Christina Gagne never imagined the effect that hosting a friendly outdoor kickball tournament could have. She said the simple act of playing together resulted in her customers bonding with each other and strengthening their sense of community.
“Can you believe that a game of kickball can turn people sitting on opposite sides of the room into best buddies?”
Christina is co-owner, with her husband John Gagne, of Brockett’s Pub House & Grill in Clarkston. She meets and interacts with customers at her restaurant all the time. But before the tournaments, she had never socialized with them outside the walls of the restaurant.
On the first night after she announced the first tournament in spring 2012, she said she immediately signed up 25 people, and all of them paid the $20 entry fee. Before the tournament, regulars would sit at the bar or at one of the tables, and would rarely speak to one another.
Now, she says, they will walk up to people in the pub that they recognize from the kickball games, sit down, and eat and talk with them.
Including her and her staff and customers, the first tournament drew about 40 competitors and 25 spectators to the Clarkston Community Center, and the second drew more than 50 competitors, including several passers-by who noticed the crowd at the field.
“It was a really chill atmosphere,” said Gagne. “So much of our customer base didn’t even know that the Community Center existed. We wanted to do something local. We wanted to see the area grow and build.”
Brockett’s Pub has hosted two springtime kickball tournaments. The first was on April 28, 2012, and the second was on March 9, 2013. “They are the highlight of my year,” she said.The proceeds from the tournaments were donated to the Clarkston Community Center. At the first tournament, Brockett’s made about $500, and at the second tournament, they made about $800.
Brockett’s Pub House & Grill is located at 4522 E. Ponce De Leon Ave. in Clarkston, GA.
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