Cornhole, bag toss — call it what you will; the creators of Derby Day think Augusta’s ready for the Cornhole Challenge
by Eric Johnson
The people responsible for Derby Day, one of Augusta’s most successful and anticipated fundraisers, have developed another unique fundraising event, and while the name might initially leave people scratching their heads, the competition and fun will undoubtedly make the Cornhole Challenge one of those events Augustans plan their summers around.
The Augusta Training Shop’s Cornhole Challenge, which begins at 2 p.m. on August 11 at the Bell Auditorium, offers area companies a unique advertising opportunity while giving local players the chance to show off their bag tossing skill.
“We’re hoping to start this as an inaugural event,” says Audrey Murell, the Training Shop’s executive director. “We’re seeing it as a kind of pre-school rally as well as a pre-tailgating event before college football starts.”
Cornhole, also known as bag toss, is a popular backyard activity developed in Kentucky and played extensively throughout the Midwest. Players attempt to throw beanbags through a hole cut into an inclined wooden board 30 feet away. Getting a bag on the board is worth one point, through the hole is worth three. The first to 21 wins.
If it sounds easy, it’s not. In fact, it can be infuriatingly difficult, even for those who have spent a lifetime perfecting their form.
Murell came up with the idea as a way to raise money in a city chock full of golf tournaments, and while this may be the first Cornhole Challenge, it’s not the first time Augustans have been exposed to the activity.
“We’ve had cornhole for the past two years at Derby Day, and it’s been a huge hit,” she says.
The Cornhole Challenge, however, takes the Derby Day diversion to an entirely new level.
Murell’s goal is to get 16 companies to pay $500 to sponsor a set of two cornhole boards that they can design any way they want — company logo, favorite team’s colors. Whatever they can dream up, Murell’s people can re-create.
“You pay $500 and you get to take the whole set home and have them for company outings, picnics, staff parties — whatever,” she says. “And you get to have a team in the event.”
For those who don’t sponsor a set of boards, the cost of a two-member team is $110, which includes food and beverage.
Given the fact that the winning team will receive $500 in cash, it’s almost like participating for free.
The winning team also gets the soon-to-be-famous cornhole trophy.
The second place team receives $250 in cash and the third place team earns $100.
Murell hopes the Cornhole Challenge will eventually grow as large and popular as Derby Day, which is starting its 12th year. Lock Stock and Barrel, the Training Shop’s fall fundraiser, is a shooting and music event that is in entering second year.
The Training Shop, which was established in 1947, employs mentally and physically challenged people and trains them in furniture repair and refinishing. They also paint kitchen cabinets and outdoor furniture as well as polish all types of metal.
Currently, the Training Shop employs 25 people.
Admission for non-participants is $10. Food will be supplied by the Rooster’s Beak and Brown Bag food trucks, and assistance will be provided by the Augusta Rugby Club.
The Cornhole Challenge
The Bell Auditorium
Saturday, August 11
augustatrainingshop.comYou Might Also Like: