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United Way gearing up for 2nd Bocce, Beer and Bites

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Corey Sackrison, playing for Vidant Chowan Hospital, tosses a bocce ball during last year's Bocce, Beer and Bites fundraiser for the Albemarle Area United Way at Elizabeth City's Waterfront Park.

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From staff reports

Friday, April 19, 2019

Bill Blake, executive director of the Albemarle Area United Way, said last year that participants’ feedback would determine whether the agency hosted its “Bocce, Beer and Bites” fundraiser again this year.

Feedback must have been good, because this year’s bocce tournament is just around the corner. 

AAUW’s second Bocce, Beer and Bites is scheduled to kick off at noon on Saturday, April 27, at Waterfront Park. The event will include bocce games throughout the afternoon, lunch from Currituck BBQ and beer provided by Elizabeth City’s own Ghost Harbor Brewing Company. Teams can register online at albemarleareauw.org/bocce19 or by calling the AAUW at 252-333-1510.

Bocce is played on a grassy lawn or court, and involves team members tossing balls as close as possible to a jack or boccino. Teams earn points based on the balls' positions relative to the boccino, and can gain advantage by knocking the boccino or other balls around.

There is room for up to 50 four-person teams in this year’s tournament, the website states. 

Registration is $150 per team and includes bocce games, lunch from Currituck BBQ and two beers from Ghost Harbor for each team member. 

Tickets for people who just want to come out for lunch and enjoy the afternoon watching the bocce games are also available.

The individual Beer and Bites package, which includes a barbecue lunch and two beers from Ghost Harbor, are $30 per ticket. Tickets for the Bites package, which includes a barbecue meal and soda or water, are $20 each. 

Music entertainment will be provided by DJ Taz-2. 

Last year’s first-ever Bocce, Beer and Bites attracted hundreds of people to Waterfront Park. The AAUW originally planned for 32 teams, but as community interests grew the tournament was expanded to 46 teams. 

People were trying to buy tickets as late as the day before the event, Blake said last year. 

Blake also estimated at the time that AAUW would raise more than $17,000, based on the ticket sales and donations.

In last year’s tournament, the teams really got into it by creating custom T-shirts and coming up with creative team names. For example, one team name was “De-bocce-ry” and another team named itself “Here for Beer.”

Many of the teams were represented by employees of the U.S. Coast Guard, Vidant Chowan Hospital, Sentara Albemarle Medical Center and other businesses. 

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