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Cornhole for a cause

Posted: October 28th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Gen-X in a Millennial World | No Comments

By Genevieve A. Suzuki

When someone yelled out at last year’s Park & Recreation Foundation gala dinner, “They’re playing cornhole outside!” I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that meant.

Was it a game born on Midwestern farms, where one throws ears of corn into some kind of hole in a board? It also briefly occurred to me it could also be a profane nickname for some other kind of sport.

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(Courtesy of La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation)

“Dude, I can’t believe that ol’ cornhole.”

“Shhh, Grandma’s nearby and she’s using her hearing aid today.”

Well, I was kind of right on both fronts.

Cornhole consists of players taking turns throwing beanbags (or bags of corn) at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. You get three points for getting a bag in the hole and one point if you only make it onto the platform. The game is up once you get to 21.

Little did you know all those times you were throwing beanbags at the clown face as a kid at the fair you were actually training for your big cornhole moment.

And while it sounds easy enough, when those little bags land somewhere away from the hole, far from the platform, that’s when it very likely could get profane.

La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation recognized the potential in this activity after it hit big at last year’s dinner. (No kidding; adults of all ages were lined up to try to get the beanbags in the hole – not gonna lie, the fact there was a little imbibing helped the games along.)

This fall, the foundation is hosting its first Cornhole Tournament and free family festival Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at La Mesita Park, 8855 Dallas St. in La Mesa. The event will feature a barbecue, kids’ activities, craft vendors, a beer garden (more imbibing to ensure true focus), shaved ice and more.

If your team wins your division, you could actually walk away with more than just bragging rights: The overall open team winner gets $1,250 and the winning novice team gets $500.

While the Cornhole Tournament promises family fun, it also benefits a cause close to my heart. Shucks, most parents’ hearts: our La Mesa parks, which offer free family fun on a daily basis.

“The La Mesa Park and Recreation Foundation is a valuable partner of the city because they raise funds to provide free fun programs in the parks such as the Cornhole Tournament and Family Festival,” said Mayor Mark Arapostathis. “This volunteer group also works to provide funding for capital improvement projects such as new playgrounds in the parks. The foundation is working on funding a new playground at Vista La Mesa Park, which is under design now.”

So if you and a pal think you have what it takes to be the first champions of La Mesa Park & Recreation’s inaugural Cornhole Tournament, sign up at lamesaparks.org. Open teams are $100 ($50 per player) and novice entries are $50 ($25 per player). Contact Misty Thompson at 618-667-1300 or at friends@lamesaparks.org for more information.

—Genevieve A. Suzuki is a La Mesa resident who practices family law. Visit her website at sdlawyersuzuki.com.

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