Annual cornhole tournament to benefit foundation


The Beta Sigma Phi sorority will host its 6th Annual Cornhole Tournament, benefitting the Russell White Scholarship Foundation, next month in Millville.

“We do it to keep Russell’s memory alive,” said Emily Harne, a member of Beta Sigma Phi, “and to give back to the community.”

White was a 2002 Indian River High School graduate who had been deployed to Afghanistan in 2004, when he passed away at 19. The foundation created in his name awards scholarships to graduating IRHS seniors.

“This year we’re giving five $1,000 scholarships to IR seniors,” said Harne, noting the money given out this year comes from funds raised at last summer’s tournament.

Harne said that in 2014 the sorority gave two $2,500 scholarships to graduating seniors.

“This year, we wanted to impact more kids.”

The tournament will be held on Saturday, June 6, at the Millville fire hall. Registration for the event begins at 11 a.m., with the opening ceremony starting at 11:45 a.m. The first bag will be tossed at noon.

Each team of two can register for $50, which includes a T-shirt for each player. Harne said that space is limited and preregistration is strongly recommended. Those who wish to receive their desired T-shirt size must register by this Sunday, May 17.

Harne said that, this year, the tournament is different from previous years, with two brackets — a social bracket and a competitive bracket. Each team will be guaranteed five games. First- and second-place winners will receive cash prizes.

“This is a little different. We had always done a double-elimination single tournament. We found there are a lot of people who want to come out, enjoy the day and have a good time that aren’t necessarily amazing cornhole players. You’ll play three games to determine if you are in the competitive or social bracket. Then it’s double-elimination.”

During the event, there will be a live auction, beginning around 1:30 p.m., and a silent auction, closing around 3 p.m.

“We’re very lucky that the local business owners show their support, for silent auction items and donations to the cause. It allows us to put on a pretty fun event, and we’re able to raise a good amount of money for the high school seniors.

“We have some great live auction items — one is a week at a beach house in the Outer Banks. Bethany Bike Shop always hooks us up with a great beach-cruiser bicycle. Then a lot of the local restaurants and shops give us items and gift cards toward our silent auction. We have some handmade cornhole boards that will be up for auction, as well. We have a lot of great stuff.”

Those who want to attend and just watch the fun can do so at no charge. Charlie K’s BBQ will be on hand to sell barbecue and other refreshments. The tournament is a BYOB event.

Beta Sigma Phi currently has approximately 14 members. Those who are interested in joining the sorority are welcome to ask any of the members for information.

“We’re always looking to recruit new members. We have a great core of ladies who grew up around here. We get together once a month and do little things to give back,” said Harne. “It’s like a sisterhood. We get together and enjoy each other’s company.”

Harne said she loves the group of women in Beta Sigma Phi, and that she and her sister, Sarah, became members after attending a previous cornhole tournament.

“Sarah and I went to one of their first cornhole tournaments. We just liked the fun atmosphere of a fun day of the community getting together for a good cause,” she said. “We went and talked to some of the girls, and they invited us to go to some of their meetings. That’s how we got involved with the sorority.”

Those who wish to enjoy a day of fun, while supporting local students, are being encouraged to attend the event and enjoy camaraderie while tossing a bag or two.

“We really enjoy doing it. The White family has a great time, and they’re always a big support to us. We like to do something to keep Russell’s memory alive and do something for the community,” she said. “We love being able to do something that gives back. And the day is such a great day. Everybody has a lot of fun.”

To register for the tournament, or become a sponsor, call or text Sarah at (302) 363-7311.

Editor’s Note: In the interests of full disclosure, Harne is the daughter of Coastal Point Publisher Susan Lyons.