The Heart of Foster

Even in a pandemic, Foster MBA students won their third-straight Challenge For Charity

In a year of pandemic-induced social distancing, it would have been easy—even understandable—to have balked at the call to service and community, to have postponed full-blooded participation until “next year.”

But that’s simply not the Foster way. Rising above the many challenges put forth by COVID-19, Foster MBA students together won their third-consecutive Golden Briefcase in this year’s MBA Challenge for Charity (C4C).

The annual C4C—now in its 38th year—pits the top west coast MBA programs against each other in friendly competition to volunteer the most hours and raise the most money in support of local nonprofits.

During the virtual 2020-2021 campaign, Foster MBAs tripled the next closest finisher in per-capita hours volunteered and dollars raised, ultimately donating more than $54,000 to Boys and Girls Clubs of King County, the University District Food Bank and Special Olympics of Washington.

Prepping for a polar plunge into frosty Lake Washington for the Challenge for Charity.

In addition to serving these longtime partner organizations, “showing up” for C4C this year also meant attending a raft of creative fundraising alternatives to the traditional C4C auction gala. Among them, a virtual magic show, a Pet Royalty competition, a gingerbread house contest and the virtual Foster 5K and Foster Frolic Step Competition. In lieu of traveling to sunny Stanford for a culminating sports weekend, Foster MBAs took a communal polar bear plunge into a frosty Lake Washington.

Securing a third-straight Golden Briefcase is certainly a point of pride for a competitive group of MBAs. But winning is not really the point, according to Foster C4C president Alicia Howard (MBA 2022).

“Giving back to our community is integral to the Foster mission of Better Together, Better Tomorrow,” she says. “It’s about building something beyond our two years at school and reaching beyond the walls of PACCAR Hall to really get to know the organizations that champion the most vulnerable among us.

“To me, C4C is the heart of Foster.”

Ed Kromer Managing Editor Foster School

Ed Kromer is the managing editor of Foster Business magazine. Over the past two decades, he has served as the school’s senior storyteller, writing about a wide array of people, programs, insights and innovations that power the Foster School community.