By Morgan Turberville
North Jefferson News
GARDENDALE — A Gardendale restaurant is hosting its first annual block party and 5K on Saturday to benefit a special cause.
Buffalo Wild Wings will be hosting the block party, complete with inflatables, a dunking booth, a cornhole tournament and a 5K, all to help out Cornerstone Ranch. The ranch, which is in its fifth year, is a non-profit Christian organization located in Gardendale which helps underprivileged kids.
Jay Beard, a Buffalo Wild Wings employee and organizer for the run, has a special connection to Cornerstone Ranch.
“My brother and I used to fish on the lake that is now Cornerstone Ranch when we were younger,” Beard said. After his brother died, Beard says that the “land always held a special place in my heart with the memories of Danny.”
Upon inquiring about a place he could take his 3-year-old son fishing, he was directed to Rusty Rouse and Jay Arnold of the Cornerstone Ranch.
“What started out as a simple fishing trip turned into this all-day fundraiser,” Beard said. With the help of his boss, Buffalo Wild Wings manager Sean O’Brien, and CrossFit Gardendale, the restaurant is spreading the word about a service that Beard said provides a service in Gardendale’s backyard.
Activities will include a cornhole tournament at 3 p.m. The cost for the tournament will be $20 per team, and registration will begin at 2 p.m.
There will be three divisions of the 5K: an Rx, a modified, and a regular 5K, all starting at 9 a.m. Registration is $30 and must be paid by 8 a.m. the day of the race.
In addition to these activities, live music and a dunking booth will also be provided. Performers include James Miller and The County Road Band and Timber & Tide. Among those signed up to be dunked are Mayor Oyhell Phillips City Council President Stan Hogeland and several council members.
The chairman on the board of Cornerstone Ranch, Mike Holmes, is very excited about what Buffalo Wild Wings is trying to do for the organization.
“I can’t say enough about Buffalo Wild Wings and the guys over there. We’ve been blessed with a lot of help from a lot of people to get us to where we are,” Holmes said.
He shared how Buffalo Wild Wings approached Cornerstone Ranch, and has continued to help by coming out to the ranch to volunteer. He considers their help a “blessing.”
“This is not a one time deal, they want to be involved moving forward,” he added.
All proceeds for the tournament and 5K run go to supporting the Cornerstone Ranch. A percentage of sales that Buffalo Wild Wings makes Saturday will also go to the ranch.
For additional information on the event, email Buffalo Wild Wings at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (205) 631-7646.
[This story has been updated from the version that appeared in Wednesday's NJN print edition.]