COMPETING FOR A CAUSE: Annual cornhole tournament benefits Wertz’s Warriors

Community members of all ages participated in the cornhole tournament on Saturday, which was held to support Wertz’s Warriors. (Jane Bond/News Advocate)

STRONACH — Community members came together on Saturday to enjoy a cornhole tournament while supporting a good cause.

Manistee Moose Lodge No. 1128 held its annual fundraiser at Stronach Township Hall, which raises funds and awareness for Wertz’s Warriors on behalf of the Michigan Special Olympics.

“The Wertz Warriors started back in the ’80s,” said Melissa Spoor, organizer of the tournament. “It’s a snowmobile ride that they start downstate and they go up to Traverse City for the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics winter games. Along the way, they stop at places and collect any money that was raised for them.”

Participants in the tournament paired up in teams of two in the double elimination rounds. (Jane Bond/News Advocate)

The tournament had a double elimination rule, and contestants also were able to participate in side contests and other activities as well.

“Everybody signed up in teams of two, and we pay out for first and second place,” she said. “We also have trophies for them.”

The tournament has been held for four years, and Spoor said participation is continuing to grow.

“We had 23 teams last year, and we have hoped for that many this year,” she said. “We had 15 teams sign up during the pre-registration, and then plenty of people sign up the day of the tournament.”

Spoor said when they first started holding the tournament, the cause they chose was Relay for Life, but after the second year they decided to focus on Wertz Warriors every year.

“This is the third year in a row that we’ve chosen to support them,” said Spoor. “The Moose Lodge decided that this was going to be who we did it for going forward.”

The Moose Lodge is happy to support the Special Olympics, according to Spoor.

“Manistee has historically had a large amount of people with special needs, and so it’s something our lodge has always wanted to support,” she said. “We hope to get more of the community involved, as well.”

The tournament raised over $3,000 last year.

Contact Jane Bond at (231) 398-3111 or email jane.bond@hearst.com. Follow her on Twitter: @MNA_Jane.

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