Pine River Capital Management finished Midnight Madness first after 16 hours of complex puzzle-solving throughout Manhattan
Challenge highlights included participants reverse-engineering a scrabble board, folding origami throwing stars and sketching a city’s forgotten muse
New York, NY, August 9th, 2015 — Pine River Capital Management completed Midnight Madness 2015 in first place in 16 hours; beating the other twenty teams and helping to raise $3.1 million for Good Shepherd Services, a nonprofit that helps young people growing up in poverty find opportunities for success. Midnight Madness is an all-night charity scavenger hunt of intricate riddles and puzzles on the streets of New York City.
The money raised from this year’s event will help underwrite the cost of construction of a new state-of-the art community center in East New York. This new facility will serve 1,000 children, youth and families each year through a range of programs and services that promote community development with a goal of contributing to the social capital, strength, and vibrancy of the whole neighborhood.
“Good Shepherd Services goes where children, youth, and families face the greatest challenges and provides resources that build on their inherent strengths to help them thrive. The proceeds from Midnight Madness will enable us to deepen our impact and create opportunities that help our participants succeed at school, at home, and in their community,” said Sister Paulette LoMonaco, Executive Director of Good Shepherd Services.
Pine River Capital Management crossed the finish line first after completing complex puzzles such as reverse-engineering a scrabble board, folding origami throwing stars and sketching a city’s forgotten muse. Bloomberg finished second and Cantab Capital Partners finished third.
A total of 210 players from 21 teams participated in Midnight Madness. Bloomberg, Bridgewater Associates, Cantab Capital Partners, Citi, Credit Suisse, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Global Atlantic, KPMG, PDT Partners, Pine River Capital Management, MongoDB and SECOR Asset Management all had teams competing in this year’s challenge.
As in years past, Midnight Madness was brought together in partnership by Game Creators Mat Laibowitz of Futuruption and Dan Michaelson of Linked by Air, as well as event planner Lindsi Shine of INsider NYC and Elisha Wiesel of Goldman Sachs and Good Shepherd Services.
“In a funny way, Midnight Madness is such a great metaphor for Good Shepherd Services. For one night, our game impacts the city in many different New York locations, and challenges many different New Yorkers. What’s amazing about Good Shepherd Services is how many locations in New York they operate in, how numerous their “footprints” are – and how many kids pass through those facilities and programs year after year. It’s so neat that this year’s Midnight Madness has helped create one more footprint for Good Shepherd Services in the city,” said Michaelson.
Laibowitz is the founder of Futuruption, whose mission is to design, develop and deploy engaging experiences in the forms of augmented environments, reactive architecture, interactive installations and unique products. Michaelson is one of the founders of Linked by Air, a graphic design partnership where design and technology are intertwined inventive processes, often focused on the production of public space, both in the world and online.
Lindsi Shine is Founder and CEO of INsider NYC, a membership-based luxury lifestyle management, personal concierge and event planning company serving both individual and corporate clientele.
Elisha Wiesel is a Partner at Goldman Sachs and a Good Shepherd Services Board Member.
The 2015 event was different from years past as it had a central theme and teamed up with Third Rail Projects, a dance theatre group, to create interactive performances and installations for the participants, in addition to the usual puzzle solving. The theme of this year’s Midnight Madness was centered around Audrey Munson, the 20th century artists’ muse known as “Miss Manhattan”. Munson served as a model for over 20 different artists and was the inspiration for at least 15 different statues in the borough of Manhattan: atop the Municipal Building, emerging from the Manhattan Bridge and at the Pulitzer Fountain. In 1919, she became involved in a murder scandal that ruined her career and diminished her sanity. Munson spent the last 65 years of her life in a mental institution until her death in 1996. Clues sent participants around Manhattan at locations all under ‘Munson’s Eye’.
“How many times must we have walked by Audrey without noticing her? There are stories to be unlocked in New York for those who are open to them. Audrey is one of those stories: a muse needing people to remember her, a city searching for a muse. Midnight Madness is also one of those stories: a fleeting moment, but persistent in the city’s memory. We asked players to shed their role as audience in Midnight Madness, and take the stage themselves– something all New Yorkers should do. And this year thanks to the inclusion of Third Rail Projects’ amazing drama and choreography, a very real and human part of the city’s stage and memory took her rightful place in ours,” said Elisha Wiesel.
Laibowitz originally co-founded Midnight Madness with Dan Michaelson at Columbia University in 1996. Laibowitz wanted to create the game after the 1980 Disney movie “Midnight Madness”. The two staged nine more Midnight Madness events until 2007. In 2012, Elisha Wiesel, one of the original Midnight Madness players, relaunched the event as a nonprofit fundraiser for Good Shepherd Services with operating expenses covered by Goldman Sachs Gives.
The last Midnight Madness event, in 2013, raised $3 million for Good Shepherd Services through sponsorship of the 30 teams that competed.