August #throweveryday Challenge


We raised over $18,000 during the 2020 August #throweveryday Challenge!

August #throweveryday Challenge Recap

More than $18,000 raised for the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and Steel Smiling.

4 #throweveryday Partners:
Jamie ErikssonLili Gu & Mira Schneeweis-LaRene, Matthew Foley &
1 matching donor (Michael Smith)

More than 70 individual donors!


What is #throweveryday?


Content Warning: physical and mental harm

Hi! I’m Ben Banyas (on the left up there). You might be wondering how this all started…

In November of 2014, a collision at an ultimate Frisbee tournament “obliterated” my right elbow, forever changing how I could use my dominant arm. In order to build my skills from scratch again, on September 1, 2015 I resolved to “Throw Every Day,” so I started using #throweveryday on social media to hold myself accountable. Initially, this commitment was meant to learn how to throw with my left hand but it ended up becoming much more than that. 

From 2012-2015, I had desperately struggled with depression and suicidal ideation & action. Surprisingly, #throweveryday played a major role in my recovery. It taught me how to set better goals and be more persistent and patient. It helped me deal with daily failure and cherish small successes. It made me a more effective coach. It became a new way for me to interact with people, including long-time friends and complete strangers. For years I was lost, and #throweveryday became a much-needed constant in my life that continues to this day.

Eventually, I made it back on the ultimate field in ways I was told wouldn’t be possible. I had a layout goal in a national championship game. I played in a world championship. After two decades of ultimate, I finally made it to the USA Ultimate Club Championships and my last throw was a (righty!) backhand huck for a goal. Most importantly, however, is that #throweverday inspired me to find ways to connect my love of ultimate with more important causes.

For the 1-year anniversary, I was connected with the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburghan organization that provides safety, shelter, support, and guidance to all victims of intimate partner violence. On September 1, 2016, I threw with 368 people and raised more than $600 for WCS. I traveled around Pittsburgh meeting friends, showing up at practices, and throwing with strangers on the street with a pretzel bucket for them to put a dollar in. Each year since I’ve aimed higher and am fortunate enough to have had an overwhelming positive response, raising more than $8,000 in that time. 

A big part of my personal recovery from severe depression and injury was access to necessary healthcare and support systems. Unfortunately, our systems are not set up to give everyone the same support to get through their own challenges. Since September 1, 2020 will be the 5-year anniversary of #throweverday, I am setting a goal of raising $5,000 for organizations that focus on intimate partner violence and Black Lives Matter-related causes.
My favorite thing about this campaign? You can join me in this effort!

For a bit more information about my experiences, you can check out this article written by my friend Kevin Cramer over at Skyd Magazine.