Cornhole for a cause, one group is stepping up to raise money for veterans

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – You might know cornhole from backyard barbecues and tailgates, but for one group, it means so much more.

It’s called Baggin 4 Veterans. If you walk into the American Legion 256 post, bags hitting boards is a sound you’ll hear two days a week, both Monday and Friday.  

At first, a group came in and hosted some matchups, but that quickly faded.

Luckily, founders Bobby Bates, Ron West and Anna West learned to run tournaments and decided not to bag the idea. 

Since then, the three of them have gone all in.

“It’s gained momentum fast, and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Bobby Bates. 

They would put on Facebook events to raise money for the American Legion post.  

Now, it has grown. They have expanded it out to other posts in two years and have worked with prominent organizations to raise money. 

So far, the group has helped the Kansas Honor Flight, the Navy Seal Foundation, the Forgotten 22, and several other organizations raise thousands of dollars by holding these events. 

“Retired and current veterans still need our help. They need recognition for what they do, and they need to be paid back,” said West. 

 “That’s what begging for veterans does, you know, we try to raise as much as we can and give back all we can,” said Bates. “Just everybody supporting it, you know, touches me every time.”

The founders recall a lot of reasons why they continue to keep raising money. Ron West remembers one veteran from Pearl Harbor. When he came in and saw the boards, his face lit up. 

“The way he lit up, the way somebody is remembering and recognizing,” said West. “It made me feel good, and it was the proudest moment I think I’ve had since I’ve been doing this.”

Not only that, but the local vets who need a helping hand have left their mark on West’s life. 

“We had a gentleman come in and play music, that was down on his luck, and he was a Marine veteran,” said West. “We let him play music here for tips, and the cornhole people really took care of him, and we were able to give him some socks and buy his dog some food.”

Now, they are expanding to even more events, as it has officially become a stand-alone business. They want to hold more tournaments at weddings, graduations, or any events around the community, with all of the money going back to those who’ve sacrificed their lives for this country. 

“It’s good to be Kind to your veterans, hug them, help them if they need it,” said Bates. 

These matchups at the American legion are twice a week and are open to anyone.

You can also find them on Facebook here if you want them at your next event. 

Their big goal is to branch out and go statewide and eventually build a venue to hold even bigger competitions.

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