BOONE — The game of cornhole has become a prominent part of college student culture — so much so, that its popularity can draw a large enough crowd for a legitimate tournament, as recently proven by Appalachian State University.

The Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program at ASU, with the help of several local businesses, held a cornhole tournament fundraiser on Feb. 7 in the Blue Ridge Ballroom in the Plemmons Student Union, raising $315 for its scholarship foundation fund.

“We established the fund a few years ago,” said SDAP director Anna Ward. “A lot of high school graduates with disabilities don’t plan to go to college, and most aren’t eligible for loans or scholarships. A lot of them really do need money, and that’s why we started the foundation.”

The cornhole tournament featured 14 playing boards and attracted around 30 to 40 participants in what was a successful social event, complete with friendly competition, food, drinks and music. Ward said she hopes to make it an annual event, something that hasn’t been established yet within the organization.

“We do fundraisers here and there, but so far we haven’t established an annual event, so we hope to keep this one going,” she said. “We had a much bigger turnout than expected.”

As stated on its website, SDAP provides students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities access to a two-year inclusive college educational experience, including academic, social, personal and career goal development. When students complete the program, they receive a Collegiate Achievement Award.

“We strive for these students to come here and leave feeling prepared to have a job they can feel fulfilled with,” said Miriam Stapp, SDAP graduate assistant. “We work with students of varying levels of abilities and strengths, and it’s important for each one of them to leave college feeling they’re able to live a successful, independent life.”

SDAP strives through its four core values of being completely inclusive, person centered, mutually beneficial, and it’s a comprehensive transition postsecondary program, meaning students are eligible for financial aid and work study programs on campus.

For more information on SDAP, visit https://sdap.appstate.edu.

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