September 26th, 2019 – 6 – 9pm

join us for raft's signature fundraising event!

Ditch the pantyhose and ties, roll up your sleeves, and experience the power of hands-on learning with business leaders, philanthropists, and top-notch educators!

September 26th – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Raft Resource Center
(3827 Steele St., Unit C, Denver, CO 80205)

new this year!

enter a team to participate in raft’s first annual design challenge: build a better mousetrap at upcycle on the evening of thursday, september 26th!

While open to anyone, the Rube Goldberg-style challenge was designed as a company team-building event. If you know that your employees are the most creative and innovative problem-solvers in Colorado, this is your chance to prove it!

learn more

announcing the 2019 honorees:

Outstanding Impact in Education Award

announcement coming soon!

John and Carrie Morgridge Volunteer Award

announcement coming soon!

Mary Simon Award for Exceptional Teaching

announcement coming soon!

Zack Neumeyer Leading from Within Award

announcement coming soon!

how can you get involved?


Enter a team in the Build a Better Mousetrap competition ($2,500)

register a team


Be an event sponsor ($1,500, $5,000, and $15,000 levels available)

become a sponsor


Buy a ticket and enjoy the festivities ($80)

purchase tickets


The most fun you'll ever have supporting a great cause!


a big hand for our 2019 Upcycle co-chairs

Jane Soderberg and Carol McDermott!

thank you to our Upcycle 2019 sponsors!

we love our upcycle sponsors!

thanks to their support, raft has funding to combine its educational expertise with upcycled (repurposed) materials to help kids learn through authentic–and fun!–hands-on experiences.

We have a number of sponsorship opportunities available. Being a sponsor will get you good karma plus a host of other benefits, including tickets, recognition before, during, and after Upcycle, and more! Plus, at levels of $5,000 and above, you will not only be recognized for your sponsorship, you may also enter a team into the Design Challenge.

become a sponsor

enter a team to…build a better mousetrap for upcycle!

what is the challenge?

Your team’s mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to design a Rube-Goldberg-style mousetrap. The entire experience is modeled after Raft’s awesome narrative-driven curriculum units (where kids have so much fun, they don’t even realize they’re learning!). All team entries will be displayed at Upcycle, Raft’s primary fundraising event on Thursday, September 26, giving your company exposure to all attendees and, if you win, your company will also get bragging rights, a special prize, and free tickets and judging credentials for next year’s event!


what do we mean by a “Rube-Goldberg-style trap?”

A “Rube Goldberg” machine is designed to execute a simple task in a elaborate and overcomplicated way. Usually these machines use a series of simple devices that are linked together to produce a “domino effect,” each one triggering the next until the ultimate task is completed!

We love this video from National Geographic that shows a team of engineers competing against a group of friends in constructing a Rube Goldberg machine. Their objective: use all 25 of the provided items to trap a mouse.


Pssst…Don’t worry! The size of your trap for Raft’s Design Challenge will be smaller than the one in the video (and we will give you parameters and guidance).


how will the challenge work?

Your team will be given everything you need to dive into a hilarious (especially for Princess Bride fans), narrative-driven design challenge. The story will guide you in the design and construction of your Rube-Goldberg-style trap. Here is an excerpt from the story:

“You see,” you say, “there is nothing to fear. We can overcome any obstacle that comes our way!” “But my love,” he replies, somewhat sniffily, “what of the R-O-U-Ses?” An uneasy feeling creeps into your bones, but you simply smile and reply, “Rodents Of Unusual Savagery? I don’t think they exist.”

Then, you will build the mousetrap using a RAFT-provided box of upcycled materials (the “raftBox”), plus any branded schwag (bonus points!) you can cobble together. And, if your team has questions, a RAFT Re-Imagineer is just a phone call or email away, so your contraption is guaranteed to succeed.


are teams really limited to just five people?

While teams are officially limited to five individuals, there are plenty of ways to involve more people. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Involve as many people as you want in building the trap, and buy additional tickets for the extra folks so that they can attend too.
  • Blow this challenge up into your own internal competition! Purchase raftBoxes for additional groups of five, then have the winner progress to the Upcycle finals.


what else do you need to know?

  • Raft will deliver the raftBox and the story to all entrants on Monday, August 5th.
  • You may purchase as many additional raftBoxes as you want to create your trap, but other than raftBox items and items mentioned in the story, no additional materials are allowed.
  • You will deliver and set up your mousetrap at Raft (3827 Steele Street) on Wednesday, September 25th.
  • You will send up to five team members to compete the night of Upcycle (Thursday, September 26th).
three awards will be given out:
  • People’s Choice Award
    (each Upcycle guest receives one vote)
  • Judge’s Award
    (the most coveted award; it means you really did build the best mousetrap)
  • Creativity Award
    (the criteria for this award are pretty creative too)

while open to anyone, the challenge was designed as a company team-building event.

If you know that your employees are the most creative and innovative problem-solvers in Colorado, this is your chance to prove it!

we’re IN! what do we do?

  1. Assemble your awesome team, including their email contact info.
  2. Click the button below to register online.
  3. Submit payment ($2500 per team).
  4. Await further instructions.



Please email Ellen here.

register a team