By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Ninja Assassins were robbed, but it benefitted hundreds of needy people in the community, the Ninjas grinned through their loss.
The Ninjas were one of a couple of dozen teams at Guardian Glass in the Punt, Pass, Kick competition to collect food for the Navarro County Food Pantry. The finals, called the SouperBowl, was played last Friday, with the winning team delivering the more than 2,000 pounds of groceries to the Pantry on Monday.
“Commissioner” Craig Garner, who ramrodded the event, said the idea came from another Guardian plant, and he brought it with him when he transferred to Corsicana.
“The main objective was two-fold, one was to collect nonperishable food, but also to get people involved from the production floor on what we call a Health Guard initiative, where you participate in exercise programs,” Garner explained. “We also wanted to get people who are quiet or in a corner involved in a team.”
The entry fee for a three-person team was 20 pounds of food, but teams could also win “yards” by bringing in additional pounds of food. In other words, it wasn’t the best kicker, passer and punter, but the most generous heart that could win the whole thing.
“The top team donation was 239 pounds, so all of a sudden it just started cascading,” Garner said. “They just went crazy.”
Players were recognized for their efforts both on their teams and as individuals. In all, Guardian donors pitched in more than 2,200 pounds of food.
If all that hadn’t been enough, there was also plenty of fun to be had, including trash–talking and prizes for best, worst and in between. And the teams each came up with their own names, for example, the Ninja Assassins, but also “OMG That Hurt,” “Afro Circus,” “Project Boys,” and the winning team “It’s the Cullett.”
For the uninitiated, cullett is clean, crushed glass that’s recycled into new glass.
On Friday, Ninjas Marvin Lyons, Jimmy Tay and Paul Bivens dominated the field, but the Culletts had brought in yet more food, overtaking the Ninjas in an end-around play that paid off for the needy. The Culletts are Aaron Johnson, Caitlin Gifford and Matt Dahl.
Once the final efforts with the ball had been done, both teams and spectators all gathered around the commissioner and his assistants to hear the tally. It was the final addition of more food that tipped the scales and gave it to the Culletts. The Ninjas vowed they’d be back next year, but everyone went away looking happy.
“It was all about helping the food drive,” said Dawn Coley.
The commissioner said it was something they’d do again.
“It was kind of a win-win in any direction,” Garner said.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com