For the students involved in the BEACON afterschool program in Moab, an annual dodgeball game on Saturday at Grand County Middle School will provide a portion of this year’s funding for in-class education and outdoor recreation.
The game, which is now in its sixth year as a fund-raising effort for BEACON, drew 16 teams from across the community, from City of Moab employees to companies such as Poison Spider Bicycles and Intrepid Potash, to the ultimate champions, “What the Duck.” Last year, the game raised more than $2,500 for students — and BEACON Program Manager Kaitlin Thomas said she expects more money to come in this year.
Thomas estimates BEACON will earn in excess of $3,000 from this year’s tournament. That money will go toward supporting what Thomas calls “high-quality K through 8 programming for youth” in Moab.
“I think we have grown each year, this crowd seems pretty big this year,” Thomas said. “We’ve had a lot of awesome community members and organizations donate our concessions this year and Gear Trader was our title sponsor. They’ve been with us since BEACON took over the fundraiser four years ago.
"We appreciate their support and Gear Trader has always supported BEACON. They have helped our kids get skis and have been a part of our winter survival club in the La Sals. They really care about getting kids active and interested in activities after school.”
Thomas added that an event like the dodgeball tournament couldn’t happen without the engaged community Moab always seems to offer.
“Even though this is a fundraiser, more importantly it’s a community event that brings a lot of different people together to support our schools,” Thomas said. “We have businesses, individuals and non-profits participating ... this is made up of people that want to participate, play and help our kids. So, regardless of how much money we make, that’s so much more important to me, to see the community engaged and involved in the future of our kids.”
While the overall winner was What the Duck?, the Fiery Furnace Flamethrowers, made up of members of the Fiery Furnace Marching Band, won the Best Sportsmanship award and The City, a team made up of various employees from City of Moab, won for Best Costumes/Theme.
One of the players for What the Duck?, Andrea Noyes, said her family takes part in the tournament each year — and that the event gives her an opportunity to catch up with some of those family members who live out of town.
“We live for tournament, and my brother and his family come down from Salt Lake City every year while my cousin comes up from St. George,” Noyes said. “We play every year and it is a lot of fun, though I think in our small community it is important to have a program like BEACON available for kids that don’t have anything to do after school. The activities BEACON provides help keep kids out of trouble and off drugs, which is very important these days.”
For more information on the BEACON program, call 435-259-2767 or visit moabbeacon.net.