Area residents slammed each other Saturday with balls and raised a record amount of money for the American Red Cross.

Thirty-four teams competed in the fifth annual Dodging for Disaster Tournament.

“It’s the most we have ever had before,” said Muskogee, Cherokee, and Adair counties’ Red Cross Director Ryan Hardaway.

“This has been fantastic, everybody is having fun, it’s a good cause,” Hardaway said.

The tournament raised more than $8,875.

“Last year was only $3,900,” Hardaway said.

With the money raised in this tournament the local Red Cross can help numerous families.

Every year since the tournament began, it has grown in the number of participating teams.

“When this tournament started, it started with eight teams,” Hardaway said.

The winning team this year was the non-business affiliated group, Not In The Face. The non-business affiliated team Holy Balls came in second and the Bacone track team placed third.

The best dressed award went to The Castle of Muskogee’s Plaid Fury group.

From July to January, the local Red Cross helped 63 families — 34 in Muskogee County, 15 in Cherokee County, and 14 in Adair County.

“We are just really fortunate that the community started to support this event,” Hardaway said. “It allows us to inform the community about disaster awareness and allows us to have fun.”

The tournament took place in the Muskogee High School gym, which was packed with spectators cheering on the teams.  

Each team consisted of six players. Each game lasted three minutes, which intensified the crowd’s cheering in the final seconds of each match.

“Some people are real serious about winning, some are there just to have fun,” Hardaway said.

The Dodgeball for Disaster Tournament is a part of the Red Cross’s Hero Campaign. Hardaway said the campaign is the primary fundraising campaign, and they need to raise a minimum of $50,000.

Hardaway said the Chili’s in Muskogee and Tahlequah are raising money for the local Red Cross on Monday. For information about the “Give Back” night, donating or becoming a Red Cross volunteer contact Hardaway at (918)682-1366.

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.

You can help

To learn more about “Chili’s Give Back Night” to benefit the Red Cross, donating or becoming a Red Cross volunteer, contact Ryan Hardaway at (918) 682-1366.

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