On Saturday, the Ballard Elks held a beer pong tournament, attracting both younger and older crowds and raising money for various charities (Click on picture to scroll through slideshow)
Slideshow: Beer pong for charity
Who would’ve thought that a skill picked up in drunken college frat house parties would eventually become a form of charity?
On Saturday, July 21, a clear sunny day that hit a high of 77 degrees, that is precisely what happened. The Ballard Elks held their first annual beer pong for charity tournament in the parking lot of the Elks Lodge, which is located on Seaview Ave, overlooking the Puget Sound and the Olympics.
Proceeds from competition entrance fees -- a $20 buy-in -- as well as sales from beers provided by Deschutes Brewery, at $5 a pop, all went to Ballard Elks charities. Charities include a veteran’s fund, children’s sports fund, Children’s Hospital, scholarships for Ballard high school students and funding for a mobile science bus program for schools.
The competition was long, fierce and friendly. Some games lasted for seemingly ever, as ball after ball narrowly missed its target. The contestants never seemed to mind, though, as they bantered back and forth, made jokes and laughed together.
Team names included “Cheech and Pong,” “Donkey Pong,” “I sink it/You drink it” and “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’.”
The crowd that showed up to the event was a collision of younger and older folks. Freshly graduated college students played at the same tables as gray-haired men and women further along in their lives. Not once, though, did interactions between the two demographics seem awkward, and the mood never plummeted.
According to Katrina Sigurdson, a Ballard Elk member, diehard Ballardite and organizer of the event, everyone who came was unified by one common trait: passion for the Ballard community.
As for why beer pong, Sigurdson wanted to put on an event that showed people that the Ballard Elks are not just a reclusive group full of old white men, as it has come to be known in the past. She also wanted to show that the group was mostly about charity and “not just cheap drinks.”
The Elks have a tradition of charity, and are second only to the U.S. government in providing scholarships to local high school seniors. The Ballard Elks, in addition to giving six $1,000 scholarships to Ballard High School seniors every year, also regularly contribute to Veteran Affairs, the Children’s Hospital and commit time to volunteering around the community.
The beer pong tournament is just the beginning of the Ballard Elks’ plans, though. On August 11, they are hosting the largest cornhole tournament in the Pacific Northwest in their parking lot. Entry fee into the competition is 20 dollars with proceeds benefiting the Seattle Children’s Hospital. A beer garden and the “Curbside Nomad” food truck will also be setup at the event.
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