Every year Materialise organizes the Run4Benin – a company-wide 15km race along the fields surrounding the buildings of our headquarters. It’s a fundraiser organized to sponsor our Summer School in Benin – an initiative which enables local students with management potential to do a university degree and consequently stimulate entrepreneurship in Benin. This year our Medical department was in charge of the organization – and they decided to do things a little differently.
They didn’t just organize the Run for Benin – there was Lunch for Benin, Wash for Benin and Play for Benin.
So what did this entail? For three Mondays in a row, our staff at headquarters were able to buy lunch and donate the proceedings to Benin. We were treated to hot dogs, desserts and tapas all prepared by the kitchen whizzes from Medical. Then there was Wash for Benin – while we enjoyed the homemade food from the fundraisers, our other medical colleagues were busy at work washing cars and bicycles in our parking lot for a small fee. The Materialise parking lot never looked so shiny! Finally, there was Play for Benin, a games night organized in the evening where everyone could try their luck at board games, have a drink and a snack and listen to a presentation about the Benin Summer School which was given by our last two volunteers who helped out in Benin this summer.
But all that was just preparation for the big event: the Run for Benin, the race around the industry park in which Materialise is located. Finally, on a frosty day in October, a few weeks ago, everyone at headquarters gathered in front of the main entrance before the race began. There were the serious runners – teams such as “Gone in 60 Minutes” or the “Iron Mates” which struck fear into the hearts of the slow. And then there were the teams who were just along for the ride, who distinguished themselves with all sorts of crazy costumes such as “The Wise Wizard and his Wacky Witches” and “Snow White and the Dwarfs” – even the Daltons and Lucky Luke showed up! And as if the race wasn’t challenging enough already, the participants also had to solve puzzles and answer questions during the run. The ultimate winners of the race were the “Awesome 5”, who not only won the Fun Run, but solved the most puzzles. The team who won the Fast Run were the “Competitive Beasts” who definitely lived up to their name. And finally, the team who raised the most money were the “Callboys with Portfolios” – they contributed 559€ to an amazing grand total of nearly 8000€! Afterwards, we were treated to dinner and a flashmob dance which broke out after the awards ceremony. DJ duo Sjoerd Vegas and Like Marnic also helped to get things moving on the dancefloor. We had a great time, and best of all, the money will be used to help others. We can’t wait to see what Run4Benin 2017 will look like!