This past weekend, I had the tremendous pleasure of being the emcee and public address announcer for a charity beach volleyball tournament benefiting Crocs Cares and SolesUnitedsm. A charity to shoe the shoeless, all the proceeds will be used to provide shoes for children and adults in troubled parts of the world who can’t afford even the simplest form of footwear.
The tournament was held during the day on Halloween, and included a costume contest, a silent auction, raffles for a ton of cool prizes, and a “Buy the Pro” feature, whereby a team could purchase a professional beach volleyball player for the day to strengthen their team. And of course, all the money went into the charity hopper.
Players came dressed up and actually played in their Halloween costumes. The beer was flowing steadily all day, and the weather was a pristine 75 degrees and sunny. It was a complete blast and a resounding success. I couldn’t have been happierÂ to donate my time to an event like this, and will gladly do soÂ again in the future.
However, I have to share a little skeptical tidbit about the day with you all, because I know you’ll get it. Read more after the fold.
One of the professional players on hand Saturday works closely with Crocs Cares, and was actually sort of the figurehead for the tournament. I won’t mention his name, because it’s not important, but also because he really is a great guy, and I wouldn’t want to shine a negative light on him by virtue of this little story. I’m not trying to slam him. I just thought you guys would be interested in this.
Anyway, as the figurehead for the tournament, this particular pro player had some of his sponsors’ merchandise on hand to be auctioned and raffled off for the charity. Now, one of his sponsors is Power Balance, and the Power Balance folks sent along a couple dozen or so of their Power Balance silicone wristbands as raffle and auction prizes.
Now, if you’re not familiar, Power Balance wristbands are a simple band made of rubber that looks similar to a wristwatch. However, where the watch face would be on a wristwatch, there is instead a holographic disk â€”Â which is kind of a cool looking thing, from a purely visual standpoint. Of course, as you no doubt have guessed by now, Power Balance claims the holographic disk does way more than just look cool.
From their website:
Power BalanceÂ®, after years of research and development, has produced a system to safely restore and optimize the electro-magnetic balance within the human bodyâ€¦ IMMEDIATELY.
POWER BALANCEâ€™S Mylar Holographic Disk (the same substance used to keep static electricity from damaging electrical components) has been imbedded with an electrical frequency that restores your bodyâ€™s electrical balance, promoting a free exchange of positive and negative ions and align your bodyâ€™s energy pathways.
The high density Disk acts much like a switch, resonating within your system and turning on your energy field while it clears the pathways so the electro-chemical exchange functions like the well-tuned generator it was designed to be.
When the static Power Balance Hologram comes in contact with your bodyâ€™s energy field, it begins to resonate in accordance with each individualâ€™s biological, creating a harmonic loop that optimizes your energy field and maintains maximum energy flow while clearing the pathways so the electro-chemical exchange functions like the well-tuned generator it was meant to be.
At any rate, one of the tournament organizers came to me at one point during the day, and told me it was time to give away some of the raffle prizes and that I should announce the winners. I said okay, and asked what the prizes were. He told me the prizes were the Power Balance wrist bands.
Now this particular tournament organizer is a friend of mine named Ricky Sucgang. He’s a PhD in molecular biology working on the human genome project. He’s a good scientist, and a skeptic. He was even the guest speaker at one of the Houston Area Skeptics’ outings at the pub.
So I said, “Power Balance wristbands? Really?”
He said, “Yeah.”
And I said, “But these areâ€””
He said, “â€”I know.”
Then we just looked at each other, silently agreeing not to make aÂ stink about the wristbands. After all, they had raffled off 20 of them, and sold a couple more, and the take on those items was substantial. Even if the recipients â€”Â many of whom I found out later were hip to what they were getting â€”Â walked away with what amounts to just a trinket, the money goes to something good.
And at the end of the day, that’s whatÂ the eventÂ was all about.
So perhaps sometimes it’s okay if critical thinking and good science take a back seat to philanthropy.