April 6, 2022. This year’s March Madness Bracket fundraiser at NYSTEC was a big hit across the company. The incentive for this fundraiser was twofold: bragging rights for picking the winners in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments, and providing much needed support to the World Central Kitchen Incorporated (WCK) to help feed refugees fleeing the Ukraine war.
WCK is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization. Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, WCK provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises while working to build resilient food systems with locally led solutions.
The term “March Madness” is used to refer to the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments that determine the men’s and women’s national championship teams each season. Teams are selected for these tournaments and organized into brackets that lay out a series of single elimination games played throughout the month of March (into early April) until only a single men’s team and single women’s team remains.
Participants in this fun fundraiser completed online bracket entries with their own picks of teams they hoped would advance through the tournament games to win the men’s and/or women’s championships. The tournament donation entry fee was $10 and additional brackets were $5 each.
Zero basketball knowledge was necessary to participate in this fundraiser. Participants selected teams based on any approach (such as alma mater affiliations, team colors, cool mascots—or even through the Generate Quick Picks feature, which directed the system to automatically generate random picks for those who preferred to leave their guesswork to chance).
Based on their selections and number of correct teams picked, two winners were left standing: one for the men’s and the other for the women’s brackets. Congratulations to NYSTECers Kevin S. and Cindy B. for making the right picks!
As a result of this fun—and somewhat competitive—fundraiser, the Ukraine charity received $10,595.00.
In reaction to this this year’s final contribution, NYSTEC’s Information Security Practice Leader Rob Zeglen—the NYSTEC Community Involvement team member managing the 2022 March Madness bracket fundraiser—said: “Yes, you read that correctly, and you may have goosebumps like several of us on the CI team did. Do we work for an incredible company or what? Thank you to [NYSTEC CEO] Kevin Owens and thanks to everyone who works so hard every day to enable such NYSTEC generosity.”