"I could see you underwater!" a celebratory employee who just knocked his boss into the dunk tank said. On the front of the tank was a looking glass where you could see a tangle of bubbles and limbs before a smiling face returned to the surface. "You looked like Shamu under there!" he laughed.
The dunk tank was part of a fundraising event Tuthill Corp held for Team Rubicon, a disaster relief non-profit, at Tuthill's Pump Group facility in Alsip, Ill. on Sept. 15. The company raised more than $1,400.
Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams to disaster areas, explained Joshua Hendricker, a State Administrator for Team Rubicon. "Tuthill and Team Rubicon have been close partners over the past year, working to raise money and awareness of the Team Rubicon mission. [We are] grateful to Tuthill for all they have done to support our team and its volunteers."
Tuthill's CEO Tom Carmazzi, Tuthill Pump Group President Ruth Nelson and line of product leaders at the facility volunteered to be dunked to raise funds. Five dollars bought three chances for employees to hit a target that would plummet their bosses and co-workers into the water below.
"I was actually getting nervous," Nelson said about going in the dunk tank. "Then I saw my husband at the head of the line, ready to take the first shot! At that point in time, it was, 'Game on! Bring it!'" Her husband smashed the target. "That's a lot colder than I thought!" Nelson exclaimed after her first encounter with the water.
As the dunk tank continued, 10 teams from the shop floor and corporate office in Burr Ridge took to the pavement for a donation-based basketball tournament. While it was light-hearted 3-on-3 play, one team prevailed. Tuthill employees Rob Rittenour, Jason Scarpelli, Phil Dalen and Paul Orr took first place with help in previous games from Ray Jasutis and Nedhi Panse.
Panse didn't expect to play, "as I have never dribbled a basketball in my life," she said. Her teammates taught her the basic rules and she proved to be a powerful force on defense. Her team went on to win first place.
“It feels great to be a part of a team,” Panse said of her experience.
Many left with the sensation of camaraderie. For Nelson, words from the Tuthill Compass echoed in her mind. "We were 'a legion of like-hearted people with astounding impact' as we 'awakened the world' in our way yesterday. I am so very proud of my team!" she said.