Full-Time Class of 2011
Every year 9 of the top business schools located up and down the West Coast meet up at Stanford to compete on volunteer hours, fundraising and both serious and absurd sporting events in the Challenge for Charity. It’s an organization that “draws on the talents, energy and resources of MBAs to support Special Olympics and Boys & Girls Clubs to develop business leaders with a lifelong commitment to community involvement and social responsibility.” It also tends to be one of the events that truly solidifies the lifelong commitment we have to each other, our Foster community.
Many of us are still recovering from the lack of sleep and some tough athletic losses, yet basking in what was a weekend full of overwhelming school spirit. We’re a small MBA program compared to many of our fellow participants – UCLA, USC, Stanford – but we brought it unlike any of the other schools. It was obvious that we had the most pride in our school and our classmates. Whether it was cheering on first year, Cate, as she competed in the spelling bee or raging with our band as it kicked off the closing event, Battle of the Bands.
As the Challenge for Charity efforts wrap up for this academic year, Foster has raised $102,000 and volunteered nearly 1,800 hours in our community. An amazing feat and a great weekend of celebrating it, and each other.
Foster MBAs are not just thinking about that next case competition or how to get a great internship. We’re also racking up some serious volunteer hours chaperoning dances for the Boys & Girls Club and coaching basketball with Special Olympics athletes.
In an effort to generate funds for those great organizations, last weekend the Foster MBA Program hosted an amazingly successful auction. The event raised over $100,000! It was planned and staffed in its entirety by busy MBA students and was attended by hundreds of alumni, staff and faculty.
Some highlights of the night’s live auction:
– flying fish being thrown across the room by the famous fish mongers from Pike’s Place Market
– the heated bidding over poker night with several popular marketing professors and the Associate Dean
– hearing first hand from those who have benefited from the Boys & Girls Club and the Special Olympics
Getting all dressed up and drinking wine with our financial accounting professor wasn’t so bad either.