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UT Dallas Helps Raise $173,695 for Special Olympics Texas

Richard Arduengo and Vanessa Balderrama, both from the Office of Administration, prepare to serve judges pieces of the University’s prize-winning cake.

With music, fun, food and awards, UT Dallas employees celebrated the closing ceremony of Corporate Challenge 2013 on Friday, Oct. 18. This year’s effort raised $173,695 for the Dallas chapter of Special Olympics Texas.

After 10 weeks and more than 20 events, UT Dallas finished sixth overall in its division, earning eight gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals in competitions ranging from tennis to darts. The University also won first place in its division for the first time ever in the cake competition.

UT Dallas’ cake, baked by Kim Warren, patent administrator with the Office of Technology Commercialization, won for its artistry as much as for its taste. The half double chocolate, half amaretto mango confection mimicked the pinball machine design of this year’s T-shirt, complete with colorful, flashing lights.

"It was so much fun to create, bake and put together,” Warren said of her pinball machine cake. “It’s thrilling to win against such tough competition."

Patricia Roffe, technical trainer for Information Resources, decorated the cake, adding lights and other details, including the colorful flickering backboard.

“I was happy with the final result,” Roffe said.

This was the second consecutive year the pair worked together on UT Dallas' entries for the cake competition.

By selling raffle tickets and hosting fundraisers, such as Nickels and Dimes and Ice Cream Sundaes, UT Dallas raised and contributed almost $1,500 to the effort.

Other winners announced during the Closing Ceremony were:

The Sportsmanship Awards:
Southwest Airlines
The Beck Group

The Spirit Awards:
L3 Communications
Texas Capital Bank
Ebby Halliday
Pioneer Natural Resources

Raffle Winners:
Amanda Varenhorst from Viewpoint Bank
Chris Gonzales from Ebby Halliday
Grand Prize Winner George Eley from Markit
T-Shirt Contest winners:
Division A - BlueCross BlueShield of Texas & Southwest Airlines
Division AA - City of Richardson
Division B - ISN
Division BB - Hilton
Division C - Flexjet
Division D - Availity
Division E - KBM Group

Cake Contest winners:
Division A - HP
Division AA - MedAssetts
Division B - UT Dallas
Division BB - ViewPoint Bank
Division C - Texas Capital Bank
Division D - Kosmos
Division E - Mustang Technology Group
Grand Prize Winner – Kosmos