▲ Jason Hiltz, right, and his wife Seongmi walked away with the crystal championship trophy. At left is organizer Sachin Mahajan. Photo by Dave Cunning
The inaugural Debbie Cancer Free Charity Darts Tournament is in the books, and will undoubtedly be remembered as a bull's-eye of an event.
After besting 15 other teams and winning six consecutive games of cricket darts on July 7 in Jeju City, Jason Hiltz and his wife Seongmi walked away with the crystal championship trophy.
“We feel pretty good,” said Hiltz, after the victory. “We had to beat a lot of good teams to get here to the end. We had a lot of faith that if we played as well as we knew we could we’d have a good chance to win, but you still never know; you have to play the games to find out. If not for the awesome dart throwing of my wife, we never would have made it to the final round.”
“Oh yeah, I’m so happy,” an excited Seongmi added after the win.
The tandem owns “The Bar” in City Hall. While they both have been playing darts for a number of years, they both no doubt picked up a little extra practice on the dart board that resides in their tavern.
Of course, the charity tournament was about more than hoisting a trophy — tournament organizer Sachin Mahajan setup the showdown to raise money for the family of his friend Debbie Peachy, a former Jeju resident who recently lost her battle with cancer. His event raised approximately 1 million won for Debbie’s family.
“This tournament was held in her honor,” said Mahajan. “We originally started this tournament to help with her long term care, but now the money will go to her family to assist in paying her medical and funeral expenses. In their time of need, I hope this is something that can help them out a little bit.”
Mahajan was more than pleased with the success of the tournament, and especially with the participation and support of the Jeju community that donated auction items, their time, and their hard-earned money.
“The tournament went better than I ever could have expected,” Mahajan conceded. “A big ‘thank you’ goes to the owners of Dart’s Bar for hosting the tournament, all our sponsors that donated to the event, and everyone that participated. The local foreigner community on this island is amazing. The way people turn out to an event for someone they’ve never met, and the outpouring and support we got is just wonderful. It’s why I love this island.”
After the success of the tournament, Mahajan may look to organize more “Peachy” events in the future.
“I think we’ll continue using her last name to do more of these kind of events to raise money to fight cancer. It’s an important issue. We lost a friend too young in Debbie, and that’s always a tragedy, but the fact that people can come together and do an event like this makes the burden a little easier to bear. I hope she enjoyed the event from wherever she is now. Every time I remember her, she’s smiling, and I thought the best way to honor her would be to celebrate.”
Dave Cunning is a freelance writer from Kelowna, BC, Canada. Read his blog davecunning.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter: @davecunning
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