Charity Petanque Tournament Raises $2,100 for Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank | Etc

Twelve two-person teams participated in the Walla Walla Pétanque Club charity tournament on August 21 to raise funds for the Blue Mountain Action Council food bank, club member Catherine Schiaffo said in a statement.

All finishing teams who played at Patterson Cellars on club grounds received prizes donated by Walla Walla businesses and individuals. First place honors went to Leslie Barton and Zach White; Ryan Raber and junior player Maya Johanson got second place and Eric Hamilton and Larry Widmer got third place.

In total, funds raised through tournament fees, bocce skills contests, silent auctions, food donations and direct cash donations raised over $2,100 for the food bank. The non-perishable food donated by the participants weighed 140 pounds and was worth $250.

BMAC representatives Yvonne Segovia and Marcus Frey attended the event and shared information about the food bank’s mission. Segovia played on a team and Frey tried his hand at the skills competition.

The BMAC Food Bank Regional Distribution Center supplies edibles to five food pantries in Walla Walla County and food pantries in Franklin, Columbia, Asotin and Garfield counties, Schiaffo said.

“More than 6,000 meals are distributed daily. One in six people will visit a food pantry this year. Sixty-seven percent of those served are children and the elderly. Because of its purchasing power, every dollar donated is turned into $6 in food aid,” Schiaffo said.

Defined as “feet fixed or planted on the ground”, pétanque players stand with their feet in a circle while throwing a metal ball (boule) as close as possible to a small wooden target ball called a pochet or “little pig” .

The game, first played in Provence, France, is similar to Italian pétanque. Boules games date back to ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt and go through the Middle Ages.

A form of boules known as jeu provençal or boule lyonnaise was extremely popular in the years 1860-1899 in France. Players would roll their balls or run three steps before throwing a ball. Petanque developed in 1910 as an offshoot or variant of the Provençal game.

Local enthusiasts formed the Walla Walla Pétanque Club in 2006 for adult and junior members. It’s the only bocce club east of the Cascades in Washington and one of the largest in the state, Schiaffo said.

The club usually plays at 11 a.m. on Sundays at the club grounds at Patterson Cellars, 1564 Whiteley Road. The club’s Facebook page lists current start times or venue changes and upcoming tournaments. WWPC holds annual charity tournaments to benefit organizations such as BMAC and SOS Health Services.

Hamilton said the club deeply appreciates “all the generous local businesses who donated items for our baskets and auction prizes, our fantastic field hosts at Patterson Cellars and our club members for being part of this worthy event.”

Annie Charnley Eveland is retired from the Union-Bulletin as editor, columnist and reporter for 42 years. A freelance writer, she runs the Etcetera section at UB. Send news with contact name and daytime phone number to [email protected] or call 509-386-7369.

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