Corporate competitors from 20 teams took over Fountain Square for the eighth annual Cincinnati Corporate Olympics. The first-place trophy went to the "Re-Tail-ers" team from Federated Department Stores (NYSE:FD)(PCX:FD). The "Energizers" team from Cinergy took the second-place silver and the "Terrible Taft Tortfeasors" from Taft, Stettinius & Hollister took home the third-place bronze. The zany lunchtime competition, emceed by Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Jim Knippenberg, Local 12 WKRC-TV's John Lomax and Liz Bonis, and comedian Steve Caminiti, lived up to its theme, "Hoots with the Suits."
Wearing wacky hats and playing such loopy games as The Late-for- Work-Again Relay and Pyramid Scheme, teams from Cincinnati's most prominent corporations raised $60,000 for Hamilton County Special Olympics, bringing the eight-year total to nearly $500,000. Each team was paired with a Special Olympics athlete, who competed in each game and shared in the prizes of the winning teams.
In the fifth annual Mascot Mayhem, a half-time Olympics event, the city's top corporate marketing mascots competed in a cutthroat game of Simon Says. The Charmin Bear from Procter & Gamble won this year, snagging the bragging rights as Cincinnati's best mascot.
This year's "Spirit of Champions" award, given to the team with the loudest, most enthusiastic cheering squad, was presented to Barnaclo Home Loans.
Federated Department Stores, Inc., the games' founder, and KeyBank/Gradison McDonald Financial Group presented the 2004 Cincinnati Corporate Olympics. Patron sponsors were Chiquita Brands International, Convergys, Lazarus-Macy's, Local 12 WKRC-TV, Sanger & Eby and Xavier University, all long-time supporters of Hamilton County Special Olympics. Game sponsors were Barnaclo Home Loans, Bartlett, The Kroger Co., LaRosa's, Procter & Gamble and UPS.
"The money raised by Cincinnati Corporate Olympics is providing an unparalleled increase in Special Olympics activities," said Janet Smith, executive director, Hamilton County Special Olympics. "Plus, participating in the event itself has been a terrific boost for our athletes."
"The event has grown so quickly and has helped Special Olympics become much better known in our community," said Carol Sanger, vice president for corporate affairs for Federated. "Cincinnati Corporate Olympics is the most successful fund-raiser for Hamilton County Special Olympics. It says a lot for the corporate support in this city."
"Key specifically seeks out sponsorships that will help build stronger communities and the Cincinnati Corporate Olympics really fulfills that goal," added Marcia Hagler, vice president and marketing director for presenting sponsor KeyBank. "The tie-in with the Special Olympians made it an even more special event for our employees."
Hamilton County Special Olympics is solely dependent on local funding, and all the money raised by Cincinnati Corporate Olympics is used in the county. The organization provides 25 different year-round sports and recreational activities for nearly 2,000 athletes with mental and developmental disabilities in Hamilton County.
The Federated "Re-tail-ers" bested 19 other teams in such zany games as Rush Hour and Playing Hooky. Each team member received a $50 Lazarus-Macy's gift card, a gold medal and a share of the winner's trophy. In second place, members of the "Energizers" team from Cinergy took home $35 Lazarus-Macy's gift cards and silver medals. The "Terrible Taft Tortfeasors" from Taft, Stettinius & Hollister took third, with $20 Lazarus-Macy's gift cards and bronze medals for each player.
Bringing up the rear and taking home the "Brave in the Attempt" last-place trophy was the "PECO Elites" team from Portman Equipment. See the complete team results below. In the Cincinnati Corporate Olympics, it's not as important where teams place as it is about having good fun for a good cause!
The Corporate Olympics is nothing if not wacky, so it's fitting that emcees Jim Knippenberg, John Lomax, Liz Bonis and Steve Caminiti judged the Wacky Hat Contest. This year's winning team was "The Bookkeepers Strike Back" from KMPG, whose individual Olympic event hats stole the show!
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