Shift Kicks It Up A Notch by Kristin Swad

On this not-so typical day at Shift Digital, employees walk in wearing colored tee shirts, bandanas, and for some, cleats. Team donation boxes cover the main tables. Instead of the expected work conversations, captains are talking strategy for the one and only annual kickball tournament.

Shift Digital’s kickball tradition encourages team bonding, competition, and philanthropy benefiting The Paulie Strong Foundation. The foundation’s mission aims to fund and raise awareness for Pediatric Cancer research (PaulieStrong.org). This year, a competitive twist was added to our fundraising, as we encouraged the individual teams to raise the most money during the week of the tournament. It was a great way to kick off the event and make the friendly competition last all week long.

Once the tournament began, cornhole, the Mean Weenie food cart, 120 athletes, and our new favorite umpires filled Poppleton park. It was a perfect day for Shift employees to escape the office routine and visit with their pets, family members, and teammates. After 8 games, the championship game was determined – Navy team vs. Green team. After two innings of a 1-1 tie, the navy team pulled ahead with a 3-1 lead. The green team quickly came back, maintaining a 3-3 tie for the next two innings. In the bottom of the 6th inning with two outs, the navy team scored the winning run ending the nail-biter championship game.

When asked about his victory, captain James Alexander put it simply: “We called it from the beginning.”

Congratulations to the Navy team for not only winning the kickball tournament, but for also winning the Paulie Strong fundraising competition, gaining a pizza party and a year of bragging rights. Check out their photo trophy which will be hanging in one of the Birmingham offices. In the meantime, the rest of us will be training for next year’s comeback.

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