Business

Kirkland business knocks favored team out of Can Madness

Lake Washington Physical Therapy’s Ben Wobker helped create the Hopelink Can Madness competitive food drive in 2010. During three of the next four years he watched as Hancock’s Bakery in Redmond swept the tournament – winning every bracketed round. This year, Wobker and his Kirkland team scored an upset, knocking out Hancock’s in Round 3 and moving on to the final four teams.

Wobker knew his team would have to pull out all the stops in order to defeat the perennial champ. So in addition to encouraging donations at the office, Wobker and his team reached out to the local community – collecting food at the annual Shamrock Run last weekend and selling T-shirts with the proceeds going to Hopelink. They even solicited family members, and Wobker’s  dad hosted a food drive at a school.

The effort paid off, with Lake Washington Physical Therapy bringing in 1,421 pounds of food and $720 to Hancock’s 1,634 pounds of food. (Each dollar donated counts as one pound of food).

Since the tournament began four years ago, Hancock’s Bakery has brought in more than 20,000 pounds of food and nearly $3,000 – enough to provide more than 16,000 meals for local families. Although the tournament began only four years ago, Hancock’s Bakery is now entering their 26th year of supporting Hopelink.

Thirty two teams began the bracketed competition and four – two from Redmond and two from Kirkland – will face each other in Round 4 next week:

Lake Washington Physical Therapy will take on Redmond Physical Therapy, who defeated TJ MAXX this week. Meanwhile, JJ Mahoney’s fought off a strong challenge from Universal Avionics and will face Ben & Jerry’s Kirkland, who ousted Lake Hills Orthodontics.

The eight businesses competing in Round 3 collected a total of 5,834 pounds of food and $1,070 in cash, bringing the total for the campaign so far to 14,501 pounds and $2,019.

The drive is patterned after the famous national spring college basketball tournament, matching businesses in weekly competitions to see which can bring in the most food. Teams are bracketed together in pairs and one winner from each 2-member bracket will advance to the following week.

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