News & Insights

Kimley-Horn’s Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament Benefits 64 Charities

Kimley-Horn’s Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament contestants

In early December 2022, eight Kimley-Horn employees flew to St. Petersburg, Florida to compete in the widely anticipated showdown of Rock, Paper, Scissors. They had spent the weeks before playing teammates and winning matches, advancing through round after round to become regional champions. The end of the competition arrived, and the stakes were high—the winner of the competition would receive $100,000 from the Kimley-Horn Foundation to donate to a charity of their choice.

The Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament

The Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament started in October 2022 and continued throughout November. At the beginning of a round, each employee was matched with another employee in their region, and they competed virtually or in-office to determine a winner. The pool of contestants narrowed as the rounds continued, with nearly 6,000 employees in offices throughout the United States competing for the top spot and cheering on top winners in their region. Eventually, the final eight winners emerged and flew to the St. Pete Pier, an iconic 26-acre waterfront space with numerous community attractions, for the showdown round.

The Champions and Charities

Altogether, the 64 top Rock, Paper, Scissors participants won more than $300,000 for charity donations through the Kimley-Horn Foundation. The top eight finalists were awarded $270,000 of that cumulative number for their chosen charities.

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1st Place

Jake Hodges – Dallas, TX

Ronald McDonald House Charities supports holistic family wellness and provides a home-away-from-home for families whose children are receiving medical care.

"They [Ronald McDonald House Charities] provide comfort, care, and supports to families with sick children in need, whether that's giving them food or water in the hospital or giving them a place to stay for a child who has to travel to get care. The reason I chose that place specifically is because early in my wife's life, she actually benefited directly from them, and they gave her family a place to stay--so this felt like an amazing opportunity to give back to them."

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2nd Place

Meagan Chan – San Jose, CA

Won $75,000 for Heart of Dinner

Heart of Dinner provides nourishing and culturally compassionate care packages and meals to vulnerable Asian American elders in New York City.

“I chose Heart of Dinner because they are an organization that supports food insecurity and isolation amongst the elderly Asian community in New York City. They started amongst the pandemic, and I think it was a really subtle but impactful way that they were able to help out the Asian community, especially the Asian elderly community. Specifically, this organization has intent to expand out to California, so I was just thinking if it was my own grandmother, it would mean a lot to me if there was an organization in California that existed, so any money that I could give to them would be really impactful for their initiative.”

3rd Place

Thomas Glueckert –
Peachtree Corners, GA

Won $50,000 for Science ATL

Science ATL exists to promote science education, community and professional partnerships, and the equitable dissemination of scientific wonder.

“I picked Science ATL because they provide equitable access to STEM outreach programs in the greater Atlanta metro area, and I think it’s really important that we cultivate the next generation of engineers, mathematicians, and scientists for the future. I started volunteering with Science ATL last summer at their science festival, which they hold on a yearly basis—it’s a three to four week festival just packed with activities. So I got involved at that point in time and I have been continuing to stay involved with some of their STEM programs ever since.”

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4th Place

Kush Patel – Princeton, NJ

Won $25,000 for Community Food Bank of NJ

Community Food Bank of NJ coordinates the collection and distribution of nutritious meals to families who experience food insecurity.

“In the United States, we have over 30 million people who are food insecure, and in New Jersey, it turns out to be around 650,000 people. So the Community Food Bank of New Jersey makes sure that they provide food security to the people in need. And every year they provide 85 million meals and 35 million pounds of fresh produce to the people in need of food. In the past, I donated food to that charity.”

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Regional Finalist

Corey Gagner – Twin Cities, MN

The Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest provides meals, housing, education, and much more to support families in times of medical crisis.  

“I picked the Ronald McDonald House charity because of the support they offer families with children who are sick or injured in the hospital. They offer services like food or lodging, and that really helps the families focus on the health of their child.”

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Regional Finalist

Kayla Lubin – Miami, FL

Won $5,000 for Core

Core supports rapid disaster response, partnering with marginalized communities to equitably support resilience and relief in emergencies.

“Core is a disaster relief organization—they are always on-go to help with anything that happens globally. So I think it’s a great initiative to always be ready to help in a world where everything is so unexpected and things can happen out of nowhere. They help underserved communities, and they were in Poland when Ukraine got invaded and in Fort Myers after the hurricane—so they do great work. I have seen their work in the past. I visited their School of Hope in Haiti, so that was my first time really seeing their work and how great of a job they do.”

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Regional Finalist

Laurel Wright – Phoenix, AZ

Won $5,000 for Leader Dogs for the Blind

Leader Dogs for the Blind maximizes individual independence and mobility through specialized training, personalized partnership, and advocacy.

“I chose this charity because they’re an amazing organization set to empower the blind and visually impaired with lifelong skills for independence and daily travel. I volunteered with them in the past—my mom and I raised a puppy for them and it was a super rewarding, great experience. I just really respect the work they’re doing and I’m so excited to be able to give back.”

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Regional Finalist

Alex Rodriguez – Charlotte, NC

Won $5,000 for the Dottie Rose Foundation

The Dottie Rose Foundation supports computer science education and mentorship, inspiring a rising generation of girls to engage in STEM.

“I picked the Dottie Rose Foundation because it is local to Charlotte and it also helps expose kids to STEM and computer science, which I think is important.”

The Kimley-Horn Foundation

The Rock Paper Scissors tournament was made possible through the Kimley-Horn Foundation, which exists to support community involvement and our passionate employees who volunteer in meaningful ways. The Foundation supports a variety of organizations, including those that offer special education programs for those with disabilities, disaster relief, environmental conservation, and the promotion of STEM education in underrepresented communities. Every year, a grant process provides employees the opportunity to submit an application for an organization they volunteer with that aligns with the goals of the Kimley-Horn Foundation. The close partnership between the Foundation and employees and the firm’s core value of Sharing & Caring ensures that community development begins with established relationships and utilizes the unique skills, passions, and dedication of individual employees.