Novozymes Biologicals took home gold recently at the 11th annual West End Center Corporate Olympics. Not only did the company win the most points in the athletic competitions, vying against other local businesses in 10 different events, but it also took home first place in the fundraising project.

Novozymes Biologicals has been participating in the West End Center Corporate Olympics for 10 years. Novozymes employees Michelle Williams and Les Shifflett were the co-captains responsible for organizing the athletic teams. Williams explained why it was important to her for Novozymes to continue to be involved in the event.

“This is West End Center’s main fundraiser,” she said. “It’s hard to get companies to participate, so it’s important for Novozymes to continue in that supportive role.”

The events included everything from bowling and tennis to volleyball and individual foot races.

Williams noted that the atmosphere during the competitions was competitive, but also lighthearted in nature. Everyone was there to have a good time and make money for a worthy cause. “It was competitive, but all in the spirit of having fun,” she said. “Winning was important, but raising money was our primary focus.”

For the most part, participants are asked to get pledges from other people for their involvement in the Corporate Olympics. In order to contribute more money to the fundraiser, the team came up with additional ways to make money, gaining support from many different departments at Novozymes Biologicals. Plant care sold plants to contribute money, R&D held a silent auction, and the team organized a raffle, ice cream social and pizza luncheon. All supplies were donated with the proceeds directly contributing to the fundraiser. “This year we took it more seriously than in the past,” Williams said. “I think we won it overall because of our fundraising.”

Novozymes Biologicals far exceeded their expectations, raising over $2,200 for the West End Center for Youth. All proceeds from the Corporate Olympics go to purchase of supplies and upkeep of the West End Center for Youth, an organization that has been supporting children in disadvantaged neighborhoods since 1979.