Source: IBM GlobalFoundries,Employees of IBM in Vermont collected more than four tons of food ‘ 8,110 pounds ‘ for food shelves in Vermont and New York. The food drive was part of IBM’s annual Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign, an employee-run fundraising event that offers employees the opportunity to contribute to non-profit charities. This year, IBM employees pledged $971,000 to support Vermont United Ways and other charitable organizations. The food drive was one of several campaign activities that extended the employees’ contributions. To promote the program, employees held a ‘food sculpture’ contest, in which employee teams built displays out of the donated boxes and cans of food. Subjects included a full-size park bench, model rockets, a giant-size soup bowl and the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon character. Food donations were distributed to the following organizations: ‘ Addison County Community Action, Middlebury, VT ‘ 540 pounds of food ‘ Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, Burlington, VT ‘ 3,580 pounds of food ‘ Central Vermont Community Action, Barre, VT ‘ 540 pounds of food ‘ Duxbury Elf Food Shelf, Duxbury, VT ‘ 750 pounds of food ‘ Franklin & Grand Isle Community Action, St. Albans, VT ‘ 540 pounds of food ‘ Lamoille County Food Share, Morrisville, VT ‘ 540 pounds of food ‘ Milton Family Community Center, Milton, VT ‘ 540 pounds of food ‘ Waterbury Area Food Shelf, Waterbury, VT ‘ 540 pounds of food ‘ Joint Council of Economic Opportunity of Clinton and Franklin Counties Food Pantry, Plattsburgh, NY ‘ 540 pounds of food In addition to the cash pledges and food donations, IBM employees donated 37 bicycles and helmets from a bicycle build competition to the Marine’s Toys for Kids of Vermont program and the Franklin/Grand Isle United Way, collected hats, mittens and scarves for distribution in Chittenden County, and contributed the equivalent of more than 40 eight-hour days of volunteer time to 30 projects for 19 area agencies.
FC Barcelona’s quest to become the first team to successfully retain the UEFA Champions League begins today when they travel to the Italian capital to take Serie A runners-up and current league leaders, AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.The contest will be Barcelona’s first match in Group F this season, and in many respects, it promises to be the toughest test of the group stage, particularly given the departures of some key names from second seeds, Bayer Leverkusen.Last season, AS Roma were drawn into the “Group of Death” and were eventually knocked out on the final matchday by Bayern Munich and Manchester City, both of whom fell victim to the Blaugrana juggernaut in later rounds.Their campaign was filled with ups and downs, but served as valuable experience nonetheless and it’s hard to envisage them not making a better go of it this time round.For Luis Enrique, this will mark his first visit back to the Stadio Olimpico since his spell in charge in the Italian capital – and with the tabloids suggesting that he earmarked the Blaugrana as favourites for this year’s title, he’s under pressure to deliver a positive result. Now it’s up to the players to help him back it all up and get our UCL season off to a strong start.After the month from hell, let alone the past week, perhaps a change of scenery will do Chelsea some good. The Premier League champions can forget about their domestic woes for 90 minutes on Wednesday as they welcome Maccabi Tel-Aviv to Stamford Bridge to open their Champions League account.Sitting just above the Premier League’s relegation zone with a mere four points to their name from five games, Jose Mourinho has come in for some criticism this week.While most would expect Chelsea to make short work of the Israeli champions, that is possibly what most of their opponents in the qualifying rounds thought, and it did not quite turn out that way. Slavisa Jokanovic, formerly of Chelsea, oversaw wins over Hibernians, the Czechs of Viktoria Plzen and then, most impressively, the Swiss side Basel, to reach the group stages for the first time in 11 years.José Mourinho, whose European campaign ended so disappointingly with the exit to PSG six months ago, is without a number of regulars and knows the morale-boosting victory he needs to take into Saturday’s league meeting with Arsenal cannot be taken for granted. Bayern Munich hope to avoid tragedy by winning their opening Champions League group game for a 12th successive season when they face Olympiakos in Piraeus.The 25-time German champions have reached the last four of Europe’s elite competition four times in a row and once again that has to be the minimum target for this star-studded squad –especially after the boost of big-money summer acquisitions Arturo Vidal (€37 million) and Douglas Costa (€30m). But Pep Guardiola’s charges will have to improve on some decidedly average away form against the Greek champions.Bayern haven’t won away in the Champions League for four games spanning almost 11 months with their last victory coming in October 2014, albeit a memorable 7-1 romp in Rome. Compare that to the Greek side’s impressive home record: they have six straight CL wins in the raucous Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium. In typical fashion, skipper Philipp Lahm warned his side not to take Olympiacos lightly. “With their fans’ backing they’ll throw everything at us but we’ll be on our guard and won’t underestimate [them].”Arsenal travel to Croatia to start their 2015-16 Champions League campaign versus a Dinamo Zagreb side that haven’t lost in 41 straight matches in all competitions. This isn’t the first time the Gunners have faced off versus The Blues. In 2006, the two sides were drawn against each other in a Champions League qualifier that saw Arsenal through to the group stages, and also exposed Arsene Wenger to a Brazilian-born Croatian forward for that Zagreb side that he would purchase a year later: Eduardo da Silva (that team also had Luka Modric in it, as well).Gaining a point under the night sky in Zagreb, in front of their Bad Blue Boys, will be a commendable result for Arsenal, especially since it’s widely-expected Bayern Munich will walk away with three points in Athens, versus Olympiacos. However, given the amount of chances they’ve created so far in the early start to the league season, there are quite a few observers who’ll expect Arsenal to win all available points – regardless of Zagreb’s, and forward Angelo Henríquez’s (25 goals in the last 31 matches), form.Other fixtures:BAYER LEVERKUSEN vs BATE BORISOV DINAMO KIEV vs PORTOGENT vs OLYMPIQUE LYONNAISVALENCIA vs ZENITH ST. PETERSBURG–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports