Vail Valley’s Swift Eagle Foundation hosts 11th annual bocce tournament | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley’s Swift Eagle Foundation hosts 11th annual bocce tournament

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EAGLE COUNTY — The Swift Eagle Charitable Foundation is hosting its 11th annual La Bella Festa Bocce Tournament on Sunday, June 24, starting at noon at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion. Teams of four will compete for cash prizes, and there will be an Italian dinner, hors d'oeuvres, silent auction and musical entertainment. Swift Eagle provides all bocce equipment. No experience is necessary.

"Every year since its inception, we've had 40 teams compete in the tournament. That's 160 people, plus some people who pay just to come to the event and the dinner," said Craig Snowdon, one of Swift Eagle's founders who, along with his wife, Ginny, also one of Swift Eagle's founders, came up with the idea for the tournament. "All the money raised goes directly to helping Eagle County residents in crisis."

Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller ball, called the pallino. The pallino is thrown the length of the court, which can be grass or sand. Two teams of four each compete by throwing their balls towards the pallino. Points are given to the team whose balls are closest to the pallino. The tournament is a round robin, with each team playing against six other teams.

Swift Eagle was founded in 2004 by a group of longtime locals and its mission is to swiftly help Eagle County residents with living and personal expenses during times of crisis or hardship. As a grass-roots, volunteer organization, donations go toward helping those in need rather than overhead expenses. Since its inception, more than $1 million in grants has gone towards helping those in crisis situations with rent, utilities, car payments or repairs and emergency dental and eye care.

Sponsorships for the bocce tournament range from $600 and up. Teams of four are $400. For more information, call Pat Hamilton, 970-926-3846, or email info@swifteagle.org. For more information on Swift Eagle, go to http://www.swifteagle.org.