MILLBROOK, Ala. (WSFA) - The River Region Amateur Cornhole Classic is more than just a way for families and friends to get out and toss the bags. It’s a chance to raise money for a good cause.
While the 2020 tournament was downsized because of the coronavirus, the message was not. It was still all about raising money and awareness for the Boys and Girls Ranches of Alabama.
“Since 1966, we’ve been raising abandoned and abused children throughout the state for all these years to be a much better part of our society,” said CEO Michael Smith. “They’re not bad kids; they just need a chance. They were born into a bad situation.”
“We’re 90% private funded, so we have to raise money through sponsors and events like [the Cornhole Classic], and that money goes directly to our ranches,” he added.
This year’s classic included 35 teams, all looking to have a good time and learn more about how to help those in need.
“We are so thankful for the people in our communities that came out to do this today that came to help support our ranches,” said Michael. “We’ve got husband and wife teams, my two daughters are playing here - we’ve got sisters, we’ve got brothers, we’ve got companies playing together, so this brings in a wide variety of folks, and it gives us an opportunity to talk about the ranches and the good work we do throughout our state raising these boys and girls.”
The Boys and Girls Ranches of Alabama’s front office is located in Montgomery, but the organization has ranches around the state. Misty Smith is the director of the FAME Girls Ranch in Colbert County, and says being able to see how many people are still working to give back is inspiring.
“For me to be able to come down to this one and see how the supporters have come together and continued to support us and continued to raise money, that just shows how passionate our people are,”s he said.
Even during a world-wide pandemic, the organization was so thankful that people chose to make a difference.
“They know that we’re in it for the right reason, they know we love our kids, and so to see everybody continue to come together during this pandemic that we’re in, it just shows that they love us as much as we love our kids, and they love our kids too, so it speaks for itself,” said Misty.
The winner of the tournament will receive a week-long beach trip in Gulf Shores, Alabama. For more information on the Boys and Girls Ranches of Alabama, or to make a donation, head to their website www.boysandgirlsranches.org.