On a recent perfect summer Thursday, a group of “EPIC athletes” and their cheerleaders (otherwise known as EPIC, Frenkel, Vanbridge, and Capacity team members) came together on the softball field in New York’s Central Park. Not just any softball game either, but the 20th anniversary game of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) Charity Softball Tournament. Teams from nine different insurance industry organizations participated: Axis, Sompo, Chubb, Aon, Munich, TransRe, Arch, Odyssey, and EPIC.
This is an annual tournament hosted by the IICF, the “the philanthropic voice” of the insurance industry. IICF’s Northeast Chapter has raised nearly $600,000 over the past ten years for New York tri-state charities, including The Child Center of NY, a non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen children and families to build healthy, successful lives. The Child Center of NY reaches over 30,000 children in the New York City area, at every stage of development, with programs that help them build resiliency and social-emotional skills; work through trauma; improve in school; and prepare for graduation, college, and careers. They transform entire communities, establishing hubs with multiple interconnected programs in high-risk neighborhoods that collectively provide the intensive services families need to break the generational cycles of poverty and trauma.
Our fantastic EPIC team played in three games on a hot, sunny day in Central Park. We were just warming up in the first game… and were swiftly defeated. Then we got serious and headed into the second game with some runs on the board and trailing by only one run. We were making plays, running bases, and generally coming together as a full, cohesive team.
As we neared the end of the hour (the time limit for the game), Eric Oakland stepped up to the plate and with a loud crack, belted the ball “over the fence,” bringing two more of our runners happily home. We were in the lead! The cheering section went wild and it was surely the loudest moment of the day. We had folks from Pearl River high fiving folks from Stamford and folks from Jersey City hugging folks from the Manhattan office. It was truly a terrific moment, one that you genuinely look forward to experiencing when you have these company events.
I’d love to say it ended with an EPIC win but sadly we didn’t have enough time to complete the inning. So despite the magic of the moment, the game ended and victory was pulled from our grasp. Despite the game ending with a loss, we truly came together as “ONE EPIC” and the comradery built across offices and fun had by all counted as the most important and most meaningful win in our minds.
We topped off the day spending time in the Boat Basin, networking with the other companies and relishing the great time spent having fun while helping to make a difference in the lives of local kids.
A big thank you to Angelo Cirinello for leading our team for the second year in a row and providing some excellent on-field coaching. We hope to see more of you out on the field next year! It was a great day in the park living our EPICness values together!