First beanbag tournament benefit set for Saturday

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BRATTLEBORO -- Beanbags will be flying at the West River Park on Saturday.

"This is the first annual beanbag tournament," said NFI Resource Coordinator Lydia Mahan. "I wasn’t too familiar with this game but I think it’s become popular in the past 10 years."

Registration for the Pitchin’ for Families Beanbag Tournament begins at noon and the competition itself will be held between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The beanbag tournament will be a fundraiser for NFI Vermont, which provides mental health and educational services to children and families.

Two wooden boards with holes in the middle will be located 27 feet apart. The objective of the game is to put the beanbag in the hole across from the opponent.

Teams will consist of two people. It costs $25 a team and includes two rounds of playing. There will be prizes for the highest scoring team as well as the highest fundraising team.

Mahan mentioned that each participant will go home with a prize. Goodie bags will be given out and Verizon gave NFI $25 gift certificates to give to everyone as well. The Top of the Hill Grill will provide food for the event.

"Summertime is a great time for families to come together and go outside," said Mahan. "The weather’s supposed to be gorgeous on Saturday."

Sponsors of the event include the Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Subway on Main Street, Carters and Holiday Inn Express.

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NFI staff will be on hand to talk to people about the organization and answer any questions about therapeutic foster care.

The event will be held rain or shine. Mahan hopes it will become an annual fundraiser.

According to the NFI website, the organization was invited by the state of Vermont "to develop programs to divert children and adolescents from state hospitals. NFI met the challenge with a proposal to develop a comprehensive system of care, including crisis stabilization, residential care and therapeutic foster care."

NFI assists children and teens who are on the autism spectrum or may have pervasive developmental disorder. The organization focuses on kids that come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Some of the summer programming that NFI tries to fund include camps and horseback riding.

Mahan told the Reformer that NFI is on the lookout for people who are interested in being full-time foster parents as well as those who want to help kids by having them spend weekends together overnight.

"The Brattleboro community continues to amaze me," said Mahan, who has lived in Brattleboro for 30 years. "Even if they can’t give a lot, they give a little. It makes a significant difference. NFI is indebted to the community."

The NFI Vermont offices are in Brattleboro and Burlington.

To register or for more information about the tournament, contact Mahan at 802-254-2558 or LydiaMahan@nafi.com. For more information about NFI Vermont programs or services, visit NFIVermont.com.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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