“Beat the Winter Blues” Bash and Cornhole Tournament

On Saturday, April 13, The Ag Heritage Hall at the Garrett County Fairgrounds will once again be the scene for the annual “Beat the Winter Blues Bash” and Cornhole Tournament. Sixty four teams will be on hand to compete for cash prizes (and bragging rights) in this double team, double elimination two tournaments in one.

The day is not just about cornhole, however. The Bash offers activities for the entire family. The event will include live music, vendors selling their wares, a silent auction full of unique items large and small, raffles and tip boards, plus a large children area with fun inflatables. Food and beer will also be available for purchase.

Registration and practice begins at 10 AM for the tournament and the rest of the activities will be open from 11 AM to 5 PM. The music also begins at 11 AM with Pantastix, the Crellin Elementary School Steel Drum Band. Other entertainment for the days includes the Blazin’ Bobcats Orrf Band, and Jim Jeffries.

A donation at the door is requested for entry and the Cornhole Tournament costs $60 per team. You can pre-register at www.samanthafundingthearts.org or by emailing samnthafta@verizon.net.

All proceeds from the Bash benefits the Samantha Funding the Arts Foundation, created in loving memory and to honor Samantha Gibson, who lost her life at age 21 in a car accident. Samantha was a gifted artist with a passion for the visual arts. After her death in 2012, loved ones, including mom June McCloskey sought a way to “honor the gift of art that God gave Samantha and help fund art for others.”

Says June, “When budgets are cut in our schools, it seems the first programs to be cut are the arts. Arts, music and theatre teachers have had their classrooms taken away and are now teaching from what is called ‘Art on a Cart’. Teachers are also paying for supplies out of their own pockets. This is where our foundation can help.” Over the past six years, Samantha Funding the Arts has provided donations and grants to help fund supplies for art teachers, field trips, special presentations and more.

Examples include providing extra funding to band and chorus programs in area schools, purchasing supplies for the art department, a trip to Pittsburgh for one group to see “A Christmas Carol”, even help with Mt. Ridge Students to take a bus trip to Disney World. They also offer Young Artists Workshops during the summer. Grant applications are available online at their website: www.samanthafundingthearts.org.

The Cornhole Bash is one of two major fundraisers for the year, the second being the WGW Community Youth Cup which teams Samantha Funding The Arts, Landon’s Library & The Anderew S Woods Scholarship Fund for a two day event that includes a Golf Tournament, 5K Color Run, Silent Auction, Kids Area, Live Music and a Helicopter Golf Ball Drop.

Slated for June 20 – 22, that event has raised several hundred thousand dollars and is the main funding behind the “Learning Beyond the Classroom” Mobile classroom that travels to ten different locations throughout Garrett County to increase school readiness. At each location, there are school readiness lessons, nutrition and cooking activities, literature and art experiences, as well as valuable play experiences for children. There is no cost for children to participate. Information and schedules can be found on their Facebook page.

Volunteers are always needed for these events and donations are welcome. Mail donation check to: Samantha Funding The Arts, 5204 Bittinger Road, Swanton, MD 21561. For more information, visit their website or contact them at samanthafta@verizon.net.