A SEFCU employee hands over cash to the banker during the 21st Annual Monopoly Tournament at The Albany Marriott on Wolf Road. This year, the event helped raise $20,000 for the Center for Disability Services, with a 21-year total of $200,000.
Photo by Zan Strumfeld.
continued Costellano said he decided to partner with the center because they “change people’s lives.”
“They’re amazing. We want to be part of the life-changing process,” he said. “We can’t do that on our own. They change lives every single day.”
Michelle Canaday brought her 10-year-old daughter Amanda to the event. She has been helped by the center for years.
“Amanda was born and it was not long before we knew she had a long road ahead of her. (The Center for Disability Services) taught Amanda how to hold up her head, sit up, drink,” Canaday said. “The center was not just a place for us. It was becoming our family. They are selfless people. We would be lost without our center services and staff.”
While raising money is the primary goal of the tournament, most of the players participating are in it to win it. Players must strictly follow the Monopoly rules and play as teams comprised of random individual players, who pay $30 apiece to enter, or as “company moguls,” who pay $500. Teams play the game in one 90-minute round and the top four players out of all 305 entrants are chosen to compete for the top spot in a final round scored on assets. This year, Meredith Hartman from NYSID won the competition and was awarded $5,000 from SEFCU to be given to the charity of her choice. Hartman donated the money to the Center for Disability Services Clover Patch Camp.
Many SEFCU employees have been playing in the friendly competition for years. Casey Ferguson, of Guilderland, said she’s been participating for the past four years and loves Monopoly for its “wheeling and dealing.”
“I love this event. It’s really fun to get together with my coworkers,” she said. “It’s also a really great cause.”
Terri Boland, from the Saint Anne Institute, was trying out her second year at the fundraiser. She said last year she was timid, but her favorite part about the game is winning and she didn’t want to hold back this year.