“Ben Stiller would have been proud,” Trish LaPaglia said with a laugh. She was of course referring to the 2004 Stiller film, “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”, and this past weekend’s RDU International Dodgeball Charity Challenge. The inaugural RDUIDCC event was a bit of an underdog, as is any event in its first year. But when it was all said and done, everything turned out just wonderfully.
Magnus played host to the 40 team tournament in downtown Raleigh, and together with sponsors, participants, food trucks, and local restaurants, raised $25,000 to go toward a bus for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County. I haven’t spoken with Ben lately (or ever), but I’m assuming he’d be proud of that as well.
Those of us who didn’t already know, learned on Saturday that a dodgeball game is a good time. But, a dodgeball tournament for a great cause is an all-out fun-fest.
“A dozen or so teams came up and thanked us personally for putting on the event,” said Chas Scarantino, Magnus CEO. “They were so competitive, and wanted badly to win, yet played with a very high level of sportsmanship. Just a lot of fun to watch.”
Chas wasn’t the only one enjoying the show. Representatives from the Boys & Girls Clubs stood on a pavilion overlooking center court, smiling for an hour straight. With joy, humidity, and sweat in the air, and amid the sweatbands and knee-socks, you could feel the momentum build as teams battled for dodgeball supremacy. In the end, it was Quantifize who claimed the 2013 RDUIDCC Championship, along with a trophy exceeding five feet in height.
Proudly, they’ll display their new hardware for the coming year, until passing it on to next year’s victor, or reclaiming it with a second straight title. With such a sizeable trophy, comes a tournament with many details, and many preparations in order to execute. It’s a good thing we like our co-workers because planning and pulling the event off required a lot of Magnus togetherness.
“Our biggest asset was the indomitable Magnus spirit and workmanlike attitude,” Trish noted.
But, the record should reflect that the tournament wasn’t without its challenges. As amateur dodgeballer, Hunter Davis noted, “It was hot.” Trish later added, "If sweat was money, we'd have enough for a dozen buses."
Well, we did promise the tournament would go on, rain or shine. And shine it did. Seriously, it was really hot. Sweatbands weren’t purposeless decoration at this event. They were functional, ornamental, and necessary. Even in temperatures warm enough to make the devil sweat, and with the pressure of double elimination in the back of everyone’s minds, the balls flew at heads, shoulders, knees, and toes, while the money rolled in.
"I'm really pleased with how it all went. Even though this was just the first year, it was a real success, and it already has us looking to next year,” Dan Lombardi, Magnus Software Developer by day, Event Director by night, said.
Dan is right. The event was a success, and at the end of the day, it wasn’t just about the money or the competition. It was about bringing the community together for a cause. Even with the threat of flying objects, parents brought their children to watch and be a part of making a difference.
As Chas put it, “It was neat to see kids out watching Mom and Dad compete in a game that they play at elementary school.” After all, the kids are what it’s all about – the big kids on the courts, the little kids watching their parents play, and the kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs. This weekend, all the kids won.
2013 RDUIDCC Champion: Quantifize
Best Fundraising Team: Magnus Health
Best Team Uniform: TransLoc-Ness Monsters
Best Team Name: Citrix Dodgefathers
Total Raised: $25,000