Art Feeds throws a colorful twist on dodgeball tournament


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Participants throw paint powder at last year’s Art Feeds Paint Wars event.

Art Feeds will be hosting its annual fundraiser Paint Wars on May 3 at Victory Ministry and Sports Complex, 3405 S. Hammons Blvd. in Joplin. Funds raised from the event will go towards the expansion of new regional chapters that was launched last November.

Participants of the Paint Wars fundraiser will be joining up in teams for a dodgeball tournament with powder paint bombs instead of traditional dodgeballs. Each team is allowed 12 members, with 10 on the field at a time, and the event is open to all ages.

While the competition will be a bracket tournament with a trophy for the winning team, each team will be guaranteed at least two games. There will also be trophies for best team uniform and best team chant.

“It’s the best time,” said Founder and Executive Director Meg Hulsey.

“It’s one of our best fundraisers all year.”

Registration fees for each team come to $300, which includes a free white T-shirt with white ink that can be colored by the paint bombs at the event. Art Feeds is also looking for MSSU students to volunteer as referees for the tournament.

The registration deadline is April 25 and teams may register online, by phone or in person at the Art Feeds office at 417 E. 7 St. in Joplin.

Hulsey started the organization in 2009 to help children with special needs concentrate and grow through therapeutic art. After the Joplin tornado in 2011, Art Feeds expanded its reach to all children, regardless of need or background. The non-profit currently provides free weekly programming to 13 schools and 32 children’s organizations, and has impacted the lives of up to 3,500 children this spring alone.

“With creativity we found that it’s really undervalued in the education system,” said Hulsey, “but that that’s the best tool we can give our kids because they don’t know the world that they’re going to inherit at this point.”