5th Annual United Way Dodgeball Fundraiser Connects Organizations Across La Porte County

Hundreds came out to the Scholl Student Center at Marquette Catholic High School in Michigan City on Saturday, May 17th for the 2014 United Way of La Porte County Corporate Dodgeball Challenge.

23 teams represented businesses and organizations throughout La Porte County at the event, which is expected to raise around $5,000 to support the United Way of La Porte County and its initiatives.

ALCOA’s “Hot Shots” team ended up defeating the E-PAK Machinery team in the tournament finals to take home the top trophy after also surviving tough battles with La Porte Savings Bank, the Iron Workers, and the LaPorteCountyLife.com team.

Adam Parkhouse, Managing Editor at the News-Dispatch and one of the event’s chief organizers, explained that the United Way likes to use the event to bring organizations together. The Michigan City High School JROTC cadets were on hand to keep the games under control, Michiana Resources worked the refreshment stands. Plus, everyone who was at the event, from the organizers to the referees, were volunteering their time, Parkhouse noted.

“We are just looking to raise money and have some fun. The teams keep coming back and it’s super competitive,” he explained. “Without the competitiveness we probably wouldn’t have done it more than once. It is a great event and it raises a lot of money.”

Kris Pate, Executive Director of the United Way of La Porte County explained that, though the event isn’t the organization’s biggest in terms of donations generated, it is one of the more well known event because of its competitive nature.

“It’s a lot of fun. A lot these teams out here represent companies who are big supporters of the United Way for several years,” she explained. “So to come out here and have some of this friendly competition and enjoy the day, its really fun.”

WIMS 1420 AM’s Ric Federighi was on hand serving as emcee for the challenge, firing up the crowd in between rounds and entertained between pool play and the tournament. For the second year, the challenge incorporated events and programs for kids with cookies as the reward for coming down and supporting the dodgeball challenge.

Also during halftime, Federighi and Dave Sisk, Community Engagement Manager for the United Way of La Porte County, informed attendees and participants of upcoming programs, events and initiatives of the United Way.

“Its really cool - you’ve got all these local sponsors, local business men and women, families - everyone gets together to spend a handful of hours together for some clean family fun. At the end of the day we’re raising funds and awareness for the United Way,” he said.

“This is the fifth year we’ve done this and the tournament gets better each year. A big thanks goes to all of our sponsors - IU Health, WIMS, Franciscan Alliance, Kik Energy and the News Dispatch, and to Marquette Catholic High School for hosting us. It’s a great way to give back to the community and the United Way,” Sisk said.

As an added bonus, UPS also presented the United Way of La Porte County with a check for $4,010 - a result of their first annual fishing contest held earlier this year.

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