Roll for the Kids
On Saturday, Aug. 20, some of the Sandhills' most generous individuals will compete in the Fourth Annual Backyard Bocce Bash benefiting Sandhills Children's Center.
Rain or shine, the bocce balls will be rolling as the competition begins at 9:30 a.m. on the Harness Track in the village of Pinehurst.
"For the most part, it is about bocce and all the fun trappings of the game, namely eating and drinking, spending time with family and friends, meeting community leaders and charity," says Kathy Desmond, director of development.
"What started as a few friends playing bocce has evolved into a celebration of preschool children with disabilities with more than 200 local supporters and friends coming together to raise funds for Sandhills Children's Center."
All types of teams are welcome: corporate, family or groups of friends. A team of four players is $100, which includes a T-shirt for each player and entry to the Weichert Realtors, Larose & Company Pairings Party, catered and donated by The Sly Fox Pub, the night before tournament day.
There is also a VIP Team package that is $350 and also includes entry for four guests to the pairings party and a pop-up tent for shade and tailgating.
"If the $350 is too steep, then take the Bocce Bash Challenge, and raise the difference through friend to friend sponsors of your team," says Teresa Copper, special event coordinator. "Not only will you be cool in the shade, but you could be the lucky team who wins the grand prize for the most challenge funds raised. That team then wins a culinary prize from Olive Garden. Teams will have the opportunity to win other prizes for having the best team spirit and for having the best tailgate."
Bocce ballers will compete in a tournament-style bracket on Italian-inspired courts for the chance to come home with the first- place trophy. Each team is guaranteed to play three matches in the morning, with a chance to roll their way to victory in the afternoon.
Event chairmen Rob McVay and Tim Copper both comment, "Every year, we have a high rate of returning participants, and those people bring their friends, and those people, their friends. Some of the repeat teams this year are the High Rollers, Bocce Bombers, and defending champs, Soup Du Jour. The people behind the Bash say, "players must consent that they will not cry, complain, foam at the mouth, be crude or rude at any time, and will smile throughout the day."
Those who are not competing can stop by the Harness Track, just off N.C. 5, and cheer for the teams and learn the game of bocce while supporting the programs of Sandhills Children's Center.
"You will be amazed at the creativity of the players who have helped turned this event into a day of team spirit and Italian fashion, with anything from bedazzled jersey tees to Mafia-inspired attire and Southern hats in the mix," says Copper.
Cathy Larose, board director for the Children's Center and co-owner of Weichert Realtors with husband Marcus, has supported Backyard Bocce as the leading sponsor for the tournament.
"Part of our company's history is centered on being involved with the community. We don't just write a check, we build a relationship," she says. "The Bocce Bash is one of the ways we do that. It's always well-organized, it's always fun, and it helps one of the most worthy charities in town. Besides, the event is a really great way for local businesses and neighbors to connect."
Through this annual event, children with disabilities will receive much-needed services, including classroom instruction by state-certified teachers, therapies, nutritious meals and transportation to and from school from all over Moore and surrounding counties.
"Every day we strive to create a community where children with disabilities are accepted and empowered," says Melanie Gayle, CEO of Sandhills Children's Center. "On days like the Bocce Bash, I know we are getting closer to that vision."
For more information on the Backyard Bocce Bash, contact Teresa Copper at (910) 692-3323 or visit www.backyardbocce.org.
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