This is a guest post from Seth Blanchard, who has started a winning summer tradition with his friends. This year their “Vermont Summer Games” supported the Vermont Foodbank and he shared the details on his weekend of lawn games, wine, competition and charity with us:
The Vermont Summer Games is a fun-filled weekend that we, Seth and Leanne, started at our home in 2007 with the goal of gathering close friends and family together on an annual basis, while at the same time raising money to support a needy charity. Couples that are invited to attend the event arrive with team names and team T-shirts. The weekend is highlighted by a tournament of lawn games, where participants compete to win bragging rights and their team name on a rotating trophy! We provide all of the food and beverages for the weekend. The entrance fee for our guests is a donation to the charity for that year.
We kick off the weekend on Friday evening with pizza and a blind wine tasting event. Each team is asked to bring a bottle of wine that is $10 or less to be entered into the wine tasting. The wines are then ranked during the tasting by all participants. The winner of the wine tasting event with the most points gets first choice of where they will sleep for the weekend…bed, air mattress or tent! The ranking of the wines also determines the team’s position in the round robin tournament for the lawn games the following day. The wine tasting has become quite the competitive event, with some teams sampling potential wines for months in advance!
After a leisurely breakfast on Saturday morning, everyone puts on their game faces to prepare for the tournament. We play a round robin type tournament comprised of varies lawn games…horseshoes, ladder golf, bocce, holey boards and Kan Jam. The tournament takes up most of Saturday and is such an exciting day full of friendly competition, laughter and lots of heckling! By the end of the day we have crowned the champions and present them with the rotating trophy.
On Sunday morning, we all sit together and make the donation as a group to the charity that was chosen for that year. After having such a great weekend, we find this is a wonderful way to end our event. It allows everyone to participate in the most important part of the weekend and leave knowing that they have contributed to making a difference in someone’s life. The Summer Games is by far the highlight of our summers and we plan on hosting this event for years to come. We hope that our story will help inspire others to create their own fun, charitable event!
Seth and Leanne’s Vermont Summer Games generated $3,500 in donations to the Vermont Foodbank. We very much appreciate their generosity, as well as the spirit of their friends!