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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2014

T-Town Dash awaits city’s young professionals

BY KATHLEEN ASHCRAFT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Downtown Toledo will be a frenzy of frantic young professionals Thursday when EPIC Toledo‘‍s third annual T-Town Dash hits the scene.

EPIC members will be sent off in teams of six to scour the city for clues leading from one business or landmark to the next. The scavenger hunt takes participants through a series of challenges until they reach the final location, where they will be greeted by a party and prizes for the winners.

The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce formed EPIC — which stands for Engaging People, Inspiring Change — in 2007.

The young-professional initiative has some lofty goals. According to the EPIC Toledo site, it wants to develop future business and community leaders, to provide emerging leaders with a voice in the future of the region, and to attract and retain diverse young talent to the region.

Sara Swisher, the director of EPIC Toledo, firmly believes in the group’‍s goals.

“It’‍s all about engaging young professionals and getting them connected. We want them to be proud and enjoy living here,” she said.

In the past seven years, EPIC has enrolled more than 1,500 members. It also has 64 corporate members, made up of Fortune 500 companies and businesses, such as Fifth Third Bank, The Andersons Inc., and Gorillas and Gazelles LLC.

Having corporate members is a huge plus to the group.

“It’‍s a commitment that they believe in our mission and it offers the benefits of EPIC to their employees for free,” Ms. Swisher said. People in the area who work for corporate members get free EPIC memberships, while others pay an annual $75 membership fee.

The T-Town Dash is a prime example of EPIC bringing young Toledoans together. Participants can sign up as teams of six, or they can be assigned to a team at random, allowing the opportunity to meet new people and do some networking.

By taking part in the scavenger hunt, EPIC members also get the chance to explore different areas and aspects of Toledo.

Registration, either online or in person on the day of the dash, requires a $15 fee. “The money goes to different programs to bring speakers in and run other events for the EPIC members,” Ms. Swisher said.

Though it is designed as a young professionals program, EPIC is open to people of all ages.

T-Town Dash registration begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Owens Corning on One Owens Corning Parkway. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in downtown Toledo.

Contact Kathleen Ashcraft at: nkashcraft@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.



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