words and photos: Mark Clavin

The Pearce Brothers called upon the old sibling rivalry game of ping pong to inspire the fundraising event held early in the week during the US Open in Vail, Colorado. In addition to the ping pong tourney, Love Your Brain and the Frends crew teamed up to host an awesome night of après, music, and extremely fancy appetizers that Louie Vito just couldn’t get enough of. All proceeds went to the Kevin Pearce Fund, which is used to help organizations that help families affected by brain injury, much like his own, and other challenges.

For an event hosted on Mardi Gras, there was a lot more balls than breasts all over the room. The five table tournament started a little after 7 pm with games being played up to eleven, win by two, until the quarter finals. All of my hours playing with my father in my garage in Cleveland, Ohio were about to pay off! Although I lived out my life long dream of playing Danny Davis in table tennis… I’m sorry Dad, the Olympian beat me. Who knew such a sweet switch method could be paired with a Forrest Gump prowess on the paddle?

Danny was knocked out in the next round by the eventual champion that brought his own paddle. Let’s just say, no one would have been shocked if it was his own pro model.

The post pong night consisted of a raffle and some killer jams. Jack Mitrani and Davis took the stage with Chuck Ragan, a newly added performer for the 2014 Frendly Gathering in Vermont, June 26-28. The rest of the night got a little hazy, probably because the elevation change-to-beer ratio was a little too much for this Midwesterner to handle.

Thanks to all the sponsors that put on the event and all of those in attendance that have been in any way a part of the recovery process for the challenges addressed by the Kevin Pearce Fund. It is great to see the snowboarding community contributing to raising awareness for such a great cause.