It was a night of serious fun that did some serious good. On Wednesday, October 21, hundreds of the Vancouver tech community’s finest packed out the Imperial Theatre to do what they do best – consume craft beer, wear short shorts, play ping pong, and make the world a little bit better.
By the time the dust settled and ping pong balls stopped flying, over $72,000 had been raised for the refugee crisis. Each of the 34 participating companies chose a charity that resonated with their team, and raised anywhere from $1000 to $6000 to take part in the second annual tournament.
“It’s inspiring to see Vancouver’s tech community rallying in support of the refugee crisis. It really demonstrates the cohesiveness of our industry,” said Roger Hardy, CEO of SHOES.com, which co-hosted the event with Chimp.
The costumes nearly stole the show. A stunning array of wigs, sweatbands, glow-in-the-dark swag and sweatsuits was upstaged only by the level of play. Hardcore champs brought their own paddles, cases included. Some even doused their paddles in rubber grip spray before they took on challengers.
Competitors battled it out amid a high-energy crowd, with the final singles match coming down to a top-speed, paddle-smashing last few seconds. Kevin Zhang from BuildDirect emerged victorious, defeating Joshua Viner of Left of the Dot. In the doubles competition Irfhan Rajan and Niaz Shamsi of ZAG beat out Hootsuite’s Connor Flynn and Ken Filgiano.
The winners took home $1000 for their charity, plus a $100 gift certificate from SHOES.com. Runners-up also collected $500 for their charity of choice.
Thirteen different charities will benefit from the event – all of them delivering essential services to refugees impacted by the current crisis that has seen millions flee their homes. The money raised will help with services like Doctors Without Borders’ search-and-rescue missions at sea, and Save the Children’s shelter kits for families sleeping in the open. It’s urgently important work where every dollar counts.
“TechPong is really about the industry coming together and making a collective impact while having some fun,” said John Bromley, CEO of Chimp. “That they’ve chosen to support the refugee crisis this year shows how much that issue has shocked us all in some way. It has certainly caused me to stop and think about how lucky I am to be living in Vancouver.”
Don’t forget to look for yourself in the photobooth pictures from Brandon Elliot.
For more information on how a team-wide giving event can boost your company’s culture, get in touch! We’d love to talk to you. Email Christine or call 1.877.531.0580