Article & photos by Jon Banister
DC’s 29th annual JDRF Real Estate Games raised over $528K for Type 1 Diabetes research and drew 2,500 commercial real estate professionals out of the office for a day of athletic competitions.
For the first time in over a decade, a team other than Clark Construction took home the first place trophy from the games. Turner Construction won first this year, with Clark coming in second, HITT coming in third and Savills Studley in fourth.
Though its 10-year first place winning streak came to an end, Clark did repeat as the winner of the day’s final event, the tug of war competition. It beat Kastle Systems in the final round, with Savills Studley coming in third place. The $528K raised at the event surpassed last year’s record total of $525K and was the third year in a row that the event brought in over a half-million dollars for Type 1 Diabetes research.
Savills Studley Executive Managing Director and JDRF Real Estate Games founder Adam Singer was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 40 years ago this week. He said the groundbreaking research JDRF has funded has added years to his life. Singer aims to expand the games around the country and the world to raise even more money. JDRF held its first Chicago games last month and is holding its third New York City games next week. Between those two and D.C. it raised over $1M this year. He is planning future games in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Philadelphia, Tampa, Toronto, London and beyond. “If you have companies and offices there, we want you to get involved. This is impactful work that we’re doing,” Singer said. “We’re saving the lives with the money that we’re raising.”
Savills Studley Director of Research Sarah Dreyer, who chaired the games for the third year in a row alongside Cushman & Wakefield’s Summer Newman, received the Sherry Cushman award. Cushman, who presented her with the award personally, chaired the games for their first 20 years. OTJ’s Denise Myler received the Steve Laubel Award, and Stream Realty’s Charlie Smiroldo was given the Pete Wysocki award. Next year, the games will be chaired by Smiroldo, Cushman & Wakefield’s Kaleigh Jones and Grosvenor’s Zac Linsky. Brookfield’s Dave Bevirt, who recently moved to Tampa to head the leasing of a $3B development, was the honorary chair this year. Singer will be next year’s honorary chair.
Over 130 companies competed in the games, which ran continuously from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They featured a wide range of traditional sports such as volleyball, basketball, tennis, wrestling and golf.
They also featured some out-of-the box events like the head-of-office relay, in which company executives put on tutus and construction gear before racing to drill into a board and slide across the gym floor on wheeled carts.
Outside, participants raced through obstacle courses that included a slip-and-slide, rubber tires and balance beam, all while being soaked with a squirt gun. The games also featured events such as a three-point contest, office chair relay, foosball, table tennis, corn hole, a 5K run, swimming races, a noodle javelin throw, big trike derby and pairs sack race. Here are a few more pictures from the games: