Playing for a good cause

CASMAN Academy students practice their Cornhole form in preparation of last year's tournament. This year's tournament is scheduled for March 3.

CASMAN Academy to host third annual Cornhole tournament

MANISTEE — CASMAN Academy teacher Chad Folkersma is one of those outstanding educators who always puts students’ needs above everything else.

When Folkersma saw a need for CASMAN students to get college scholarships for furthering their education he was the first one to step up and help out. That was the inspiration for the first Cornhole Tournament, and now three years later they have raised $6,600 in scholarship funds for CASMAN students.

This year the tournament will be held on Saturday, March 3 at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium at CASMAN School located at 225 Ninth St. Folkersma said they are presently accepting entry forms for the double-elimination tournament, and they invite everyone to check out this fun event.

“We had a lot of people who played in the first two tournaments who are coming back for the third one, but we have lots of room for new players,” said Folkersma. “After doing it for two years, we really have it down now to where it is much easier to accommodate a larger group. We could handle up to 70 — 80 people if they wanted to play.”

Cornhole is a game similar to horseshoes only it is played with small corn bags that are tossed at a platform with holes in it. Contestants keep going like horseshoes until someone reaches the score of 21.

There is an entry fee to enter the tournament, but the players have the opportunity to qualify for over $500 worth of prizes, and trophies will be given to the top 16 places. There also are plenty of ways people, clubs and businesses can help this worthy cause to benefit the students.

Folkersma pointed out that it is a single’s tournament and that no one needs to worry about finding a teammate for the event. He said by having the double elimination format everyone is guaranteed of taking part in at least two matches during the day.

“We already have 25 people signed up to play, but the neat thing is we have people who said I can’t make it, but I want to sponsor a student,” said Folkersma. “We have eight spots that have been reserved for students.”

Although it is fun to be a participant, Folkersma said there is a misconception that only people playing can attend the event.

“We have plenty of room for people to come and watch,” said Folkersma. “Our hopes are to make it more of a community event, and an opportunity to help out our scholarship program. It also gives the public the opportunity to tour, and know more about the academy.”

They also will have a silent auction going during the day, and a concession stand. He said many businesses have been very generous in donating items to the silent auction, and they are looking to add more items.

“We almost make as much off our silent auction as we do off the tournament,” said Folkersma. “We have a fly fishing experience on the Big Manistee River, different apparel, some woodworking products and whole lot more,” said Folkersma. “We even have a bake sale.

He said they are hoping to raise at least $3,400 which would give them $10,000 for the three years that they have been holding the tournament. Folkersma said that was they’ve met their goal.

Folkersma said there are many ways that people can help out the scholarship effort through this tournament. One way is to participate or watch the action, and a second method is by sponsoring a prize.

“In the past we have had a grand prize valued at around $350, and the runner-up prize valued at $250,” said Folkersma.

They also started something new this year where people can sponsor a cornhole set. By doing that they will get the name of their business placed on the set for the tournament.

“It is a unique opportunity for businesses to put some branding on it and get their name out there in the public,” said Folkersma.

People and businesses can also sponsor players or make donations to the silent auction. Corporations and individuals can also make cash donations if they would like to assist the scholarship program.

If people want more details on how to do any of those things they can either contact Folkersma at 723-4981. or by e-mail at cfolkersma@manistee.org. They can also find out details on Facebook under CASMAN Cornhole 2012.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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