Don’t call it ping pong

Table tennis is serious business for participants in the Kansas City Corporate Challenge competition. Many competitors arrived at the event equipped with custom paddles and extra practice balls. Some even donned special athletic shoes designed especially for the sport. For one Stowers member, it was a bit less serious. She just wanted to have fun participating in a sport that she had learned from her grandmother and grown up playing with her siblings. Nonetheless, former Sánchez Alvarado Lab Research Tech Carolyn Kaufman took first place in the women’s single event.

The Corporate Challenge is designed to promote health, wellness, camaraderie, and a spirit of corporate competition through organized sporting events.

“It was exciting to get out there and participate in something I enjoy and represent Stowers in such a positive way,” says Merry McLaird, lab manager of the Conaway Lab. McLaird competed in multiple swimming events, finishing first in her age group and division in backstroke, butterfly, and individual medley. “Participating on the Stowers relay team was a great opportunity for me to get to know some of my co-workers better, too.”

From April through June this year, nearly 150 Stowers Institute members competed in a variety of Corporate Challenge events, including bowling, softball, volleyball, horseshoes, darts, and golf. And although not everyone or every team walked away with a win, many Stowers members enjoyed their participation and left with a heightened sense of camaraderie.