Update as of May 28, 2020:
BioBall: Coming Together in a Virtual, Reimagined Way
We’ve waited as long as we could before making a decision about holding BioBall on June 27th but unfortunately we just cannot gather 1,000 people in a gym right now. But you know us well enough by now to know that we don’t surrender easily. We will be pivoting BioBall to a series of virtual contests that will continue to emphasize inclusion and evoke the idea of a Promise of a Better Tomorrow. While we wish we could be together on the 27th, we are excited to bring the BioBall community a summer of fun and competitive activities, while delivering on all the expectations of our teams and sponsors. Please read the below note from the President and CEO of Special Olympics Massachusetts, Mary Beth McMahon. We will be in touch over the next few weeks with more details.
-Gregg Beloff and Eric Spindt, BioBall Co-Chairs
Special Olympics athletes need your support now more than ever.
A message from our CEO, Mary Beth McMahon:
Special Olympics has been part of my life since my college days and to say I have received more out of my involvement than what I have put in is a true understatement. But as I moved through the years, there are distinct times, where I remember when I realized the personification of that understatement. Those experiences are as follows:
- As a mom, I watch my children grow up in a movement that allows them to only see ability and not disability.
- As a mom of two sports participants at all levels watching payment after payment being applied to the sports activities and realizing what Special Olympics offers at no cost for the families in this movement because of the amazing investors and volunteers involved.
- And today, in a pandemic as a human being. As a daughter, I watch as my amazing Irish catholic parents from huge families navigate a life from a social distance when all they want is to bring us all together again. As a mom, I watch my kids struggling with the social isolation, remote learning and the lack of sports. As the CEO, I long for the days where the staff was talking in the hallways and the common areas about mission moments they experienced
But this last moment is what has given me the greatest epiphany my parents, my kids, my family, my friends, my team, and most importantly I are experiencing what the athletes of Special Olympics experience every day of their lives. We as a collective whole now understand what it is like to be socially isolated and not involved. We are all missing our families, our friends, the hugs, the high 5’s, the fist bumps, the cheering, the smiles, the belonging. We are living what our athletes have lived, yet rise above every day. We will go back to work, go back to school, go back to our lives and belong again. Let’s ensure that all the athletes of Special Olympics can get back to their lives of inclusion, sports and belonging too.
Special Olympics and BioBall are all about experiences where inclusion is driven by the personal interaction between athletes and the community. We all want to be back in this together, but unfortunately, we just don’t know when we will be able to. So while BioBall as it was planned on June 27th won’t be happening, lucky for us, what we can still do is come together and enjoy the amazing sense of community BioBall has built, in a time when we can all use it the most. Our amazing volunteer leaders who manage BioBall will be reaching out to each of you over the next week about all of the fun things we have planned to enhance this experience.
Starting in June, the first experience will be the inclusive virtual CEO Free throw. In the end, we will still crown the 2020 Bio-Ball winner and have lots of incentives as we reach fundraising and engagement goals.
All of you – the Biotech community – have built an amazing bond of support and inclusion over the last 15+ years for the athletes of Special Olympics. We hope our new reimagined BioBall will allow us to deepen and broaden these relationships and partnerships, while also having a fun, exciting and competitive basketball and fundraising competition. The slogan of BioBall is “The Promise of a Better Tomorrow” and you, with our athletes, can take this inspirational message and lead the way. This message is never more important. It is our time to utilize this message to engage more in this movement and create Inclusive Experiences everywhere and every day, while allowing us to raise much needed human and monetary resources to go forward into the new normal and get our athletes back on the playing field of sports and life.
A Special Olympics athlete recently said “I believe in Special Olympics during this challenging time because of the athletes. We deal with adversity all the time, so this virus is just giving us an opportunity to show the world how to get through – we will play again”.
Let’s make sure this opportunity is used to its fullest potential.
The partnership of the Massachusetts biotechnology industry and Special Olympics Massachusetts centers on a shared goal: the promise of a better tomorrow. Biotechnology companies in the state of Massachusetts strive to discover and create innovations that will make for a healthier future, and Special Olympics Massachusetts is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities by giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and participate in a brighter tomorrow.
Bio-Ball is a one-day basketball tournament that partners the Massachusetts Bio-Tech community and its vendors to raise money for Special Olympics Massachusetts. Now in its 15th year, Bio-Ball has raised over $2.5 million, which helps to support 60% of the costs associated with our Basketball program. The competition format is unique to Special Olympics, in that the 24 participating companies each field a basketball team and are then paired with a local Special Olympics Massachusetts basketball team, thus forming two line-ups. The teams are divided into two divisions and spend the day competing in both individual skills and five-on-five competition. At the end of the day, a final four and championship game determines the winner of Bio-Ball.
To donate, or find out more about Bio-Ball please visit us at www.bioball.org!