For the past few years, members of our Austin Expedia Group team have competed in the Catalyst Games, which is an exciting day of games where local company teams compete to raise funds for select nonprofit organizations. The Austin team has won first place for the past two years, but COVID threw a wrench in the plans for the latest Catalyst Games.
The organizers of the Catalyst Games decided to take the competitions virtual, and of course Expedia Group Austin had to go for another championship! The virtual event included 20 company teams from all over the US and took place over two months. September was dedicated to virtual volunteer efforts and team try-outs, while October was dedicated to the virtual challenges and games. Expedia Group Austin selected Code2College, which works to increase the number of minority and low-income high school students entering in STEM undergraduate majors and careers, as it’s nonprofit organization.
Expedia Group Austin participated in several qualifying events:
- Non-Profit Organization Lunch and Learns: Virtual opportunities to learn more about the Catalyst Games non-profit partners and how they are helping out in their communities.
- Virtual Volunteering: Opportunities to work with the Catalyst Games non-profit partners on different volunteer projects.
- Team Spirit Video: A short video highlighting the company, team spirit and the selected non-profit. View EG Austin’s video.
- Team Cocktail: Make a cocktail using Catalyst Games sponsor, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and tie it back to your company. Learn how to make EG Austin’s award-winning cocktail, “Bringing the World Within Peach”.
- The Cookie Challenge: A virtual relay where each team member had to get an Oreo cookie from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands.
- Trivia: A online trivia night hosted by a quiz master where team members virtually join together to decide on the best answers.
- Virtual Escape Room: The team works together to use clues to escape from a virtual room as fast as possible.
The team placed in the Cookie Challenge, virtual escape room, team cocktail and team video, qualifying them for the Elite Eight bracket round only to be knocked out in the first round!
While Expedia Group Austin didn’t place in the virtual Catalyst Games this time, their efforts contributed 16 volunteer hours and a $6,000 donation to Code2College! The team had a blast competing in the games and are looking forward to competing in the live games in Austin, whenever they may be.
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