Rock, Paper, Scissors: A Battle to Benefit Local Nonprofits
By Emily Merrell
Local contenders will soon have a chance to support three area nonprofits in a unique competition – a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament to be held at Native Brew Works in January.
Teams of three may enter the tournament for a $75 entry fee, which will benefit the Delta Symphony Orchestra, Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund and Northeast Arkansas Habitat for Humanity. The tournament is presented by sponsors Cavenaugh Auto Group and Hytrol.
The Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament will be a bracket-style competition. Members of each three-person team will each go up against members of opposing teams, and the team with two winning members will move on to the next round. The fast-paced competition will end in all teams winning a medal, the second-place team receiving a trophy, and first place taking home a customized wrestling belt and bragging rights. Besides the tournament being a fun event for all ages and abilities, participants can also feel good about making a donation to three organizations that are each dedicated to helping improve the quality of life of local residents.
Delta Symphony Orchestra
Delta Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1975 and is the only professional orchestra in Northeast Arkansas. Members of the Delta Symphony Orchestra are dedicated to entertaining, educating and enriching lives in the Delta region through community concerts and youth programs.
“Presenting an orchestra concert is an expensive endeavor, which is never fully supported by ticket sales alone,” said Catherine Norvell, Delta Symphony Orchestra’s executive director. “Through our FAME (Free Access to Music Enrichment) and Card to Culture programs, we also offer free tickets to our concerts for area youth and those in financial need. Proceeds will help support these programs and our recently created Summer String Program and Delta Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as our yearly free school workshops.”
Organizers say a tournament like this has not been held before in Jonesboro.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with two other great, local nonprofits, and we’re so grateful that Native has opened up their business to us to make this happen,” said Norvell. “We think it will be a great, fun way for folks to get out and beat the post-Christmas blues while supporting the work our three organizations do in Jonesboro. We would love to make this an annual tradition.”
Habitat for Humanity of Northeast Arkansas
Habitat for Humanity provides accessibility to affordable homeownership and home repairs for residents in the Jonesboro and Paragould areas.
“With the expansion of service to Paragould, Habitat for Humanity of Northeast Arkansas is in great need of raising funds for construction costs in Paragould that will supplement grant funds,” said Angy Abaunza, executive director.
Additional funding is also needed to assist with ongoing programs locally.
“In Jonesboro, we will continue to provide our A Brush with Kindness Home Repair Program to assist existing homeowners with needed home repairs,” said Abaunza. “We are continuing our search for affordable land in Jonesboro where we could build two to three homes in the near future.”
Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund
The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund’s (ASPSF) goal is to ease the financial burden of single parents who are working to improve the quality of their lives by continuing their education.
“ASPSF’s greatest need currently is more funding for our scholarships,” said Shaila Creekmore, development manager for the nonprofit. “We had a 64% increase in applications this fall from the previous fall semester, and we were unable to award all qualified students as we had previously. The number of single parents applying remains high for the spring semester, so we must increase our donations to meet that need.”
All proceeds from the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament will be used to award qualified single parents who are currently enrolled in a skilled trade certificate program or are working toward their associate or bachelor’s degree, said Creekmore.
“We are not a traditional scholarship program. … We are really more of a critical financial assistance program,” she said. “Our students can use their award for basic needs like rent and utilities, food and clothing for their children, gas and car maintenance, childcare and supplies for school. Without this financial help, many of our students would not be able to attend school.”
Creekmore said she is excited for the opportunity for all three organizations to raise funds in a fun and unique way.
“Nonprofits in Northeast Arkansas are a close network of staff members and volunteers who are often working toward a common goal,” she said. “We work together to share information, refer clients to each other and spread information about what other nonprofits are doing so that we can provide the best help possible for the residents of Northeast Arkansas.”
She believes the setup of this event was perfect for the three nonprofits to come together and raise funds.
“Unlike a lot of tournament -type events, this is a no-skills tournament,” said Creekmore. “You don't have to know how to play golf, tennis, pickleball, softball – anyone can play rock, paper, scissors – so this is a great activity for families to do with their kids, a group of teens or college students, co-workers, neighbors and friends – all while supporting three area nonprofits. And it won’t take up much of your day. Come play, eat some lunch at Native and have something to do outside of the house on a cold January Saturday.”
For more information or to register a three-person team, visit aspsf.org/rockpaperscissors. Participants can choose to donate the $75 to one nonprofit or split the fee to be donated equally between the three organizations. The Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament will take place on Jan. 20 at noon at Native Brew Works, located at 515 S. Gee St. in Jonesboro.