Volunteer Dan Daugherty tries out the toilet seat horseshoes during the YMCA of Moshannon Valley 'Merica Summer Games to raise money for their anti-hunger program on Saturday, July 9, 2016. Teams had to try to toss toilet seats onto plungers. Abby Drey ...
Spitting six watermelon seeds in a container from about 5 feet away was the number to beat as of 3:30 p.m. Saturday.Philipsburg couple Kurt and Paula Hutton tried.Seeds hit the rim, came up short and were spat too long.But at least one made it in.Beating the daily record, though, wasnâ€™t their goal.Paula Hutton said participating in events that force them to do things as a team is something they try to do as much as possible.Being able to give back, in the meantime, was just the icing on the cake.â€œItâ€™s just giving back to a place that gives back to the community,â€ Kurt Hutton said. â€œWe like to do a lot of things like this, and the Y is probably the best part of Philipsburg.â€About 40 kids and adults participated in the inaugural â€˜Merica Summer GamesThey were among about 40 people who teamed up in pairs and participated in the inaugural â€™Merica Summer Games through the Moshannon Valley YMCA.The event was a way to bring people out to participate in what branch Director Mel Curtis called â€œobscure activities,â€ and raise money for programs that benefit the YMCA, local school districts and surrounding communities.It included team games like â€™Billy Bowling, knocking down trashcans with old vehicle tires, Cast Iron Skillet Toss, Hubcap Hurling, Bucket Pong, Cow Chip Fling, Toilet Seat Horseshoes and more.All activities were held at the Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School football field across from the YMCA.We like to do things you donâ€™t see anywhere else. Itâ€™s something different and a little off the wall. Plus weâ€™re recycling old items. Iâ€™m mean, havenâ€™t you just wanted to throw an old toilet seat or skillet without worrying about it?Mel Curtis, Moshannon Valley YMCA directorâ€œWe like to do things you donâ€™t see anywhere else,â€ Curtis said with a laugh. â€œItâ€™s something different and a little off the wall. Plus weâ€™re recycling old items. Iâ€™m mean, havenâ€™t you just wanted to throw an old toilet seat or skillet without worrying about it?â€Money raised, Curtis said, specifically goes to the YMCAâ€™s anti-hunger programs.â€œWe like to get people to help in all ways that we can,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s also brings awareness. A lot of people donâ€™t know that itâ€™s happening in their backyard.â€Money raised benefits the Summer Lunch and Backpack Food programThe YMCA budget for the Summer Lunch Program is $159,000. Itâ€™s a program founded in 2004 that serves free meals to local youth at 15 sites in Centre and Clearfield counties.The program runs through Aug. 26.The budget for the Backpack Food Program is about $75,000.Curtis said eligible students from six school districts in Centre and Clearfield counties are allowed to take home backpacks full of food and snacks after school the last day of each week for the weekends. They bring the packs back when school resumes the next week so they can be refilled.The program serves about 700 students per week during the school year.â€œItâ€™s great working with the schools, especially our relationship with P-O and Bald Eagle,â€ Curtis said. â€œWe all come together to help those who need it, and the relationship has been excellent.â€â€˜Merica Summer Games was an idea created three years ago, but planning began last yearThe idea to throw a fundraiser like the summer games came about three years ago, but planning started last year.â€œWeâ€™re giving it a go and seeing how itâ€™s working,â€ Curtis said. â€œI look at this year as a success, even though we would have liked to see more people. Itâ€™s sometimes not even about the money we raise when the kids and people get together during the summer and doing something fun and active that they remember.â€A kids competition was held during the first part of the day, followed by a competition for adults and dinner catered by Mountain Top Catering.Curtis said organizers plan to change things up next year with the hopes the summer games will be held in conjunction with Heritage Days â€” an annual event held in Philipsburg each summer.â€œAt this point, the goal is to continue to grow the event that can bring so much more good to these programs,â€ Curtis said.
Read more: Centre Daily Times - Let the games begin
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