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A time to work, a time to play...

By Katie Johnston Chase
Globe Staff / November 7, 2010

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MILLENNIUM: THE TAKEDA Oncology Co. knows the value of having fun while doing good, and fun means parties that employees call WHIPs (for Why the Hell aren’t we In a Pub?).

At the pharmaceutical company’s St. Patrick’s Day WHIP, employees brought in old sneakers and CDs to be recycled into playgrounds and ball fields. The biannual “Rushing Toward a Cure’’ WHIPs celebrate the company’s charitable giving to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society — for every 100 yards the Patriots rush, Millennium donates $1,000 — with tailgating fare: hot dogs, hamburgers, buffalo wings, and beer.

The parties, which date back to the mid-1990s, when Millennium was a start-up, are held in the Cambridge company’s cafeteria or courtyard, and often feature special guests such as Patriots players or cancer patients who depend on the company’s products.

At the WHIP promoting Millennium’s cosponsorship (with the Red Sox Foundation) of a Japanese/American youth baseball exchange, there was karaoke, soft-serve ice cream, and, of course, popcorn, peanuts, and Cracker Jack — and a group of Japanese exchange players, who got up to sing “The Loco-Motion.’’

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