The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Cornhole tourney serves good cause

 

August 5, 2018

Jamie Cushman

Juan Dodge tosses a beanbag during the cornhole tournament fundraiser at the Clovis Christian Schools gymnasium on Saturday. Organizers said the tournament raised around $1,600 for the Clovis area Senior Olympics.

CLOVIS — Eighteen teams of two took to the Clovis Christian School gymnasium on Saturday to try their hand at cornhole, the popular lawn game which includes just bean bags and a board with a hole in the middle, all while raising money for a good cause.

The cornhole tournament was a fundraiser for the Clovis area Senior Olympics, a group which has been keeping senior citizens active for nearly 40 years.

Those in attendance at Saturday's tournament enjoyed the competition, camaraderie and of course the cornhole-ing.

"This is a fun time, good turnout and good competition, there's some good players here," Cliff Kuchta said.

The object of the game is to toss a bean bag onto, or preferably through the center hole, of a wooden board located several yards away.

Reuben Gonzales, the local coordinator for the Clovis area Senior Olympics, said the group first started playing cornhole about three years ago. He said it is now among the group's top five activities in terms of popularity, in part because just about anybody can play it.

"It's something that a variety of people can do because you don't have to be Mr. America, you don't have to be a strong man or something to do it," Gonzales said.

Melinda Coslette, president of the Clovis area Senior Olympics, said the group's primary motivation is to promote a healthy lifestyle for the seniors of eastern new Mexico.

"The main goal is to get seniors active and social," Coslette said.

Despite the presence of "Olympics" in the name, Coslette said you do not have to be a world-class athlete in order to participate in the competitions.

In fact Coslette said their are a number of activities including the flying disc accuracy competition, which like cornhole, does not require much movement and thus can feature a wider variety of participants.

Saturday's fundraiser was also put on with some help from the High Plains Cornhole Association. Board Member Jayleana McKnight said the group provided some of the logistical items for the tournament, such as the boards, bean bags and scorecards.

Kuchta, the group's vice president, said they try to provide support for cornhole fundraisers whenever the opportunity pops up.

"We do it all the time. We enjoy doing it," Kuchta said, adding that the group has also helped the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico, the Clovis High School baseball team and the Yucca Middle School dance team raise money via cornhole tournaments in the past.

Coslette said the Senior Olympics raised about $1,600 during Saturday's tournament. She said that money will be used to purchase new equipment as the group gears up to attend the national Senior Olympics competition which will be held in Albuquerque next year.

She told The News that money from fundraisers such as Saturday's cornhole tournament is crucial for the group as it is their only source of funding, outside of donations from businesses and private individuals.

 

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