The third annual Lourdes Beanbag Tournament was an incredible success. Filling a field, 96 competitors arrived to test their skills.
The competitors were joined by a large group of spectators who turned out to cheer on their favorite team and enjoy excellent food and each other’s company.
The Beanbag Tournament started three years ago with three clear goals: to build community, raise funds for Lourdes Catholic School and for men of the parish and school to relieve some of the burden women typically shoulder in running the school. Those three goals remain the guiding lights of the event.
The financial impact of the tournament has been profound. Close to $140,000 was raised in the last three years to improve the technology at Lourdes Catholic School and to enhance the faith, facilities and academics of the entire Lourdes community. While it is easy to measure the dollars raised, the benefits to the children who attend Lourdes Catholic School really are without measure.
Close to 50 new computers have been purchased, and more are on the way as a result of this year’s tournament. Numerous software packages, including critical virus protection and security programs, have been purchased. Improvements to technology in the science department make it easier for students to advance at a quicker pace. Video projectors and cutting edge “smart-board” technology have been acquired as well. Soon, every classroom will have its own volume of the Catchecism of the Catholic Church and a brand new set of Bibles to refer to in matters of faith.
Even with all these achievements, many in the Lourdes community feel that the way the tournament builds up and unites the community could have even greater long-term benefits. The competition is a fantastic way to get to know a large and diverse group of people in a short time frame and a very relaxed environment. The entire structure of the tournament is designed to create and promote new connections.
Underwriting donations comprise approximately 60 percent of the funds raised, and a core group of donors has been extremely generous. That core group is critical to the Beanbag Committee meeting its fundraising goals, but there are opportunities for everyone in the community to participate in a meaningful way.