Ray taking viral fight at cornhole tourney 'in stride'

Sara Ray

Douglas County Chamber President and CEO Sara Ray is dedicated to her hometown of Douglasville and her positive demeanor is contagious to those who know her.

But even Ray was a little rattled when a fight broke out at the Chamber’s annual charity cornhole tournament last Sunday at Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club.

Video of the fight posted by Alex Cannon to YouTube has gone viral on the internet and news sites around the country, with outlets from the Atlanta media to Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and many others sharing it on websites and via social media. A Facebook post from Atlanta’s WSB-TV showing the video had by itself garnered 2.6 million views as of Friday.

The clip — which is 42 seconds on YouTube — even made it on Jimmy Kimmel Live on his Wednesday late night talk show on ABC.

A few punches were landed, and Ray can be heard in the video trying to get the fight under control.

Ray told the Sentinel Friday she’s taking it “all in stride” and that it’s “unfortunate” that the cornhole tournament — which has been held for seven years to raise money for scholarships for local students and professionals — is being shed in a negative light on a national stage.

Ray has been in her new position for just over a month after rising through the ranks from communications coordinator and vice president at the Chamber. She was promoted to the top job March 20 after the Chamber’s former chief, Kali Boatright, left for a similar position in North Fulton.

Ray issued a statement to the media earlier in the week regarding the fight.

“The Douglas County Chamber is proud of its successful history supporting and promoting local business and our community as a whole,” Ray said in the statement. “The Chamber supports its efforts through various events through the year. This event, the Cornhole Tournament, specifically raises funds for scholarships for outstanding high school students and rising young professionals. It is unfortunate that an event that has been so successful in providing scholarships for students and young professionals for the past seven years was overshadowed by a small group of people acting inappropriately. We hope our long history of effective work speaks more loudly than this incident.”

Ray said no arrests were made and “the entire thing was over in less than two minutes.”

“There is nothing we could have done to prevent this from happening, and it is unfortunate that the incident is tied to the Chamber’s name as you know that is not at all how we operate,” she said. “With all the positive stories happening here in Douglas daily from the school system, development authority and other businesses, it is crazy that this story is the one making national headlines.”

She said the future of the cornhole tournament is being evaluated and no decision has been made yet on whether to continue it next year.

The bigger picture, though, for Ray and the Chamber, is the scholarships the cornhole tournament was held to raise funds for — the Foundation Leadership Scholarship, which is given to two local high school seniors who demonstrate leadership in the community, and the Continuing Education Scholarship for Young Professionals, which is given to young professionals looking to continue their education. Applications for the Continuing Education Scholarship are being accepted through June 18.

For more information on the Foundation Leadership Scholarship, visit http://douglascountygeorgia.com/leadership/ and for information on the Continuing Education Scholarship, visit http://douglascountygeorgia.com/ampd/.

Call the Chamber at 770-942-5022 or visit them at dogulascountygeorgia.com for more on how you can contribute to the scholarships and find out other ways you can get involved in the Chamber’s efforts to make Douglas County a great place to work, live and play.

(1) comment

Moderate Independent

No arrest????

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