On a small field next to First Christian Church, Rev. Jordan Byrd raised his bow and fired an arrow with a 3-inch rubber marshmallow tip at an opponent. The game, known as archery tag, is part of a new fundraising model: Charity Wars.
Byrd hopes Charity Wars will catch on locally as an alternative to golf tournaments, fun runs, galas, and silent auctions. The first tournament is scheduled for Feb. 22 at 10 a.m., at the Alex Patel Palestine YMCA Soccer Complex.
By playing Charity Wars, members of nonprofit organizations compete for a cash prize. Each team pays a registration fee of $250, which goes to the winning team. The more teams participating, the larger the prize.
Archery tag is a combination of archery and dodgeball, which involves running and shooting arrows and dodging arrows from opponents. Two teams face off on a field, then shoot at one another until everyone on the opposing team has been hit and scratched from competition.
Byrd said the game is safe for everyone, age 5 and up. With large foam tips, the arrows are harmless, unless they hit the face directly. Players, however, are protected by headgear. They can also dodge behind portable barriers, making the game more challenging.
During a demonstration, Byrd led five kids, ages 5 to 14, against a team led by Brett Weisenburn. The teams competed for several rounds. “We mix ages on both teams to keep it fair,” Byrd said.
Nathan Langley, 14, has played the game several times, since Byrd introduced it in August. “It’s really fun,” Langley said.
Jack Calhoun, 14, has already played seven times, and has invited friends to join. “I play every chance I get,” he said.
For information, visit CharitywarsPalestine.org or call 903-480-0664. Registration is online.