July 2014 NWITweetup Awards Two Nonprofits During Cornhole Competition

By: Mona Sehgal Last Updated: July 18, 2014

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition, right? The NWITweetup teamed up with Berman's Infiniti of Merrillville to give away some stellar prizes to deserving nonprofit organizations in the Northwest Indiana region during the July 2014 tweetup event. Representatives from nonprofits competed against each other in a cornhole (or bag toss) tournament. The winner of the tournament was awarded $250, and a last minute surprise included a $250 prize for the second place team as well.

“The first tweetup of the year was at Industrial Revolution, the second one was at TJ Maloney’s, the third at Zao Island, and we’re lucky to have the fourth one at our very own Ideas in Motion Media headquarter building. It’s amazing to see everyone come together for a common goal. I wish businesses gave more. These tweetups are not about the money; they’re about recognizing non-for-profit organizations around our community,” Jae Chang from Berman's Infiniti of Merrillville stated.

The non-profit organizations that faced off in the cornhole tournament included Meals on Wheels, Friends of Portage Township Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Valparaiso, 500 Turkeys, Special Olympics, Housing Opportunities, Semper Fidelis Health & Wellness, Duneland Family YMCA, Worthy Recovery Inc., The Carnahan Foundation, Pyros of Camp Yogi, Valpo Schools Foundation, United Way of La Porte County, North Judson Fire Department, and Stepping Stone Women Shelter.

Food was provided by Valpo Viennas, Gelsosomos Pizzeria and Texas Roadhouse in Portage and drinks were provided by Figure Eight Brewing, Four Fathers Brewing LLC, and Ribordy Liquors.

Jason Jeka from Progressive Dining Group was enthused to be at the event. This was the first tweetup they participated in and Jeka said it was nothing but a positive experience.

Jeka smiled, “It’s absolutely wonderful to see everyone get so involved. We’re really excited to be here and this is really a meeting ground for businesses and non-for-profits. It’s a great way to communicate and interact with people who have similar goals.”

Lori Moreno, 4th grader from Jones Elementary School in Portage, was sitting on the sidelines, cheering her dad, who was competing for The Carnahan Foundation during the bag toss.

“This is amazing! I think that it is great that we are donating money to nonprofits because more people will be helped. Today, I am supporting The Carnahan Foundation, which helps families having medical issues pay for their bills,” she grinned widely, as she continued to yell chants in support of her dad during the cornhole tournament.

At the end of the day, the Duneland YMCA took first place in the tournament. Blair Ballestero, Emily Hoge, and Devin Hunt represented the organization in the cornhole challenge. Hunt was the participant who won it all, and Hoge (who is also his fiancé) couldn’t be any happier.

“I’m so proud of him for helping us win! This money means a lot to us. This money is going to fund scholarships for underprivileged kids. We can’t wait to see what good this money will do!” Hoge exclaimed.

Second place, and another $250 check from Berman’s Infiniti of Merrillville, was awarded to The Carnahan Foundation.

All in all, the event brought people of all different backgrounds, ages, and passions together for one main goal- to make Northwest Indiana an even better place.

Click here for more photos!