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New York Holds First Real Estate Games For Charity, Adopting DC Tradition As Its Own

New York
JDRF Real Estate Games honorary chair Jill Goubeaux (middle)

With REBNY's Jim Whelan at the helm, the first annual New York JDRF Real Estate Games was held at Chelsea Piers yesterday, drawing roughly 120 commercial real estate professionals and raising $85k for Type 1 Diabetes research.

The event was the NYC chapter’s first take on what’s become a Washington, DC, tradition since Adam Singer, an executive managing director at Savills Studley, founded the games 27 years ago. Adam's snapped above left at the JDRF Games in DC, along with JBG's Jill Goubeaux and JDRF's Bill Parsons.

“The original thought was ‘we have such a close-knit industry, what a perfect way to bring people together and harness both those competitive instincts and that sense of cooperation’” for a good cause, he says.


This year’s DC games, which took place last week, brought out more than 2,400 commercial real estate professionals and raised over $520k to be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where Adam also sits on the International Board.

Adam, who has Type 1 Diabetes and has been at Savills Studley for 33 years, says the event is close to his heart and he's excited to see some of New York's biggest firms embrace the games this year.

“It goes to such a great cause," he says. "It’s become more important than any dinner or gala in DC, and we hope to find the same commitment in New York, where the industry has supported JDRF for 40 years.” 


Adam says REBNY’s Jim Whalen, who served as chairman of the first New York games, did most of the heavy lifting in bringing the event to the city that never sleeps.

“About nine months ago, he just said ‘you know what, I’m doing it’ and he pushed, prodded and otherwise got things rolling, and it all paid off,” Adam says.


This year’s New York games featured tug-of-war, rock climbing, jousting, basketball and dodgeball, among others, and Eastdil Secured’s team came out the overall winners.

In addittion to Eastdil, 12 other teams—including Cushman & Wakefield, Vornado, REBNY, Tishman Speyer and Two Trees Management, Savills Studley and Brookfield—participated, and Adam says eight more firms have signed on for next year’s games.

“I’m confident we’ll be raising half a million in New York in just a few years,” Adam says.