JDRF Real Estate Games Returns In Person, Raises Second-Highest Fundraising Total
For the first time in three years, the JDRF Real Estate Games was held in person on Thursday, and the event raised its second-highest total ever.
Hosted at American University, the games raised $613,560 to support research for Type 1 diabetes, despite having fewer attendees than its record-setting year in 2019.
Charlie Smiroldo, a managing director at Stream Realty and co-chair for this year's event, said the games were meaningful not just because of the cause but because they were an opportunity to bring the industry back together in person.
"We're all fighting to get back to work, and this is a good entree to coming back to work, coming back to the JDRF Games," Smiroldo told Bisnow. "I think this was meaningful for a lot of people."
Clark Construction emerged as the overall winner of the year's games, continuing its lengthy run of success. The firm won the games in 2019 and for 10 of the prior 11 years. HITT took home second place this year, and Whiting-Turner came in third.
HITT was the event's Title Sponsor, and Cushman & Wakefield was the Legacy Circle Sponsor.
This year's games featured a variety of events, including traditional sports like basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and tennis and more unusual challenges like the Allsteel Chair Relay, Puzzle Me This! Challenge and Bouncy Ball Relay Race.
Over the 33 years of the games' existence, participants have raised more than $10M to support research for a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The event's founder, Savills Vice Chairman Adam Singer, wasn't able to attend on Thursday, but in 2019 said the event served as a "model of philanthropy to other industries in the region."
CBRE Senior Vice President Susan Thomas, who was a volunteer at the first games in 1990, was this year's honorary chair. Joe Coleman, who is also with CBRE, and Samantha Suehiro, a business development executive with Chicago Title, were co-chairs for this year's games.
During the pandemic, the games continued virtually, with events like karaoke and trivia.
Suehiro said she was glad to be in person for what she dubbed "adult field day."
"My husband has Type 1 diabetes so being able to raise money for these games has been very meaningful," Suehiro said. "This is very special."
CORRECTION, JUNE 10, 6 P.M. ET: A previous version of this article misstated the firm that raised the most money for this year's games. The article has been updated.