Leadership-Pike to host tournament

Published 3:00 am Saturday, January 10, 2015

After seeing the Troy Parks and Rec kickball league take off, Leadership Pike Class of 2015 president Nola Ernest said this year’s class decided a kickball tournament would be the best way to raise funds for the programs annual scholarships.

Leadership-Pike aims to provide scholarships for a student from each high school in Pike County.

“My class is very imaginative, first of all,” Ernest said. “A lot of years (the Leadership Pike members) do raffles, and that seems pretty easy, But this year Troy Parks and Rec had their very first kickball league in the fall, and when they did, it got a ton of interest. I think it got more interest than the Rec Center even expected.”

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Ernest said many members of this year’s Leadership Pike class had participated in the kickball league and was disappointed a tournament was not held before the season came to a close.

“They had a great time during the fall, and it ended without a tournament,” Ernest said. “A couple of members who actually participated in the league said they felt they were left without this closure since there was no tournament, and we thought there would be people who were interested in this event. We just thought, ‘What a great way to include as many people in the community and their families.’”

Leadership Pike, which is sponsored by the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, is a year-long leadership development and community education program for young adults. Each year, the class members host a fund-raising event to fund scholarships for high school students throughout the county. This year, the class hopes to raise $4,000 to provide $1,000 scholarships to each of the high schools.

To do that, the class is opening up the tournament to kickball teams and businesses throughout the community. Ernest said organizers are hoping for at least 15 teams made up of 10 team members, although teams can be larger if needed.

“The entry fee for each team is $250,” Ernest said. “We ask that each team has at least 10 members, but teams can be larger, which would make the cost per person less.”

The class is also selling sponsorships to area businesses. “The largest sponsorship we’re offering is called our field sponsorship, which also cost $250. They would get their logo printed on a vinyl banner, and it would be hung on the field acknowledging those sponsors.”

Individuals or businesses who wish to donate, but feel they are unable to donate $250 can still donate and be recognized for their donations, Ernest said.

“We have smaller sponsorships, as well,” Ernest said. “If you wanted to donate $50 or even donate items valued at $50 or more, you can. If you wanted to give away ice cream cones and they were valued at $50 or more, it would be listed as our game-day advertiser.”

While the tournament will not be held until Feb. 28, the deadline for team registration is Saturday, Feb. 14. Teams hoping to sign up can do so now, Ernest said.

“They can sign up starting now,” Ernest said. “They can contact any member of the Leadership Pike class if they know they them or they can email me. My email is Nola.ernest@gmail.com.”

While a kickball tournament is an out-of-the-box idea compared to a simple raffle, Ernest said the class as a whole was excited to see the project develop and grow.

“We’re just very excited,” Ernest said. “It’s an honor to be a part of this class and it’s an honor for me to be in charge of this class. It’s a funny title to be a president for all of these people who are already leaders themselves.”