Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Interview with the NSCBBA

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the head of the NSCBBA Ross Fronk. Ross took the time to answer a few questions about the NSCBBA organization's history. As well as what their mission is within the organization.

1. What is the NSCBBA ?

NSCBBA, stands for the National Sprint Car Bean Bag Association. It is a non-profit organization with pending 501c3 status. You wouldn’t believe how much it costs to push legitimizing paperwork through to the stinking IRS.

2. Where did the idea come from ?

The idea itself actually started as a joke, if you feel like reading the full story, you’ll have to check out our website for the “Origins” page. Eventually we decided it would be cool to raise money to be small sponsor for one or two, of our favorite drivers, you might be able to guess which ones. However, as you can see, we have strayed from that idea considerably.

3. When did you come up with the idea to start an organization?

I’m not sure of the date, but it was sometime during the early winter months of 2006. We actually did not become an official entity until February of 2007.

4. How did you get involved with the sport of corn holing ?

In July of 2005, Matt Roberts, or “Berts” as he is known to the locals, traveled to Eldora for the Kings Royal. He played it out there and loved it. When he returned back to home base, he constructed his first set of boards…the legendary Hoosier boards.

5. When was the idea to hold tournaments to raise money for charities thought of ?

We originally played a number of different tailgating games and would have mini tournaments within our group. Eventually, once enough people were introduced to bean bags, we figured that a tournament would be a fun way to raise money.

6. When did you hold the first tournament ?

April of 2006.

7. How did the first tournament go ?

The first tournament was held on a cold windy day in April at Williams Grove. It only featured 4 teams and I don’t remember who won.

8. How many tournaments have you held so far ?

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-15, officially. Unofficially, close to 50 or 60.

9. How has it been received so far by the racing community ?

I guess that depends on who you ask [laughing]. Some people like us a little more than others. At first there were many skeptics, but the more events we had and the more money we raised, people have generally begun to accept us.

10. Who all have you raised money for so far and how much have you raised ?

On the books in 2007, we have raised $4930 that was donated to specific charitable causes. This year’s events benefited the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Fund, Sorokach Fire Fund, the Tuscarora 50 Foundation, and the Bill Kimmel Fund On top of that we have made roughly $600, which we kept for operations, such as materials for boards and bags, refreshments for our tournaments, etc.

11. Last year you held a tournament at lincoln. How did that come about ?

We decided to have a tournament to benefit the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Fund. It was a simple business decision. Basically, we are a non-profit group that operates in the local racing community, therefore we should start out with an event to benefit the most notable racing charity out there, the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Fund. Also, we decided it would be best to have it on the day of the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial race. The fund was still in my mind because I have played in their memorial golf tournament over the last few years.

12. How did it go ?

Our goal was to raise $1,000, we raised $2,000. So for us it was a success and we look forward to doing it again next year. Its nice to help a great family like the Gobrechts. It should also be mentioned that Lincoln Speedway was very easy and pleasant to work with. The Leiby’s also donated a good bit of the entry money back into the funds.

13. Also last year the Sorokach family experienced a personal tragedy when they lost their house in a fire. The NSCBBA held a tournament at the Summer Nationals to help raise money for the family. Whose idea was it to help the Sorokach family, and how did it go ?

Originally the money from our Summer Nats tourney was going to be donated to the Penn State Children’ Hospital, for their research with youngsters afflicted with cancer. But given the circumstances and our direct relationship with the sprint car community, we decided to redirect our efforts to the Sorokach’s. We pulled in $900 even, for that event.

14.What's been the most memorable moment so far?

I can’t speak for the entire organization, but for me, it was this year’s National Open weekend. We held tournaments Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon, while the Outlaws were in town. Friday’s tournament featured 68 players, while Saturday’s tournament boasted 74 contestants. It was great to get that kind of turnout and see the continuously growing support, from the local racing community.

15. Who all is involved with the NSCBBA ?

Quite few people have a hand in shaping our organization. Foremost, Matt Roberts builds and paints all of the boards and he sews bags like Betsy Ross sewed Old Glory. Mike “Hestor” Fealtman assists me directly with operations. Craig Williams is one of my main consultants. Andrew Rucker does a great job maintaining our website. Duane Wenger is our rover, he never has a specific job, but helps out in anyway he can. Jason Martin, of Martin Design Group, does the majority of our artwork, as well as our t-shirts. Jason Barshinger prints all of the NSCBBA decals that you see. Other artwork is provided by Promotion Graphics and GW Signs. Ron “DrakPak” Judd and Mike Root are two people that have helped out independently. We also were fortunate enough to pick-up several sponsors for last season [2007], if we didn’t have them, none of our accomplishments would have been possible

16. How can people get involved with the NSCBBA ?

There are a number of ways that people can join in. First and foremost, we invite anyone and everyone to participate in our events, the NSCBBA 2008 schedule of events should be posted by February. Also, folks can always order any of our different types and models of bean bag boards, order forms are available on our website and can be sent directly to my email. Private donations are common for our events, as well. In 2008 we will have more shirts out, too. Currently there is no specific membership availability, but people can simply show up and throw a few bags.

17. Any plans for some thing this winter ? Or are the tournament's only held in the summer ?

We will have our winter meeting in January, the first tournament for next year is slated for the Icebreaker on February 26th, 2008. That’s the one we call the Freezing Your Bagoff. Currently though, our main focus is the golf tournament we are planning for the Bill Kimmel Memorial Scholarship Fund, on May 22, 2008. After that we will have the 2nd Annual Kevin Gobrecht Challenge, at the end of June. The new event that is currently in the works is a pig roast, possibly to coincide with the Summer Nationals bag tournament. Funds raised from the pig roast would then go to the Penn State Children’s Hospital. We will finalize all of our plans early next year and get our schedule posted on our website soon after.

18. How can people get in touch with you? Maybe to hold a tournament, or just to donate time or money?

My email address is Or I’m easily reached on the Williams Grove Message Board.

19. Anything else you would like to add ?

We hope that people take our activities seriously, but at the same time, view us as your average race fans. Our main focus is to accomplish something productive while having fun, at the races.

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