SHEBOYGAN FALLS, WIS. — Bemis Manufacturing Company is proud — and a little surprised — to find itself participating in the Redneck Games at the Independence Day festival, Cape Girardeau, Mo., July 2-4.
Looking for ways to stir up some fun and some funds at the festival, U.S.A. Veterans Commander Rodger Brown approached Bemis Manufacturing with a request for donated seats for use in a new game — the toilet seat toss.
Bob Davis, Bemis director of marketing, plumbing North America, responded by sending a dozen lidless open-front toilet seats to be used in the games. Bemis also donated some high-end showroom seats to be used as prizes.
“This event is tied to supporting our veterans, so it’s a worthy cause,” said Davis, who added that it was the first time he received a request for seats to be used in a toilet seat toss. “We got quite a kick out of the concept,” he said.
The toilet seat toss, played with Bemis open-front seats that are tossed like horseshoes, joins other innovative games created by Brown and his colleagues for this year’s festival.
“In this day and age, you have to have something unusual to get people’s attention, and that’s what we are trying to do,” Brown said. “We need to raise money to help us pay for this event. U.S.A Veterans is just a small group of people, and this festival will cost us about $60,000.”
U.S.A. Veterans took over the community’s Fourth of July event when the City of Cape Girardeau did not budget funds for the celebration, Brown said. “Because we’re all veterans and the Fourth of July commemorates the birth of our country, we just couldn’t bear the idea of not doing something,” he said.
“We think we did a pretty good job on short notice last year,” Brown added. “The festival is growing this year, and next year we want it to grow some more.”
Brown and his Fourth of July Committee came up with the idea of the Redneck Games to complement other activities such as a demolition derby and a concert by country star Darryl Worley. Games will cost 50 cents per toss or shot, with winners awarded tickets that are redeemable for donated prizes.
“We have to do something to pay for all this,” said Brown. “Right now we’re doing it on faith, and faith’s knees are starting to buckle.”
Brown said his group has been heartened by the support from local merchants and from Bemis.
“We’re hoping to find a special way to say thank you to Bemis,” Brown said. “We think there might be fodder for an ad campaign: Bemis seats not only support you in times of need, but also can provide recreation for the whole family.”