One of the signs Hoopfest is drawing near, is the coming of another event that draws thousands from around the world to Spokane: Bloomsday.
For the third year, Hoopfest is thrilled to have a Bloomsday Corporate Cup team in the race. The Corporate Cup is a competition organizations can participate in via teams of three to five. Our team name? “We Can Run, But We Should Hide.”
Both Bloomsday and Hoopfest share a lot in common as the largest events of their kind, in the world. As mission-based 501(c)3 nonprofits, Bloomsday and Hoopfest work to positively impact the Spokane community. Just like the last weekend of June is reserved for Hoopfest weekend, the same can be said about the first weekend of May and Bloomsday.
“I love that both Hoopfest and Bloomsday are always striving towards a constant theme: give back to the Spokane community in a positive way, through athletic means,” Hoopfest Director of Brand Strategy and Business Development Bailee Neyland says. “We’re all about inclusion. We’re all about reunions. We’re all about traditions. Come event day(s), you see the city come to life. … it’s magical!”
So, without further ado, let’s meet this year’s Hoopfest team competing in the Bloomsday Corporate Cup!
Andy Buhler, Hoopfest Intern
Andy is an intern at Hoopfest and loves how, similar to Hoopfest, the competitive and fun spirits of the Spokane community are out in full force for Bloomsday. His lone athletic achievement was his role as the 16th man on a state championship-winning high school soccer team. He moved to Spokane four years ago to attend Gonzaga University, and has since developed a care for the community through events like Hoopfest and Bloomsday.
Meg Rapp, Hoopfest Intern
Meg is a four-year women’s soccer player at Gonzaga and a competitor on last year’s Corporate Cup team, which in our eyes, makes her a grizzled vet! She loves to run outdoors and see the best things Spokane has to offer on foot. While it’s no grassy pitch, Bloomsday is the best of both worlds for her.
Shaniqua Nilles, Hoopfest Assistant Program Manager
Though the majority of her athletic career was achieved on the hardwood, don’t sleep on Shaniqua’s ability to run — and run fast! The Assistant Program Manager here at Hoopfest is a basketball lover and obsessor formerly playing for West Valley High School, the Gonzaga women’s basketball team and professionally in Europe.
Shaniqua says she always viewed running as a punishment, but since she’s essentially synonymous with both athletics and Spokane, she was added to the Hoopfest team. It’s been years, but Shaniqua used to run Bloomsday as a kid and remembers it fondly.
Her favorite part of Bloomsday?
“Seeing Spokane transform to welcome everyone out to an event that promotes fitness and getting outside,” she says. “I remember many times that I would be running with a friend and you pass someone you haven’t seen in a while or meeting up with friends afterwards to celebrate making it up Doomsday Hill… Bloomsday is all about celebrating those traditions and creating memories.”
Bailee Neyland, Director of Brand Strategy and Business Development
Soccer was always her love growing up, but Bailee has grown fond of running. She joined Team in Training, an organization that gives back to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by having its participants honor their loved ones and raise funds.
“I have since then run in honor and memory of many loved ones,” Bailee says. “I have come to appreciate and even crave those long morning runs… even though it’s been awhile.”
While nervous for this year’s run, Bailee says what she looks forward to most is the post-run celebrations! Like Hoopfest, Bloomsday is a lot about the reunions and traditions.
“After this year’s long winter, I am excited to finish my run and meet up with all of my friends for a Sunday Fun Day reunion – cheers-ing each participant as they add to our table – because it is in fact a tradition.”
Go Hoopfest! One foot in front of the other!
While we stretch out and participate in the tradition of Bloomsday, make sure you are registered for another tradition happening in Spokane this summer… Hoopfest 2017!
The guaranteed registration deadline is May 8.