Sunday, July 25, 2004

Corporate Olympics

Seen: Greater Cincinnati Benfits and Bashes

[IMAGE] Carol Sanger of Federated helps keep the torch aloft as she and Special Olympians Peter Merz (left) and T.J. King open the games, along with Jean Coggan (far left) Aida Sarajlija (back center) and Liz Bonis.
(Philip Groshong photo)
"Hoots with the Suits," the eighth annual Corporate Olympics at Fountain Square, downtown, benefited the Hamilton County Special Olympics. This year's presenting sponsors included Federated Department Stores and KeyBank/Gradison McDonald Financial Group.

Carol Sanger of Federated Department Stores welcomed 21 teams, a crowd of supporters and a collection of emcees: Channel 12 reporters John Lomax and Liz Bonis; Enquirer reporter Jim Knippenberg and comedian Steve Caminitti.

Corporate teams competed in such daring games as the Late for Work Again Relay, Profit Squeezer, Sales Pitch and Jumping Through Hoops. The wacky hat competition, while not terribly athletic, made for some real hilarity. Special kudos to the team from Graydon, Head & Ritchey LLP for turning up with boxer shorts on their heads (boxers otherwise known as "legal briefs," of course).

Each corporate team included one Special Olympian. This year's Special Olympians included Joanne Kreckler, Zack Scarlotto, T.J. King, Stephanie Mitchell, Peter Merz, Jennifer Patrick, Justin Mossberger, Jean Hollander, Matt Graves, Rachel Theobald, Giovanti Mitchell, Andrew Soper, Robert Ciamarra, Michelle Dunford, Jessica Smith, Donna Boeshart, Kelly Kroth, Jacob Groneman, Nathan Michelson, Joshua Morgan and Evan Sprague.

Corporate Olympics has remained the Hamilton County Special Olympics' largest moneymaker, raising nearly $500,000 to date. Hamilton County Special Olympics provides year-round recreation and competitive athletic activities for nearly 2,000 children and adults with mental and developmental disabilities. It is completely funded by individual and corporate donations within Hamilton County.

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