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UF Cornhole, Cart Races Raise Money for Charity

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John Houder tosses a bean bag in the final round of today's Cornhole Tournament outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The event saw 84 contractors and members of UF Planning Construction and Design compete in a bracket-style tournament. Oscar Bergeron-Oakes / WUFT News
John Houder tosses a bean bag in the final round of today’s Cornhole Tournament outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The event saw 84 contractors and members of UF Planning Construction and Design compete in a bracket-style tournament. Oscar Bergeron-Oakes / WUFT News

Just as on a busy Black Friday morning, shopping carts were locked in a dead heat as they raced around the Tigert Hall lawn and up 13th Street Friday afternoon.

The shopping cart race was one part Daytona International Speedway, one part obstacle course as participants from the UF Finance and Accounting department scooped up drinks, puzzle pieces and pumpkin lanterns while racing around the courtyard.

The race was organized to raise money for the UF Campaign for Charities, said Kimberly Cruce, an administrative service coordinator with Finance and Accounting.

UF’s Campaign for Charities has raised over $1 million every year for the past 10 years, and it hopes to do so again this year, said Susan Crowley, the executive vice-president of UFCC.

“One reason it’s so successful is because there’s so many options,” Crowley said. “People give to the agencies they want to give to.”

There are 89 charities participants can donate to through the campaign, Crowley said. If people donate to the general UFCC fund, that money is evenly dispersed among all the selected charities.

The shopping cart race was one of three events  happening around the university on Friday and one of 17 to happen during October’s general campaign, according to the UFCC website.

Though the general campaign launched October 5, UFCC also had a leadership campaign earlier this year aimed at UF employees who either donated more than $500 last year or who make more than $50,000 annually.

The leadership campaign is meant to encourage UF’s leaders to donate and lead the charge, said Crowley. October’s events are mostly meant to draw attention to the campaign itself.

Alan West and Piannys Rosario were the big winners of Friday’s shopping cart contest. Publix, the Athletic Association and PPD provided equipment to help make the event run smoothly.

The prize for winning the event: A plastic shopping cart to proudly flaunt around the office.

Cruce even had ShandsCair on site in case anything crazy happened during the race. Her office used to do a tricycle race and even contemplated doing a wheelchair race, but they settled on shopping carts instead, which Cruce said was probably the most dangerous of all the options.

In the end, a couple of carts went off the road, but other than that, it was a safe race on the lawn.

Cruce said she wasn’t sure yet how much money was raised, but she said she considered the event a success regardless since everyone had fun and no one got hurt. A final count revealed the event raised $335.50.

Other events happening around campus Friday for the UF Campaign for Charities were PPD’s Cookout in the Health Science Center courtyard and UF Planning Design and Construction’s Cornhole Tournament.

Held Friday afternoon by Gate 4 of the stadium, the cornhole tournament saw about 200 people from various design and construction firms participate in the festivities. In addition to the bracket-style tournament and prizes, the event had a raffle and free pizza for anyone in attendance.

Howie Ferguson, the event organizer for UF Planning Design and Construction, said there was no cost to enter the tournament, but donations to the Campaign for Charities were encouraged.

“Last year we had 88 people compete, and we raised $5,400 for UFCC,” Ferguson said. “We’re hoping to match that again this year.”

The idea sprung from Ferguson’s first tournament he helped put on with the Gainesville Juniors, a local girls volleyball club. When he brought it to UF, he was hoping to replicate the earlier success he had with a fundraiser.

“Everyone does golf tournaments, everyone does cook-offs,” Ferguson said. “We just wanted to do something unique.”

About Oscar Bergeron-Oakes

Oscar is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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One comment

  1. Cornhole isn’t a lot of fun, I don’t see how people will stick around to “play” even if proceeds are donated to charity.

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