July 19, 2014

Sometimes the best ideas can spring from something as simple as a friendly office game of cornhole toss.

That’s where the idea initially arose for the First Annual DPR Cornhole Summer Classic hosted by the San Diego office June 19. The goal: hold a social event that brought together members of the design and construction community for an afternoon of networking and fun, while also raising money for a worthy cause.

The event far exceeded initial expectations, raising $10,000 for the Autism Tree Project Foundation in a single afternoon. Some 200 people flocked to DPR’s San Diego office for a backyard barbecue-style gathering featuring food, beer, networking and a cornhole tournament that would likely make the American Cornhole Association (yes, there is one) proud.

Players have their game faces on.

DPR Manager Ian Pyka, who introduced the game to the San Diego office, floated the initial idea and spearheaded the planning.

“Part of our goal is to become more integral to our community, and this was just one way to do that,” Pyka said. “This idea really fit in our wheelhouse – it’s fun, different and I think we all just always thought there was potential. We just didn’t realize how much!”

Tournament organizer Ian Pyka has everyone's attention as he lays out the rules of the game. 

The Autism Tree Project Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting with education, advocacy, screening and mentoring for families impacted by autism in the San Diego area. DPR employee Eric Cusick sits on its Board.

Approximately 20 DPR volunteers helped prepare for this event in various ways, doing everything from helping make the 32 sets of game boards/ bags to helping run the tournament. Every participant received an event shirt sporting the names of subcontractors who stepped up as sponsors: ClarkDietrich, General Coatings, Norman S. Wright Mechanical Equipment, Abbott Engineering, California Sheet Metal, Culinary Concepts, Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Systems, United Rentals and Vision Systems.