Cornhole Tournament at Ricochet raises money for United Way

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Several teams compete in a Cornhole Tournament Saturday at Ricochet Rec Center in Imperial to support United Way.

IMPERIAL - The air was filled with music and laughter Saturday at Ricochet Rec Center as cornhole tournament contestants threw their bean bags, aiming for the small targets across the room as their teammates cheered them on. Employees from the United Parcel Service (UPS) and United Parcel Service – Supply Chain Solutions (UPS SCS) organized the tournament in Imperial to raise money for United Way charities, and the event was open to anyone wanting to participate.

Cornhole is a game in which players take turns throwing small bags filled with dried corn at a slanted board with a small hole in it. The objective is to get more bags into the holes than the opposing team.

United Way is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities throughout the nation. According to the website, United Way of Imperial County was founded in 1980 to help cover the costs of services that benefit the community.

Ken Wuytens, executive director of United Way, said he knew the cornhole tournament would be a great opportunity for locals get out of the summer heat, while also raising money for a good cause. He said he was grateful for the hard work from UPS and UPS SCS.

“United Way has connections with UPS worldwide. They’re a big supporter of United Way and they help by sponsoring a lot of our events,” said Wuytens.

The United Way organization has several programs throughout the county to help contribute to the community, including a program for children to attend the Homework Help Center, a Diabetes Awareness Clinic, and an annual Ham Drive to help feed the needy.

The tournament began with several teams warming up and practicing against other opponents. Teammates laughed at each other’s misses and gave high fives after scoring points. The two-person teams included husbands and wives, friends, parents and children, siblings, and even some strangers teamed up for the chance to win the tournament.

Darryl Taylor, manager of UPS in El Centro, said he was excited to have such a large turnout. He explained that the tournament was a double elimination, which meant each team could lose twice before getting booted out of the chance to win. Taylor also mentioned this year’s event was the fourth annual cornhole tournament and he hopes to continue the tradition.

“We’re always trying to think of ways to help, and this was just one of the ideas that we came up with,” said Taylor.

Prizes were UPS-themed, but most participants admitted they were not competing for prizes — they were playing for the opportunity to raise money for United Way.

Meredith Alcala, a local tournament participant, said she attended the event to support a good cause and have a good time with friends and family.

United Way representatives said they were thankful for the enthusiasm of their sponsors to help their organization and the community.